Poker Face.

The game is clear…he has two pair, you have a straight….straight face that is, whilst holding five cards of pure nonconsecutive, unmatched shit. Not one pair, not one suit. But you need to get your fucking game face on and beat this mother fucker at his own game!

Whew, that escalated quickly. Let me take a Xanax real quick (kidding, I don’t take those) and simmer down. It’s a game, it’s all a game. From the selective sweet words, to the ol’ asking for forgiveness rather than permission setup, to the intense cuddling, to the phone calls and visits, etc. It’s the hand he’s dealing you, Monday through Thursday; a fucking Royal Flush. Stakes are high, which means the reward is high.

Friday and Saturday however, you’re lucky to get two pair…maybe even three of a kind. Why? Because the penny slot machines are there, cheap to play and much less of a risk if he were to lose. When he gets bored with one machine, he moves to another. Hell, he may even spend a whole quarter to get his fix. While you’re holding your cards thinking, “okay, three of a kind is good…I might win with this hand,” he’s playing another game. The game other like-minded players can afford; pennies, nickels, quarters.

You lose, sweetheart. Dealer’s choice.

You question how your three of a kind didn’t win because surely he didn’t have better. He didn’t. He just wanted to play another game. A game you weren’t playing because he already won the one with you, whether his hand was actually better or not. He already knows you’re sitting there contemplating your hand, until he decides to play the game with you again. And while you’re sitting there dumbfounded and visibly so, he gathers the cards back up, shuffles, and starts again.

This goes on. And on, and on, and on. Until one day you realize that no matter how many games you’ve played with winning or losing hands, there’s no progression because once you feel like the winnings are certain, he folds. He returns to the penny slots and you start getting frustrated. Tears may even ensue out of pure frustration. Sitting there alone, staring at your cards, wondering how do you get better at this game? How do you win? Why do you keep playing, anyway???

Because you enjoy the company, the thrill. You enjoy the Royal Flush you’re dealt from time to time and what feeling like you won the jackpot does to you. You continue to risk the uncertainty of the hands your dealt for the few glimmering moments of happiness the feeling of winning gives you. It’s orgasmic, it’s genuine, it’s unique, it’s love. It has to be, with so much passion…right?

Well, sort of. You’re gambling…and with that, you’re putting something at risk: your money, your time, your possessions, or even worse, your heart. Taking chances is great, but when the gamble means sitting at the table holding your cards until the dealer returns from his break, what are you getting out of it? Just walk away from the table!

It is never that easy. Some even call gambling a disease. It definitely could lead to addiction though, that’s for sure. So what do you do if you’re not ready to walk away or if you’ve become addicted? You get better at the game. You think of what you need to do to not only keep your head in it, but always and I mean always look like you’re winning. Even when you know there’s no chance in hell this hand will win, look the part.

Play the game and keep playing until you’ve exhausted all possibilities of winning, you’ve had enough, and you’re ready for rehab. But if you want to continue to play, even when the dealer steps away, then get your fucking poker face on and play that game. When the dealer goes to the penny slots, why not give roulette a try. Put the cards down without wondering whether or not you have the winning hand, and go have some fun with black jack. Heh.

Point is, DO NOT LET HIM BEAT YOU AT THE GAME. Even if he has the winning hand, smirk and re-shuffle those damn cards like you are mother fucking David Blaine and start again. Poker face, on…even when you look at your hand-o-shit. Squint those eyes, purse those lips, and play. You’ll never win if you never try and you’ll always lose if you always give up. So long as you want to play this game, play it, and play it with fucking ferocity.

Remember, when those penny slots entice him, grab an ice cold cocktail and brush up your skills with some cheap video poker on the other end of the casino. Game on, sister. Game. ON.





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