The Game #43

Darius and Edward were the small and big blinds, respectively.  Edward checked his hole cards.  A pair of fives, both red.  In a three-handed game, any pair was a good start.  The flop would be the deciding factor, but if George stayed in, Edward would go along for the ride just to give them better odds of busting Darius.  Plus, George did not have enough chips to force Darius all in.

George went first and limped in with the minimum of five hundred.  Darius called and Edward checked his option.  If George was setting a trap for Darius, Edward would do anything he could to help.

Kenny dealt the flop; jack of diamonds, king of hearts, eight of clubs.  Three over cards and no set for Edward.  He looked at the other two men at the table.  Had George straightened up in his chair just a little?  There was no sign from Darius that Edward could see, so he waited on the action.

Darius was first to act.  “One thousand.”

A moderate bet.  Edward put him on a small to medium pair or maybe a straight draw.  Darius had not shown himself to be the level of player that would slow play a strong hand, but Edward supposed anything was possible.  Edward called the bet.  He wished George had been following him this hand, it would have made it easier to help him.  Edward would not raise and would call whatever George bet.  He wanted to keep Darius in the hand as long as possible.

With all of the bets in, Kenny dealt the turn card.  The ten of spades.  If George or Darius were on a straight draw, that card had to help.  Edward kept his eye on George.  The communication had fallen apart, maybe Edward could get George ‘talking’ again.  Edward rubbed his left temple, away from Darius view.  He used two fingers and turned his hand sideways so George could see.  They made eye contact and Edward splayed all five fingers for just a second.  George blinked and gave an almost imperceptible nod, but Edward caught it.  It would be harder for George to signal back as he was in Darius’ full view.  Edward watched him intently.  George had his hands crossed on the table in his usual pose, but he was tapping his left hand with his right.  First his index and middle finger, then the ring finger and pinkie together.  Edward thought for a minute…. two pair, George has two pair!  The thought came to him with such force that Edward did not doubt it even for a second.  The board had not paired, so George had one of each in his hand.  But which two?  Edward supposed it did not matter much; George most likely had the best hand.  Edward just hoped it stayed that way.

Darius began the betting again, “Twenty-five hundred.”  Had he hit the straight?  Edward hoped he had not.  Their only chance if he had would be for George to hit a boat.  Six cards out of forty-six possible, not great odds.  Darius was in a great position to bluff since George was short stacked.  Edward thought that was probably more likely, but so far he hand not been able to get a read on Darius at all.  Edward simply called the bet and let the action move to George.

“Raise to five thousand”.  Good.  George was putting pressure on Darius now.  He might get him to fold, but Edward doubted it.

“Mr. Varney, it’s good to see you involved.  I was afraid we were boring you.” Darius commented in a steady voice that was neither sarcastic nor condescending.  It was almost as if Darius wanted to make sure a friend was having a good time.  “I will call.”

The action was back on Edward.  There was almost no chance he could win this hand, but the extra chips would help George.  Assuming he won.  Edward called the bet and waited for the river card.


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