"Don't Show, Don't Tell"

I was foolish enough to get myself into this table tonight. There are four of us remaining, but I think Ol’ Bill let the others join the table so that it wouldn’t be just us two. The Sicilian is looking at me now. It’s my turn. The others are looking down the table. I’m trying to stay as still as I can, as I end their game.

My father’s tell was rubbing his palm on his knee when he had a good hand. I learned that two days after he gave me my first poker lesson. My mom took him back so he couldn’t play anymore. Except, he couldn’t not play either. So he taught me how to play. We got chips at the toy store, and my father always took them very seriously even though they didn’t have any value. I had to get used to that. My mom had tells to, but she didn’t try to hide them, so they don’t count. 

The Sicilian has not tells, Ol’ Bill told me last week. I don’t know why he thought that would stop me from playing. He never spoke, and his hands were always flat on the table, not moving. All week I was trying to trace my movements and figure out what gave me away. I made some jokes that night, trying to get a reaction out of him, but that couldn’t have been it. Never coughed, never scratched, never smiled.

Ol’ Bill told me they called him the Sicilian after Chris Walken’s character from that movie True Romance. Apparently nothing escaped him. Tonight I thought I’d see if I could take advantage of that. So all night I have been resting my chin on my fist before raising on a bad hand. If all else fails, I’ll rest my chin on my fist and raise on a good one. It has to work. Unless he see right through that.

Now things are tight for him as the river shows a straight is winning this round, most likely. I happen to have the low straight, but the third guy, Poncho, might have the high one. He went all in, but I bet he’s bluffing. I call, and he throws his cards face down on the pot before leaving the table. The other one, the fat one, had gone all in with a desperate pair of queens, and the Sicilian was just along for the ride. Now it’s me and him.

I get a 6 and a 9. Wonderful. Pre-flop, he raises. Not by much, but he never raises this early. He wants to throw me off. We both want to get this over with in one go. I call, he calls. He’s teasing me. His face never moves. Flop opens. Ace, 7 and 8. He calls. He wants to see what I have. I call. Turn’s a 10. He’s mine now, even if he has an ace. I put my elbow on my lap and make a fist under my chin. I raise, just a little, just like he did before. He raises, doubles the pot. He thinks I’m bluffing. He has gone too far to pull out now, if he realizes my gambit. If I raise he has to at least call. Maybe it won’t be over in one go, but this pot is mine. River turns. King.

Platon