| 03.17.2018

Friday Fiction: Leaving it all on the table


“Two thousand,” his opponent said as he tossed his chips across the table. Jake smirked and called his bluff.

The dealer told them to show their hands.

His opponent had two pair, kings and threes. Jake tried not to smile as he showed his hand — a full house.

Aly Soto | Rawr

Aly Soto | Rawr

His opponent cried out and stalked off. Jake gathered his winnings and stood up, announcing to the crowd of onlookers. “Anybody else?”

“I’ll go.”

Jake looked up and stopped. The man challenging him was big and muscular, but that’s not why he stopped. He knew this man. He was Adam, the one Hayley left him for.

Even more troubling, Hayley was standing next to Adam, tugging at his arm. “C’mon, Adam, just leave him alone.”

Adam shrugged her off. “C’mon, Jake,” he taunted. “Let’s settle this.”

The crowd didn’t know about their history together, but they didn’t care. They started to cheer and encourage the match.

Left with little option, Jake sat down. Adam followed suit. Jake barely glanced at Hayley, but when he did he saw her mouthing the words, “I’m sorry.”

They played a hand, Adam constantly one-upping Jake on his bets. By the last card, the pot was well over $10,000.

Finally, the dealer asked them to showdown. Adam had three fours. Jake had three aces. The crowd murmured as Jake started to walk away.

“Is it true you’ve never gone all in?” Jake heard from behind him. He stopped and turned back to look at Adam.

“What’s it to you?”

Adam smirked, “One more round.”

Jake scoffed and started to leave, when Adam said, “Winner gets Hayley.”

Jake looked at Adam, then at Hayley. Hayley looked appalled.

“That’s not fair,” Jake said softly. “Whoever wins, she loses.”

Adam didn’t back down. “Don’t you want to resolve this?”

Jake stared, then sat back down. He took one last glance at Hayley, who looked at him meaningfully. Jake wondered if she regretted how they ended things.

The cards were dealt. Adam bet $2,000. Jake called. The flop went down. Two fours and a jack.

Adam raised the bet by $5,000. Jake raised by $6,000. Adam called and another jack came down.

Adam bet $20,000, earning a gasp from the crowd. Jake called again. His winnings were high enough that this was not an issue. But more than that, he wanted to end this game. Even if he won, Hayley wouldn’t go home with him. He knew this, but beating Adam meant a lot right now.

The last card hit the table — a king. Adam paused for a long time before the dealer reminded him it was his bet. Adam looked Jake square in the eye.

“All in.”

The crowd gasped. Hayley buried her face in her hands. Jake flinched. He had famously never gone all in on any bet, no matter how high the pot.

Jake stared at the cards and after a beat, he pushed all his chips into the center. “Call.”

Adam showed his hand first. He had a pair of kings, making a full house.

Jake flipped his cards over — two fours. A four of a kind.

The crowd exploded.

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