A Poker Hand

I was worried.

Could you blame me? It was fifth street. One more ounce of tension and the room would burst. I checked my hand. I went over the odds of the possible hands my foes could have, but I could think of no better hand than the one I held. I exhaled and tossed in more chips, nonchalantly looking the others in the eye. The man across from me met my wager – and raised.

He must be bluffing. I looked at him. He stared at me, emotionless. Damn it! Should I raise him again? I calculated – I debated – I cursed my luck! I grabbed another handful of chips, tossed them in, and sat back with crossed arms. The pot doubled – quadrupled. By now the others had folded. It was just me and him. Was I about to lose everything? My house! – my car! – my reputation! It was all on the line. I can’t back down now. I’m down to my last stack of chips. It is win or die. – and now – what? – he taps his cards! tap! tap! tap! tap!

“I call!” I said, “You’re bluffing! Admit it! Show me your hand! – here, here! – Beat a flush!”

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