The moon was on its rather familiar autumnal wax, and the night sky was lit up like iridescent pearls against an azure backdrop, and I was off to play some serious poker in the more cede end of town. By the way town is Birmingham and I had been invited to play in a private game with some guys who I met in the Red Lion after the local Birmingham City vs. Aston Villa derby. Anyway after deliberating long and hard about turning up finally I plucked up courage to go and see what the crack was after all they might be bad players and I might be able to clean up! Armed with 3 packets of Marlborough lights a Zippo a bottle of wine (I was not sure if taking hard liquor was appropriate on a first outing) which was a rather nice Musacdet an address written on the back of an empty pack of fags and five hundred quid in cash I set out in my Audi Coupe, god I must be mental.
I arrived at the house at about 9.00 pm, the guys whom I met in the Red Lion said any time after 8.00 would be good, right about now I was having second thoughts I mean its not as if I knew these people the last I remember of them was being extremely pissed and talking inanely about the wonders of Texas Hold Em. Anyway to late now, I rang the door bell to be greeted by a guy a big guy I kid you not he must have been 23 stone with large tattoos all over his arms and I have to say they were not in anyway artistic in any shape or form in fact his flesh was similar to what a bubble jet printer throws out when its knackered. Who are you? said the monster. I was invited here to play cards by Sam was my retort. Sams not here he barked back at me. Oh so no game I said Whats in the bag? It was about this time when I thought dam it perhaps the hard liquor would have been the better option. A rather pleasant bottle of wine I said trying to sound posh and intelligent. At this the walking mural, I presume he walked or maybe he just bounced, laughed loudly moved his large mass from the door aperture and gestured for me to enter.
A few moments later and a quick glance over my shoulder to check my car still had its wheels and I was in a large carpeted lounge with a round card table smack in the middle. The guy nearest the clock I did not recognize however the two guys to his immediate right were the ones who I was pissed with. One of them recognized me and invited me to take a seat at the table. After exchanging a few pleasantries the guy nearest the clock with a baseball cap on told me that they were playing no limit Texas Hold Em 100 quid max buy in, with 1-2 blinds. This is getting better I thought at least it was organized and people seemed to know what they were talking about and I already knew two of the now six strong gathering. The guy with the hat near the clock had the chip tray in front of him and it was made apparent that he would be conducting the proceedings for the evening i.e. dealing, calling the hands, and managing the money.
After about a half an hour I was completely relaxed with the situation everything was cool and I could not detect anything under handed going on and I was very pleased not to be drinking my Muscadet instead I had a gin and tonic beside me in a heavy bottomed high ball glass and I was up 18 quid! So why I am sharing this article with you, simply because I have learnt that poker is a great social game where you can meet many interesting people and as long as you know what you are doing and I mean just the basics and by that I mean etiquette then you wont go far wrong. By the way I left a 60 quid loser but with all the wheels still on my coupe an invite back next week I was a happy chap!