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playing poker and teaching science: Two less cards
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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Two less cards

The hotel I stayed in for the NCAA DI wrestling nationals last weekend in St. Louis was only a few blocks from the Lumiere Casino so, being an early riser, I was at the table at eight in the morning two days in a row.

The table was made up of the same six locals both days, none were stellar poker players, and the first day I made $50 in 90 minutes without showing down a single hand. I played 67s for a small raise, got three callers, bet the flop of A74 (with two spades), and everyone folded. That was the story. When I bet or raised, everyone got out. I SO wanted to stay and play, but I was there to watch wrestling and that's what I did.

The next day I won exactly $100 in the same 90 minutes, but caught the nuts in two hands and showed them both down. The locals were pleasant and seemed to have some respect for someone playing solid poker. It may have helped that my nut flush hand stung another early morning tourist more than a local player.

After Friday night’s wrestling session we all had a few beers at Hooters (kudos to a lovely wait staff!) and then trekked to the casino, witnessing a four-car pileup on the way. There I was introduced to three-card poker.

Yikes.

A coaching buddy loves the game and I watched him play for a while before a seat opened up. What the hell, right? Gambling with my $150 poker winnings seemed like a good idea so I bought in for $50.

Four hands later it was gone.

Re-buy!

Then I hit my rush: pair, pair, straight, and then three lovely queens that paid out 30 to one. Suddenly I’m up $175 and out of the game before you could say, “Know when to hold em.”

Researching the game later I found that if you play premium hands, queen seven or better, The House only enjoys a 3% edge.

Maybe I’ve been playing with too many cards!!!

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