I’m out of my league.  Hell, I didn’t even know why I was there.  I knew I wanted to come because I wanted to try new things!  I don’t really like gambling, and was quite hesitant to come, yet I wanted to learn how to play poker.  :) My honey is the best card game player I’ve known.. well, though fairly well, I’ve beaten him lots of times, he’s still generally good especially with winning while playing with a lot more of other people.  I thought, hey its his time to shine.

When I was in college, I don’t leave without a deck of cards in my bag.  Reason being?  Well, my friends and I, we used to kill time by playing cards.  We play in the corridors of Melchor Hall (College of Engineering in UP Diliman).  We were a group of 11.  We take turns in the active playing group.  Back then, it was fun to play it because it was good clean fun.  No bets at stake, no extreme heckling, etc.  It was all for the sake of killing time.  Here is when I excel.  Back at this time, I could’ve easily bagged first place! That was 1999 and I even won straight 20 games in one sitting! ..and oh, its already 2008.  Yes, gone are the days.  Now, here I am finding myself infront of playing cards whereas the last card game I played was almost a year ago.  :P I betcha I had to rearrange the priorities for myself that time I was in the playing table.  I listened intently as the host described Poker.  I knew I had to pick up some hints before going into the game.  Better than not arming yourself at all!

Pokerstars was the name of the host of the event.  Each of us were invited to play into a qualifying round before the Filipino Poker Tournament to be held on Saturday and Sunday (October 4 and 5, 2008).  Before he went into the technicalities of the game, he emphasized that Poker was not really more of gambling but more of a sport.  Its actually a beautiful play of luck and skill as you compete with your opponents, eliminating them one at a time while keeping your chips at a good stock count.  True.  Really great game.  Well, in fact, it was kinda true for us there at that time since we really didn’t have to buy-in seats.  It was a free seat for us, and we just had to win.  At some point when I would have to shell out money to buy-in a seat, then I would’ve considered it gambling.  But for now, let’s keep it as a sport.

My sole goal was to stay longer in the game, but not really win the table.  My honey’s goal was the opposite.  He wanted to win their table.  I was seated in Table 7, his was Table 11 (the last playing table).  At first, I didn’t know when I should bet or not.  I thought that every game, everyone should join.  This was when I started losing chips.  The luckiest of us all the in table took advantage of that first few games.  I understand now that its a good strategy to get more chips in stock at the earliest possible time to avoid losing the chance to bet higher in the coming games wherein the blinds get higher.

I was in the 6th place of our table.  It was fun, and for me, I was able to meet my goal.  I glance around, and find my honey winning lots of chips and obviously having fun.  :) (I just know so)  When I lost my seat, I was able to move around and watch the other pros playing.  The more pro they are, the more silent the table is.  One by one the tables collapse either due to lack of active players or that the winnings become tilted to one side only.  The hosts shuffle the winners and eventually they all end up in one table.  I try to stay away from my honey as much as possible because I already know that my fate is not anywhere near to his streak of luck tonight.

One by one, I see familiar faces dropping out of the last strong table, where my honey is currently playing in.  I can only smile to myself, knowing its his strenght right here that I can see.  I really knew he was gonna be the “killer” of their table.  And true enough, he was the winner of their original table.  Whilst it was sort of amazing for me to win a game in our table, it was kinda a normal thing for him.  He had the chance to strategize and “build a reputation”.  In our table (which mostly were newbies), it was a famous buzzword to say “What? I won?“  :D

It wasn’t very easy for me to stay in that kind of place, but hey, my better half is winning.. its my win too!  At the end of the day, what seemed to be nothing at all, turned out to be everything for this day!  My honey is changing history by simply qualifying to a Filipino Poker Tournament!  He was the fifth placer for the whole of tonight’s game!  It was really amazing.. and an ecstatic feeling for us both.  :)