I think the saying goes something like “youth and exuberance is no match for age and treachery”.  Maybe it is because I am getting older, but I find that statement more and more truthful as the years go on.  I was at my second home, the Gulf Coast of Mississippi last week on a bit of a vacation, and as is my usual habit I found myself sitting at way too many poker tables.

I have always thought that the poker table was an interesting cross section of the people in society as a whole nowadays.  This trip was no different as I found myself at tables with a wide range of people, the 85 year old lady, impeccably dressed, but having a hard time staying awake, the middle age couple playing against each other, which is kind of a waste of money but who was I to judge.  Then the usual plethora of “young guns” the 20 something old men with their baseball hats on backwards, dark shade, ear phones attached to something in their pockets, and a huge stack of chips (used to intimidate no doubt) and sipping endlessly on energy drinks.

I suppose I would fall in the “older people” category being upper middle age myself, and I do wear my baseball cap facing forward, the way they are supposed to be.  I don’t wear dark glasses or listen to anything but the endless chatter between players and dealer at the table.  If prompted by the scantily clad ladies walking around the casino, I will have a beer or two; I mean who would say no to a lady dressed in such a manner?

As luck would have it, I was at one such table late one evening, or was it early in the morning, I don’t remember exactly.  The tables can seat up to ten players and of course the dealer.  I am not going to bore you with the technical aspects of a poker game, but this table was loaded with a wide variety of characters as described above.  The game went on, and on into the late hours of the night, the old woman finally left to go to bed somewhere, but I think she was already pretty well rested.  Others came and filled the empty seats and the kaleidoscope of people just continued on and on.

Finally it happened, the showdown between young gun and an older person, me.  With brash bravado he bet an unusually high amount of money on the first round of cards.  As is customary most of the rest of the people at the table folded but the older person decided to see what the young gun was made of so I called.  The next card did nothing for my hand, a mere pair of tens, but the young gun was relentless, betting another high amount of money.  This went on until the last card was dealt, an Ace.  Now the young gun was either really excited about such a good hand, or was just irritated because the old person was matching his bets.  So as the game is called “No Limit” he pushed his stack of chips to the center of the table and called “All In”.

A hush fell over the table as the older guy felt all eyes turned on him.  I studied my two hidden cards and realized I had only the pair of tens; surely the young gun had made a higher pair or better.  I fidgeted with some chips, had a sip of one of those lady delivered beers and then said in a firm a voice as I could muster “I call”.  The cards were shown and he had a lesser pair, sixes actually, than my mere pair of tens.  The dealer smirked at the young gun and pushed the chips to me, about $800.00 worth of chips.  I calmly stacked them all in front of me, and listened to the mutterings of the young gun, how he could not believe an older person would call his bluff, how he loved to play against people like me (yeah sure) and on and on for another thirty minutes.  He then told me that he hoped I would stay around and play so he could get his money back.  That’s where the treachery part comes in, I simply told the dealer I wanted to cash in, and while my chips were being counted I sipped the last of my beer, rose from the table and with a tip of my correctly placed baseball hat said “thanks for the game” and left because afterall we older people need our sleep.