I leave the employee lounge every day at 1pm and strut back to my office. I love playing poker. It's my new thing. I watch it on TV every chance I get (besides the European poker games and the games where the players use bills and not chips ... it just doesn't sound like poker if you can't hear the chips), and I even manipulate my daughter into watching it and making her tell me what the best hand is when we see the flop. T-Bone taught me to play almost a year ago. Almost in time for the 10 hour, 30 person poker tournament him & buddies put on. I was still chasing straights and/or only betting on for sure wins when I was the big blind then, so it was just as well that I never played in the tournament. Since then though, I've learnt a lot and believe myself to be not too shabby of a player. I have a small fantasy of becoming a fabulous poker player, complete with an unreadable poker face, the ability to gauge every hand at the table, and bluffing like there's no tomorrow. I've been able to pull off some pretty good lies in my life so bluffing should be pretty easy if I could just work on my poker face. I'm probably pretty far from that place though, but am pretty comfortable where I am now anyway. I've even won games and tournaments ... both in person and on-line. I've had some good games this week. Actually pretty great games this week. I beat a flush with a full house twice, got T-Bone to fold a higher pair than I had after re-raising a big bet of his, got someone else to fold a decent pocket pair with a re-raise after an A-K-J came on the flop when all I had was a 10, and because T-Bone's been saying "good bet" a lot more than he ever has ... oohh and let's not forget my four of a kind - yep 7's. So my increasing success with poker is part of the reason I felt the need to blog about it, but the main reason is because I can finally hold 2 stacks of 3 chips in one hand and lift & shuffle them the way the pros do when they're contimplating a bet. And that made me happy. I didn't think I'd ever be able to do it because I have child-sized hands, but I did it .. over & over & over. Next stop ... Vegas!