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    By Cindy Blake

    It’s not going so hot. In the last two tournaments I’ve played in I’ve had my aces in the hole busted / cracked / spat upon / knifed / shot / strangled at birth.

    The elation of seeing them was nothing to the pain of watching them crash and burn – once on the flop when a pair of sevens hit its set; the second time on the river when a running flush decided to keep running all the way to the bank.

    This made me crawl under a duvet and snivel for a very long time. When I came out, I played a few rinky-dink online sit and go tournaments and got stuffed in them, too.

    There has to be a better way to make a living out of playing poker than actually playing poker. It’s too hard. It hurts too much. So some lateral thinking is needed. And I’m doing just that – thinking laterally; scanning the horizons; exploring hitherto virgin territory – and, miraculously, coming up with the nuts. What could be a better way to cash in on the poker craze than a Poker Dating Dot Com site? I’m thinking I should call it

    You know it makes sense. How can a poker player find a true soulmate who does’t know the buzz of a cardroom, who doesn’t understand the buzz of a cardroom, that adrenaline that kicks in the minute you take your seat? How thrilling and romantically satisfying would it be to go home and discuss hands together over dinner? You think I’m kidding?

    One of my most romantic moments was a night of poker, when Tony Holden and I played in a private game in London. We ruled the table; we won big time. When we left, I remember getting into the car and looking at each other with such joy and abandon I’m surprised we didn’t drive to Heathrow then and there and catch a plane to Mexico. What we did do was go out for a seriously, gloriously expensive lunch the next day. We spent the whole lunch telling each other how great we were and replaying hands. In fact, I think we spent the next month telling each other how great we were and replaying hands.

    Another great perk of being half of a poker-playing couple is that it cuts down on the jealousy factor. Unless your partner is a world-class liar, he or she can’t convincingly make up hands he’s played during a long night away from home unless he or she has actually played them. ’So an Ace of Spades came on the river and I had to fold because of the possible flush out there, which meant I had to stay longer than I’d planned’ won’t work if it can be countered with ‘But, honey, you just said the flop was Qc, 5s, 10d, so where exactly is the spade flush coming from, Sunshine?’

    I’m not au fait with setting up websites, but I figure the potential poker pairees could not only post their vital statistics, they could also explain how they would play a certain hand: thus giving a very good indication of their psyches. I, for example, would have to think twice before asking for a date with someone wise enough to say he’d fold aces in certain situations. Way too intelligent for me.

    And it’s sublimely simple to meet up in a public place to check out if the pairing might work. Any casino will do. And if it clicks, think of the potential fun. First date at the casino; then, as the romance blossoms, tournaments together, in foreign cities. Followed by a poker cruise in the Caribbean. We all know where the wedding will be.

    OK, this is kind of a joke; at least it started out that way when I first thought about it. But it may, in fact, make some sense. Poker players do have a shared mentality; we understand risk, we understand each other. And as commercial as it has become, there is still a certain romance to the game.

    However, card rooms and casinos are, to my mind, sexless environments. All anyone cares about while in them is winning money, so they are less of pick-up joints than bars or even supermarkets are. I’m sure there is a lot of action going on in the big tournaments, among the mega-players and high-rollers, but what about the average player, where does he or she find a suitable (pun intended) partner?

    On, obviously.

    Any reader who thinks this might work, please tell me. Please invest a shedload of money in me. And find someone who can set it all up. Just please, please don’t tell me it’s already been done. I’ll go straight back under the duvet.

    Play Poker

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    Comment from Allen Taylor
    Time: February 8, 2008, 2:34 pm

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Allen Taylo

    Comment from Richard Whitehouse
    Time: February 9, 2008, 10:46 pm

    Bettor start recruiting for the womans side, a national shortage I feel.

    One thing in its favour is no self respecting poker couple
    would consider breeding and so its far more money efficient
    and costs the tax payer less to boot.

    Comment from al
    Time: February 10, 2008, 7:27 pm

    Brilliant! All you need do is forward it to your agent as the idea for your next novel and that shedload of cash will be all yours. I’ll be first in line to buy a copy, if you promise to sign it.

    Comment from Anthony Holden
    Time: February 12, 2008, 1:06 pm

    I remember that night (chez Spanier) very well… and the lunch (in South Ken) the next day… we should try it again sometime. Are you available via ??? xox

    Comment from Kim Hom Holzman
    Time: February 16, 2008, 8:55 am

    Cindy, I always marveled at the way you played poker way back when —– you truly enjoyed it. I can see you smiling slyly now! Aloha, Kim

    Comment from cindy
    Time: February 16, 2008, 1:18 pm

    Wow- Kim – this now feels like a Friends Reunited website! Long time since we’ve spoken. And of course I flashback to college poker days. Would love to hear your news. Are you playing poker in Hawaii? I’m not sure if I’m supposed to post my email but I think it’s the same as you had before – if you still have it, give it a try…otherwise contact me on this xc

    Comment from trina
    Time: August 17, 2008, 9:20 pm

    Celeb poker? Who knew.
    I lost your e-mail address and I’m burning with hall dirt.
    Please write.

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