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Poker, God and Taking One for the Team

I’m standing in the registration line for event #1 at WSOP. I’m having a conversation with two players standing in front of me in the line. However, I didn’t really feel connected so I started checking my email.

After a few minutes the first guy tells the second guy, “I hope my Karma is good.” The second guy then says, “I don’t believe in karma, I’m an atheist.” My ears perk up and without thinking I blurt out, “That’s interesting I don’t believe in karma either, I’m a Christian.”

That sounded so stupid. I can’t believe I said something like that. But the atheist says, “I need to talk to you.” I was stunned. Like an idiot I replied, “Really.” He said, “My wife has been dragging me to Church, but I don’t really get it. I have some questions I would like to ask you.”

I was pumped and disappointed. At that moment I knew my poker trip wasn’t about winning, it was about this guy. I shouldn’t have even entered the tournament. I knew God had bigger plans.

Jim's Poker Articles

Check out these articles about God's lesson plan for Poker.

Fastest Exit Ever

The event was one of the fastest exits from an event. I didn’t even make dinner break. But I was able to beat the crowd and get a table to meet my new buddy. We had a great talk. He was seeking peace and trying to escape a bad situation. I challenged him to pray for 21 days straight asking God to reveal if he was for real. By coincidence I was scheduled to return in 21 days for another event.

After the meeting, he went back to the tournament and I had to pass some time. I didn’t want to play poker. I just walked through the casino until two of my friends hollered at me from a Pai Gow table. I sat down and started playing a game I didn’t know a thing about.

Me and this friendly bald headed guy become friends. I’ll get back to this in a minute.

21 days later I return to the Rio. I get knocked out of an event again, so I meet up with the guy that had been praying. God delivered him from his dangerous environment and gave him the peace he was looking for. We went to my room and completed the salvation prayer. The guy had such a dynamic personality and he was on fire. It was a cool experience, even though I got my butted kicked.

A few days later I returned home. The friendly bald guy from the Pai Gow table called. He brought me the biggest business deal of my life. I’ll going to make more money on this deal than if I had won the first tournament.

I liked this poker lesson.