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..."
Arts & Ents blogs
The Independent Bath Literature Festival: 'Top Gear' makes Saudis look liberal, Kirsty Wark tells book festival
Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
Mad about the girl: The cult of Veronica Mars
Stewart Lee: Beware - this man may be only joking
Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
White people become less racist just by moving to more diverse areas, study finds
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 3 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 4 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
- 5 Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry