Of everyone in this picture, only 1% of these people have a new tv; Patrick Long (Left)

Of everyone in this picture, only 1 percent of these people have a new TV; Patrick Long (Left)

If you couldn’t tell from the lack of people at KIPS on Friday or the emanating body odor and smoke from the fourth floor of MLK, there was a poker tournament. Phi Beta Lambda, or like every other business club is known as, “Haas Hopefuls” society, threw their semi-annual poker tournament on March 2, attracting the young and old, people of all ethnicities and varying degrees of shadiness.

6:00 p.m – The poker tournament commences. The night begins with casual socializing and awkward exchanges between people who’d rather tear each other’s hand off than shake it. Tables are set, players take their seats, the silence and air is tense and heated – one could already tell it’d be awkward if someone farted.

7:00 p.m.- It becomes obvious, who the “n00bs” and the pros are. At one table, Player 1 wagers $15 in chips. Player 2 raises the bet to $20 and is subsequently matched by Player 1, 3, and 4. If you’re not following, don’t worry, neither are we … we’re “n00bs” too.

8:00 p.m. – At table 1, a single drop of sweat rolls down Anonymous Male #1’s forehead. The drop seeps into his eye, triggering a wink reaction. All players are subsequently weirded out and fold. At this point, enough sweat has accrued in the air that someone has enough sense to open the windows. The poker is okay too.

9:00 p.m. – From 13 tables, 4 tables and 16 players remain. The remaining demographic is comprised of a mixture of lucky amateurs, dedicated older white males who will vouch for the idea that poker is a sport and a median between the two. As the night progresses, tensions and temperatures rise. The fine line between Poker Tournament and Fight Club is blurred.

10:00 p.m. With the flush of a high efficiency toilet and a Poker Face that would leave Lady Gaga Speechless, Patrick Long rises as the 1 percent among the 99 percent other losers, winning a 36 LCD HDTV. The defeated limp over to KIPS and a sense of normality returns. Three days later, broke students march to Sacramento and petition for “funding.” Coincidence? I think not.

Image source: courtesy of Berkeley PBL

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