Last night, I was one of about twenty people or so who attended a charity poker party for a friend of ours who is going to Ambassador Bible College  next year. As is my habit, I would like to talk about this party, as it was entertaining and provides some conversation and interactions worthy of examination and thought, and usually that means that I do not sleep particularly early. So it was too, as I did not end up falling asleep until it was after 1AM. Of course, that was not helped by the fact that I did not get home until nearly midnight, but that is how it goes, I suppose, when one is playing poker in Camus and watching the games that go on until after 11PM.
I had thought that when I arrived at around 7:30PM to the poker party that I would be particularly early, but that’s not what happened. As it happened, there were quite a few people there before me who ended up enjoying food and conversation and poker themselves. There was tasty food to eat, as there always is at the place where the poker party was held, and I even got to meet someone I didn’t know before whose relatives are somewhat known to me. At first there was an enjoyment of food and drink, from snacks to chili and macaroni and cheese and the like, and also an enjoyment of friendly conversation with the people around. It was interesting to see the group of people that showed up to play poker. Some of them were people who had played in the poker parties of the past and some were fairly new players like myself.
Once the chips were passed around and the rules were set up it became increasingly clear that the game would start out somewhat sedate but would get increasingly expensive as it went on, and that is what happened. I was at one table and in another room there was another table and apparently the playing was done differently over there, but as I did not witness it I cannot comment on it. On our table the action started somewhat slowly and the behavior was pretty sensible. When people had good hands they were willing to pay a bit to see the flop, and so there was a lot of small winning and losing, with large numbers of chips changing hands only when someone had a good hand and someone else had a better hand. I won a solid hand myself but had to give most of it back when I had a full house but someone else ended up with a straight. At that point enough players had been eliminated at the other table that two of us had to move over to the table in the other room in order to balance the numbers, and I was one of the two who went over, and the first one eliminated when I again had a good hand but someone else had a slightly better one.
Nevertheless, although I was only about the tenth best player among the eighteen or so there, a fairly decent representation of my general skill and luck at the game, I stayed around to watch the proceedings. The middle part of the games tended to reward caution and people only put their chips in when they had good hands, for the most part. Overall, this was not the sort of night where a lot of bluffing was going on, and it was certainly a worthwhile thing to see that people were playing generally soundly, which rewarded those whose hands ended them with the largest chip stacks. Generally speaking the bets were somewhat brisk and at some points three or four people would stick it out to the river and see who had the best hand of the lot, which meant that when enough eliminations had happened to consolidate everyone into the final table that a lot of action was going on.
Towards the end of the night the blinds got increasingly large and those with short stacks were muscled out. Given the amount of the small and large blinds, those with few chips by the end merely chose on what hill they would stand on with their small piles, and most of them ended up as one would predict, with people going all in and having to give their chips to someone else. One a few occasions they would double up their stack but for the most part those without large stacks went down one after another until only three people were left, three brothers. At this point it was 11PM and everyone wanted to go home, and quite a few people had already left, and so one after another the brothers went all-in until only one was left, at which point it was time to clean up everything and go home having enjoyed a fun night of excellent poker playing with people where there was plenty of enjoyable conversation. And then it was time to go home.
 This institution used to be known as the Ambassador Bible Center, and I went there in 2004. See, for example: