Thursday 08 October 1998
And that is fine with me. Poker should be regarded as a dangerous game - that is its appeal. If it ever came to be seen as a harmless little nursery card game, that would be the end of it. In fact James Jones loved poker. The scene in From Here to Eternity when the soldiers are playing five-card stud in the motor shed after pay-day is one of the greatest scenes of poker in action ever written. "It was true poker, hard, monotonous, unthrilling, and he truly loved it... But before the big win he was just waiting for to quit... they caught him; they caught him good."
Playing five-card stud, Prew is dealt (10) 10, a good hand. On the fourth card he hit another 10. On the same card Warden paired kings showing. Warden checked to the 10s. Prew was cautious; they were not trying to play dirty poker in this game, but with this much on the table, anything went.
When the bet had checked around to him Prew bet lightly, just a touch, a feeler. O'Hayer obviously had an ace paired to his hole card and was willing to pay for the chance to catch the third. Warden thought quite a while before he called and looked at his hole card twice and almost didn't call, so he had no trips. (So Prew thought.)
O'Hayer (?) x A x x
Warden (?) K x K x
Prew 10) 10 x 10 x
On the last card, O'Hayer missed his ace and dropped out. Warden still checked, and Prew bet 25, figuring to milk the last drop out of him, figuring he had this one cinched. Warden raised him $60.
Poor old Prew! How could he have fallen for it when he'd known all the time, read it exactly, in fact, what was going on? When Warden looked at his hole card a first and then a second time and then almost didn't call, he gave his hand away. He was trying to bluff that he didn't have the third king. Prew felt had to call - wrong again! - because there was so much money in the pot. The author James Jones chose a fine phrase to celebrate poker - "the old familiar alchemy, the best drug of them all against this life..."
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Student jailed for hacking University of Birmingham computers to improve his grades
- 2 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
MasterChef 2015: Simon Wood named winner
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Sherlock series 4: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have to be 'persuaded' to return, says Steven Moffat
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election