Poker Love

Poker Love

A Story by Abigail T

A sixteen-year-old boy and his best friend play poker, while trying to discuss love. Well, at least one of them is...


            “How do you know when you’re in love?” Jamison asks me as he puts down four red poker chips, “Raise you twenty.”

            I look from my hand to the chips to my hand again. “How am I supposed to know?” I slide in my chips to the pile between us to match his bet.

            “You’re in love with Alice, right?” He puts two cards down next to the deck, and draws two more.

            I shrug. “Yeah, I guess I am. I tell her so anyway,” I put down three cards and take three. “But I don’t know how you will know.”

            “You don’t think it’s the same for everyone?” He shows his cards. Three queens. Damn it. My back is starting to hurt from playing on my living room floor instead of at a table with a chair. My kitchen table has piles of mail and magazines and other stuff that shouldn’t be there, and I don’t want to clean it up for poker with Jamison. And I refuse to quit because he has beaten me seven times out of eight.

            “Greg?” I look up from my pair of five’s and realize that I spaced out, and Jamison is patiently waiting to see my cards.

            I put them down face-up in front of me. “What did you ask me a second ago?”

            “I win again! Want some of my chips?”

I shake my head, looking down at my remaining chips.  They add up to thirty. I don’t try to count how many chips Jamison has.

“What I asked before,” he starts, shuffling the deck with ease, “Was do you not think love feels the same for everyone?”

He passes the deck to me and I start to deal, “I don’t know, man. Probably not.” I’m done with this conversation. Jamison always wants to have these intense and emotional conversations that come out of nowhere.  I don’t really like talking about my feelings for Alice. She’s a great girl, and spending time with her is always relaxing and easy.  But do I love her? Maybe. I don’t know for sure.  All I know is that she told me that she loves me, and I said that I do, too.  And once you’ve said that, you can’t go back.

“Well, what does it feel like for you?” He looks at his cards, and his left eyebrow rises slightly. He’s got nothing. The best part about playing poker with your best friend is how easily you can figure out their tells.

“It feels great, man. Like a million butterflies are braiding my hair,” I raise him ten, and I watch him tense.

“I’m not trying to pry,” he says cautiously as he studies his chips.  He has a million of them! He can lose a few without it being a problem.

“I know. It’s just not a big deal, you know?” When he hesitates for another couple of seconds, I add, “You have at least one hundred chips there that add up to at least five hundred. You can sacrifice ten.”

“I’m not worried about that,” he laughs, “I’m just debating whether or not to make you go all in.”

“You’re such an a*s,” I press my cards against forehead in fake frustration, glad he stopped asking me about Alice.

“Yeah, yeah. I learn from the best.” He puts down the chips without raising me.

“You know I know you have nothing.”

“I guess we’ll see.” He smiles at his cards and raises his left eyebrow.

Damn it. He knows his own tell. I’m never playing poker with him again.

© 2011 Abigail T

Author's Note

Abigail T
This is the first scene involving Greg. This series of scenes is an assignment for my senior project.

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Interesting, I play poker as a for of relaxation and I am not sure someone can know their own tell. It's usually an involuntary action which leads to their downfall and my win, unfortunately what I don't tell them is that they are paying someone who is bipolar and acts different each had no matter if I am dealt the same hand twice I play it differently each time. They eventually find out much to their dismay and my profit LOL

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Added on October 24, 2011
Last Updated on October 24, 2011
Tags: young adult, guy, poker, love, girlfriend, best friends


Abigail T
Abigail T

Amherst, MA

My name is Abigail, and I'm a recent college graduate now in the world to write fiction for young adults. I'm using this site to archive my work. more..

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