On Monday afternoon the staff made the most of the Casino’s Ramadan opening hours to hold a “just-for-fun” Hold ‘Em tournament. Even with no money at stake there was a buzz of excitement and a certain amount of tension as everyone took their places at the tables. Could the Blackjack dealers beat the croupiers? Could the reception staff take on the Managers? Everyone had a shot at winning bragging rights as the best Texas Hold ‘Em player at Casino Royale.
Just as too many cooks can spoil the broth, having several dealers on each table did make things interesting! The tournament director stepped in and very quickly everything was running smoothly; turns were taken at dealing and players new to the game were helped with the rules by the more experienced staff. While everyone was having fun, cheering great hands and cunning bluffs the day also made for a superb training exercise for those wanting to become Hold ‘Em experts.
As the blind clock ticked its way to the higher levels, 3 tables became 2 and then to the final 9 players – a mix of management, back room staff, dealers and the lovely lady from reception who amazingly had never played before and was getting a great big slice of beginners luck. It was great to see a total of 4 ladies in the final 9 especially as the male staff out-number the girls about 10-1.
Eventually the beginner’s Luck ran out for the lovely novice, but not before pushing all-in and winning a couple of decent pots to replenish her dwindling stack. With just 5 players left in things started to get a little more serious and sunglasses were donned by some in the hope of looking like a professional poker star. During one crucial hand one of the marketing team went all-in after the flop – 2 diamonds and a possible low straight. Two other players also went all-in and we had a showdown. Mr Marketing had 2 diamonds and the others were on for the straight. On the turn the straight came in but the flush was still possible. As the river was dealt, an Ace of diamonds, a cheer went up around the room as the popular Mr. Marketing raked in the chips.
He eventually went on to win the tournament but without that diamond he would have been out before the final three – it just goes to prove that one lucky card can make or break you.