A Texas Hold’em Christmas

It is my sincere hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to another 3-day weekend. At my house, we’ve had more than our share of colds and related viruses over the past several weeks, with a seemingly endless cycle of fevers and symptoms. It made for a rather slow Christmas, which was ok.

It was, however, a milestone Christmas for me – believe it or not, I’m 50 years old and until this Christmas had never played poker! My mom taught my kids a couple of years ago, and since then my oldest has taken to watching poker on TV, and playing with his siblings on occasion. With my mom and sister out for Christmas, they had a series of games going, and finally I decided to join in.

I have played various card games, mainly varieties of Rummy, but hadn’t played much other than Rook or Flinch once or twice in the last several years. It had never occurred to me that Poker was so much fun, and so addicting. It probably also contributed to the spread of everyone’s viruses, as poler chips are infamous carriers of germs.

My oldest son, Elliot, got the Xbox version of World Championship Poker 2 for Christmas. Again, I had no idea that poker for the Xbox could be so much fun! You can create your own characters, and play against a rather odd assortment of players. I think it’s more fun than Enter the Matrix or Halo 2. The great thing is, you can have just as much fun losing as you can winning.

So, I’m hooked. I’ve even started watching poker on TV and reading tips online. I’m even considering scheduling a father-son poker night – just for chips, of course. One thing I am not into is gambling with my own money. I’ve spent years negotiating with other people’s money (a quasi-gambling activity) and I’m quite good at it- however, I’ve never been tempted to risk my own.

This past year, in which I turned 50, has found me doing many new things: fencing, ballroom dancing, my first international speaking gig, blogging, a change in jobs, and now poker. It’s had its challenges as well, but overall, it’s been a pretty good year.

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