Thomas Jefferies shows Emily Blatchford how to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.
Thomas Jefferies shows Emily Blatchford how to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.

Perfecting that poker face

I HAVE always suspected that I wouldn't be any good at poker.

This is largely because I am generally over-excitable and the concept of hiding my emotions behind a "poker face" is beyond me.

I'm also a terrible gambler. Put one dollar in the pokies and I break out into a sweat and start thinking about all the red frogs I could have bought.

So when I went to hang out with the guys who run the Australian Poker League comps in Gladstone, I had quite a lot to learn.

Thomas Jefferies and Zacheriah Mitchell had been hosting poker games at various Gladstone watering holes for a couple of months now. It's free to play, with opportunities to play regional, state and even international comps.

When I arrive, the tables are already set up with all 52 cards spread out for all to see. This, Tom informs me, is so people know that all the cards are present and accounted for. And here I was thinking they just looked pretty.

I have a quick lesson in shuffling, which sees my normally functional hands turn into wax dummies that won't do what I tell them, and then Tom tries to teach me how to split chips which I immediately decide is impossible, unnecessary and a skill that I will never master.

Then it's time to get down to business.

Tom deals.

I have two cards.

I sneak a peek.

An ace and a jack.

I get very excited and show Zach my hand. This, apparently, does not happen in normal poker games. One might even go as far to say it's a severe no-no.

Anyway, we throw in more and more chips, which I find mildly upsetting because I had already formed a strong attachment to them, and then Zach says four very scary words.

"I'm going all in."

Immediately I'm suspicious.

Why? Why would he do that? What does he have that I don't know about?

Oh my god, he's going to win. He's going to win and then he's going to take my chips. I panic. And then I

remember something I saw in a movie once. Something about calling someone's bluff. I decide to give it a whirl.

Victory!

It takes all of my self-discipline to avoid jumping up and down and yelling, "In your FACE, poker gurus! I take back my chips and I take YOUR chips and you can start calling me the CHIP MONSTER because that's how many

CHIPS I have!"

Like I said.

Probably need to work on that poker face.

Factbox

Poker Times

Monday - The Grand Hotel 6.30pm rego for 7.30pm start

Tuesday - The Queens Hotel 6.30pm rego for 7.30pm start

Wednesday - Tannum Sands Hotel 6.30pm rego for 7.30pm start

Thursday - Dicey Rileys 6.30pm rego for 7.30pm start

Sunday - The Queens Hotel 12.30pm rego for 1.30pm start



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