Let me introduce you to my Wednesday and Saturday night poker game. This is a blog about poker after all.
First of all, we are all officers. There is a policy here against fraternization. It was originally crafted to prevent male and female soldiers of different ranks from sleeping together, but it morphed into something more. Now it generally means officers and enlisted should not socialize too much. Technically, it should also apply to any officers of different ranks, especially if you might gain undue influence if you, say, dump all your chips to your commander in exchange for light duty. We've decided that it doesn't apply to us, and since one of our regulars is the base commander, there is no one to tell us to stop.
Speaking of the commander:
The Commander: This is the guy I would invite to my home game if I had one. Nice guy. Good conversationalist. Great stories and a good poker player in that "I don't give a shit about money so let's see if you can outplay me," kind of way. At first I thought he didn't care and would raise or reraise with any two cards, but I've discussed a little strategy with him, and he knows his stuff. (This is not the same commander as my boss' boss – the analytical chess and ping pong player).
The Ringer: Heavy Boston accent. Probably the best player at the table (other than me, of course). A little too conservative for our format, but he knows position, which is better than just about everyone else there. About the only other person capable of making plays based on his reads as opposed to his cards.
The LT: He's one of our ER nurses. His best quote, "Has anyone seen the Veterinarian? Because these pythons are sick (as he says this, he kisses his biceps)." He's actually pretty decent at cards, and I've even seen him win one or two games.
The Psychiatrist: The only woman in what is otherwise a sausage-fest. She's clearly improving and took her first 1st place last time we played. She has the most predictable tells of anyone out there. I can't believe no one (or almost no one) picks up on them. Seriously, it's right out of Mike Caro. If she looks at the flop and looks right away at her chips, watch out. She does this every time she has a good hand.
The Cop: He's an MP and we just lost him to another game 300 miles away. He'll be missed because he was good fun and played a very calm game. Even when he flopped quad Aces. Against me, dammit.
The Doc (not me): Another good young player, come to think of it. Very conservative, often to his benefit. With 12 chips in 3rd place, he came back to win by exercising extreme patience. I saw some of what he discarded and I must say I was impressed.
Your Hero (moi): Usually I'm first place or last place. I'd like to think I always get it in with the best, and while that's usually true, I admit I've been outplayed once or twice. Well, maybe once.
That's the regulars. There are others that come and go, but this is the core. It sure helps the week go by when you know you have a poker game to look forward to twice a week. I just wish we could play for real money - even small stakes. People play differently, and it shows. Still, it's a good chance to work on my player reading ability, and it's a damn good time.