I’ve been playing carefully most of the night, betting conservatively and folding often, when the dealer tosses me two aces. In the centre of the green-felt-topped table, she flips up two kings and a queen, giving me a couple of high pairs. Sure I’ll win the hand, I try to relax the muscles in my face and fight the instinct to pump my fist.
I have never played a game of poker in my life until tonight. It is a Thursday night in November, and I am in a downtown Toronto lounge called the Pearl, facing off against some of the country’s biggest financial risk-takers in the OMERS Ventures charity poker tournament. Holding what looks like an unbeatable hand, I start believing in beginner’s luck.