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Deal Faster, Cried the Losers

By Chris Lydgate '90 on June 15, 2011 06:13 PM

By Brandon Hamilton '11

No one likes to lose, and when the cost of defeat is an entire year's worth of timê, the stakes are high.

Continuing a long tradition, classmates sat down at the poker table in the Capehart room at Centennial Reunions to indulge in a little exercise in combinatorics.

After a couple of hours of play, Tor Jurgenfeld '84 is the chip leader, and it's game on, with a trio of eighties-era Reedies hunting for the big pot. Doug Evans '84 and John Powers '81 heckle Tor and each other, while Craig Mosbaek '83 literally circles the flop from afar, his hand cradling his chin.

The players reminisce about student days when they settled poker debts through markers, or IOUs with a history of dubious repayment rates. (At one point, the nominal face value of the markers grew so large that legendary dean Jack Dudman '42 stepped in and declared all poker debts null and void.)

As the night wears on, the blinds are raised, and players afraid to bet big begin to see their earnings disappear.

"All in," says Doug during a three-way play between him and Tor. Counting his chips, he adds, "Thirteen."

"Sounded a lot more impressive when you said the first part," chuckles John, now on the sidelines after being knocked out two hands before.

Prickly table talk leaves no player unscathed, but the game ends on friendly terms. The chip leader Tor uses his momentum to his advantage, and finally walks out of Capehart pocketing the first place bounty of $400.