Brian & Ann's European Experience

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Poker Night Reborn!

A grand and noble tradition has now been introduced to the gambling-impoverished masses of Dordrecht: poker night.

First I had to wait two months to get an apartment. Then I had to wait another month to fill it with IKEA furniture and new appliances. Then I had to go through the process of finding likely candidates to participate in this solemn and important event. Of course, in the end I took whoever the hell I could get, but I like to think they represent the best and the brightest that the Netherlands has to offer for this introductory class of 2004 Poker Series.

On Wednesday, December 1st, seven intrepid souls, all employees of the venerable Springer publishing company, were rounded up, herded to our apartment, given plastic chips in exchange for 10 Euro bills, and were promptly initiated into the Brotherhood of Degenerate Gamblers In the Making.

It was my original intent to play a variety of different kinds of poker games, but the newbies (and they were ALL newbies) quickly nixed that idea saying it was tough enough just trying to figure out Texas Hold ‘Em. So we stuck to 20/40 Hold ‘Em… that’s 20 and 40 CENT Texas Hold ‘Em…. mind you.

After covering the basics of the game (the first two cards, the flop, the changing of the betting limits) we got into many of the finer points of the game:

“Why do I have to be the Big Blind?”

“Whose turn is it to bet?”

“Why can’t I just check after he bets? I don’t want to put any more money in.”

Friends, it was a difficult night for your humble narrator. But everyone starts at the beginning, and by the end of the night the group had the basics down pretty well. We even covered some higher level casino-game situations such as:


  • “Why You Have to Post Both Blinds If You Get Up to Smoke a Cigarette and Miss the Blinds You Smelly Nicotine Addicts”
  • “Why You Sometimes Have to Chop the Pot”
  • “Why It Sends Brian Into A Homicidal Rage When You String Bet”

Even my wife, who participated (and will never let me live down the fact that she won 13 Euros while I *lost* 13 Euros) was able to take the training wheels off and stop referring to the print out of the poker hierarchy.

Some memorable points of the evening were:

  • Pete Binfield getting four of a kind: a pair of 3’s in his hand and two on the flop. Nice one Pete.
  • Itsco van der Linden teaching Brian to sit his ass DOWN after beating his well concealed trips with an even BETTER concealed full house. (I believe his exact words were: “BOOYA beotch!”)
  • Pete Binfield winning a huge hand with four 3’s again. This time THREE of them on the board (seriously Pete, cut it out)
  • Esther coming to drop off something from IKEA for us and getting sucked in to buying in for 3 euros. And then 5 more. And then another 5.
  • Ian coaching Esther how to bet all the way through a hand with just the two of them, which she then demolished him on.
  • Ian making up for getting beat by a girl by eating all of the pizza we were saving for Michel.
  • Wouter, who most of the time needed his cheat sheet and had a penchant for staying in on 3,8 unsuited, cleaning up the HOUSE
  • Ann refusing to loan her husband money until she had counted it all first so she could know EXACTLY how much she had won.
  • Listening to Pete Binfield referring to everyone as ‘bitch’.
  • Esther’s shocked/innocent act when she said: “You guys! Why didn’t you tell me my shirt had come unbuttoned.”

We had pizza from Dominos and there was a fair quantity of beer drunk, so in many ways it was just like poker night back home. I’m pretty sure that everyone had a good time, and that poker night will continue. Eventually the youngsters here may even graduate to playing no limit and we can do some 10 Euro tournaments.

My real goal is to find a way to introduce Kings and Little Ones. I will not be satisfied until I start seeing some IOUs on the table.

Baby steps though, baby steps…

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