I’ve never played poker before.
That’s a lie. I think I’ve played poker before, but I barely remember the cards over the loud wine, and I definitely don’t remember the rules. The others, Erin, Jeff, the strangers, they say it’s easy.
You are dealt a hand, they explain, and then you place your wager. Then you make a statement of confidence and offer up your money. I do the math… the twenty dollars I may lose in two minutes were made during one or two long, grueling hour at a job that I hate.
I think of all the times I have heard someone evaluate another’s “poker face.” Everyone is an expert. You have it or you don’t. The poker face isn’t a lie. You want to convince others to match your bet, everyone is claiming a strong enough hand. You don’t want to reveal that your hand is too good, or not good enough. A poker face isn’t any true deception, just a quit calm surface where everyone wonders.
I’ve never played poker (except, maybe once), but I am average at chess. Excellent at euchre. My poker face is probably okay, but my strategizing face is a dead give away.
You know when you play chess and you count 8 moves ahead with your knight on the black square? And if your opponent doesn’t notice then you will have his queen? That strategizing face gives me away every time. Dad always moves his queen.
I played chess online for awhile. There is no frown from counting too long to give you away. No straight face bluff face poker face to cause doubt in your opponent. No face at all, really. What is the point of puzzling against one another in attempt to rob your friends of their dignity if there is no face? No endured faces of forged frustration or glee. No face of fury or disappointment at the end?
Now that I think of it, I definitely played poker once. I can’t forget those faces.