Tuesday, January 18, 2011

They call it "poker" because ... someone has to get poked.

As some of you may know, I run a monthly poker game.  It's very small stakes, but generally speaking it's a good time.  I started playing in this particular game back in 2005 when it was hosted by someone else after I broke my arm (crashed my motorcycle - ouch!) and couldn't go to my regular bowling league.  It was made up of mostly Troy's friends (all men) and I have to say that when I started playing I was quite intimidated.  I had never played before and I was the only woman in attendance, but as I said, it was very small stakes, so it was a great way to learn the game.

Over the next few years I became a regular attendee and in late 2008, the host decided to give up the game.  After some discussions about where we might move it, I volunteered to have it at my house.  I really have the perfect "man cave" if I wanted to deck it out (and if I was a man).  It's the back room of my house that has tall ceilings, a big screen TV and a poker table I since made for the game.  Basically the once-a-month poker game is the only time this room gets much use.

Although I inherited the game and its guest list, the attendees have changed a bit in the interim.  You know how it is - people drop out for a bit, others hear about the game and get added to the list, etc etc.  So a little over a year ago, we were going through a transitional period and decided to get some new blood involved. 

One of the new people (we'll call him Mr. A.) was a friend of one of the regulars, but I swear from the moment he walked in, we were like oil and water.  I like to run a tight game (show up on time, don't splash the pot, pay attention to the action if you're in the hand and try to obey some basic poker ettiquite).  It's my house and I didn't feel like I was asking too much.  After all, we'd all been going along fine for a couple of years without any complaints or issues.

Let me interject here for just a moment....an aside, if you will....These are generally great guys, but they are guys and have those "guy" genes....  You know the ones that give them the ability to have selective hearing and an inability to put the seat down.

Anyway... From the moment Mr. A. stepped in, apparently all of my rules were seemingly ridiculous to him.  I would (nicely) remind him REPEATEDLY not to splash the pot and to keep his cards to himself when there were other people still in the hand.  Also, when the "blinds" haven't been put out appropriately, I would gently remind them (ALL the guys at some point - NOT just Mr. A.) to blind up.  The problem it seems when I was NICELY or gently saying something, was that somehow my voice was out of the range of their selective hearing.  Consequently, by the third time I would say something, it seemed like I was yelling.

Among the other things that Mr. A. (who was also a chauvenist) would do that drove me insane would be to completely ignore that I was IN a hand.  Now, it's not like I was hiding my cards, so if he had simply paid attention, this wouldn't have been an issue.

So, finally, after 18 months or so of biting my tongue (sort of - I can be a bit cheeky at the game.  It IS poker, ya know), I had had it and let him have it in December.  After being ignored for the bazillionth time, I got mad and told him so.  It was a great release to me and apparently didn't seem like a big deal to the other guys at the game, but Mr. A. apparently took exception to it.  When I sent out the evite for the January game, his response was clear that he would no longer be in attendance at any of "my" games.  I then heard it through the grapevine that he decided to stop coming because .......wait for it.......

I was MEAN to him.

Seriously?  Wow!  If only I could use my power for good rather than evil.

I could dwell on this and be concerned that I had alienated someone (this is the thing I would generally do in the past) and bend over backward to get him back to the game even though I don't actually want him there.  But no.  That's not part of Heather Version 2011.  After all, as I said in one of my recent posts, I am not responsible for the happiness or unhappiness of others.

Instead, I will try to put out good thoughts into the universe and open up his spot to whoever it is that the universe things should fill it.

3 comments:

Joan Young Spotswood said...

Yay Heather!

Kristy said...

I agree! Some people cannot handle the truth.

Heather said...

Thank, Joan!

Kristy, Thanks for stopping by and joining in the conversation.

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