Sunday, August 6, 2006

"All In"

The magic words that excite even the most bored poker player. It was also the final words that ended the Deez Nutz Poker Tour between myself, Aldous, Charles, Andrew, and Shawn yesterday night and I rose triumphantly.

I got some pretty bad cards and beats during the first half of the 3-hour, 10-minute exclusive championship game and was really close to being eliminated to third place (Charles and Aldous took fifth and fourth, respectively) with only 700+ chips to Shawn and Andrew's 2000+ chip stacks. Then my pocket rockets (or I like to call them "pocket Alberts") came out at the right moment and I doubled up. One more all-in move with Q-10 vs. Shawn's pocket 4's and I was back on track. Slowly but surely, I gained momentum and the cards I needed to knock out Andrew (his A-6 vs. my A-10) and afterwards, Shawn was the runner-up with my A-(low kicker) vs. his suited K-5.

Looking back on all the games from everyone for the past 16+ weeks, I can honestly say it was an honor and enjoyment to be fellowshiping with these brothers and I hope we can continue these moments. Poker is commonly seen as a gambling game that is a root of a lot of evils, but I think that is a short-sighted and in some cases, a dismissive evaluation. If you take away the hopeless notion of betting on an uncertain outcome to get rich quick in the real world, it is really a game of patience, discipline, and chance that can bring different people together to have fun. It did with us, and not only did we improve our skill with with Hold'em, but we also became better friends. We shared our weeks and prayed for one another every time before we start a game. We also hang with one another in other church events and outings such as meals, basketball, video games, small groups, and more.

Yes...God can use even a seemingly sinful game to unite His people to accomplish His will, and this wonderful experience with the five of us cemented that belief in me.

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