The Game #35

That was it then.  Ace high flush with the king.  Unless Darius had the seven eight of hearts, Edward had him beat solid.  Going all in might scare him off, especially if he was bluffing.  Darius was first to act, so Edward would follow his lead.

Edward realized that he would be busting both Angela and Ginger.  Darius likely had them both beat anyway, and certainly they were unlikely to tie, so the conclusion had become inevitable when they went all in.  The best Edward could do was try to take Darius down and possibly bust him.

“Five thousand” said Darius.  Not a bluffing size bet, he had to have the flush.  If Edward went all in, Darius had him covered, so Edward could not break him on this hand alone.  It would, however, go a long way toward that goal.  Edward paused before he bet; and if he had made the straight flush?  If Edward went all in and Darius beat him, there would be three victims instead of two.  The thought of watching Mary struggle, panic and drown in front of him was more than he could bear.  See?  She is affecting your game.  Any other time you would call this bet.  You know you have him beat.  The thoughts echoed inside Edward’s head.  He felt like hours had passed since Darius’ bet.  They would all be staring at him soon, wondering what his problem was.  They called him the “Bad Boy of Poker” because he was fearless, edgy; the kind of attitude that drove young girls, their parents and his opponents crazy.  He didn’t feel edgy now.  He felt alone and unsure of himself.  If he didn’t beat Darius, three people would lose their lives.  Could he live with that?  Of course not.  It would eat at him forever.  Tommy hadn’t even made it out of the room.  The fact that he was fifteen years older than Edward really didn’t have much to do with it, his heart just couldn’t take the grief.  The water was still rising, so even if he sat here and did nothing, eventually there would be another victim. 

Edward’s pulse was racing.  He felt like a fish in his first tournament.  He had done this a million times and he had been right over nine hundred thousand.  But sometimes you’re wrong, aren’t you?  Remember Jenny?  You were wrong then, too.  The voice in Edward’s head was causing him to doubt himself.  He pushed it away.  Damn it!  He needed to focus, get this hand back under control.  The odds that Darius had the seven-eight of hearts as opposed to any other two cards was two hundred twenty to one.  Less than one half of one percent.  That was a long shot.  How many times have you won on the long shot, Edward?  He didn’t care to count, but likely more than he wanted to admit to.  It happened, it was part of poker, the luck factor.  That’s how some accountant who’s been playing for ten months beats a ten-year pro in the Big Game.  Suck out, drowned in the river, it happened all the time.  This time, at least, the river was on his side.  Darius didn’t have the ace, Edward had the king.  That’s all there was to it.  He had him beat, dollars to donuts.

“All in”, said Edward.  Now it was on Darius.  If he folded without calling, Edward would not have to show his cards.  Edward doubted that Darius could tolerate that.  The man was an egomaniac, a control freak of the highest order.  Oh, he played the part of the civil host very well, but Edward could feel an undercurrent of something blatantly evil in the man.  What must it have cost him to put all of this together?  And for one game, to destroy the lives of the top players in the world?  Something simply did not add up, but at the moment, Edward could not get his mind around an answer.  He stared at Darius, waiting for the man to act.


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June 2010
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