Longform

Pro Poker Hurts

Page 7 of 7

Two seats to his right was another regular, a man the dealers call Wild Bill. T and Bill got into a hand together. T bet big. Bill raised him. T pushed all of his chips into the center and stood up, daring the older man to call. Bill lifted his cards to get a better look. He sized up T's stack and then his own. He tossed his cards into the muck. T turned over his cards, revealing a complete bluff. He scooped the chips into his chest with both arms, grinning brightly.

The thing about poker is, no matter how bad the beat, a few seconds later, you get another hand. A new chance to get rich. A new chance to go broke. And it takes only one win to forget about all the losing.

Still beaming, T tossed the dealer a $5 chip as a tip. Then he turned to the woman sitting next to him. "This guy over here," he said, pointing at Bill, who was within earshot, "this guy is a chump."

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Michael J. Mooney