Fading Hearts on the River: An Improbable Story of Texas by Brooks Haxton

By Brooks Haxton

Based round multi-million buck stakes and a chain of nationally televised poker tournaments, Fading Hearts at the River deals a narrative of odds—the odds of a baby surviving critical jaundice, the percentages of Congress passing a legislations that renders one’s on-line playing source of revenue inaccessible, the percentages of drawing the perfect card at the flip or the river. during this story of fatherhood and worldy luck, Haxton follows his son Isaac’s not going occupation as a poker participant, the frightened father usually sitting at the sidelines along with his palms crossed or gazing a on line casino computer screen whereas Isaac wins extra in a single hand of play than Haxton has earned from all his books of poetry combined.

In this deftly crafted tale Haxton explores the propensity for abstraction, good judgment, and reminiscence all reliable poets and poker avid gamers proportion, all of the whereas taking readers on a rollicking travel of advanced, intertwined issues, starting from video game idea and monetary techniques, to scientific mysteries and misplaced love, to chess, Magic playing cards, and Texas carry ‘em. Guided by means of the through-line of a father’s love and admiration for his proficient son, Fading Hearts provides a different standpoint on expert playing and one family’s adventure taking part in the chances.

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Additional resources for Fading Hearts on the River: An Improbable Story of Texas Hold'em

Sample text

After being patient for hours, you get it in with pocket aces. This was what you hoped for. Now, though, even when your odds are four to one, as good as anyone could reasonably ask, you can expect to lose, one time in five. When a blustering half-wit hits lucky for the third time running, you may feel frustration and resentment start to well. But to indulge your righteousness at this point is weak thinking. Your best move is to laugh like the hapless loser which you really are and to congratulate the winner, with good-humored envy, on his play.

The verb fade seems to have been lifted from the slang of dice and pool. In pool the power to fade the opposition requires superior skill. At the poker table, to fade the draw, as in dice to fade the odds, is a question of luck, but fade in this construction seems to imply that the winner has a magical power to generate luck by fading certain probabilities out of existence. To the mind of an aging poet, the phrase fading hearts on the river suggests more than merely avoiding hearts on the final card.

But poker, I keep thinking, is deceptive. Everything always is at risk. The game and the prize money, my wife and our three children, with Zoe, who was becoming part of the family now—all of them at the moment were in the Devil’s Triangle. THE MOOM in light of which a B oy and g irL transfixed by m ySterieS are drawn into the celebration of the m ind at PLAY 47 O N E C L E A R A F T E R N O O N in mid-September, just past Isaac’s first birthday, I took him for a stroll. The sun was low and the ghost of a moon hung over the treetops east.

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