WSOP 2014: A prayer in the loser's lounge

Jesus is playing blackjack.

This we learned as we sat for a quick lunch in the WSOP Poker Kitchen. Beside us sat a man. For a moment, I thought he was sleeping. Instead, he proved to be praying over his meal.

It's not uncommon to see people call upon their maker at the World Series. They implore their holy creator for a jack of hearts, just one time, and maybe another time, amen. They look to the sky, intent on using whatever edge they have, and if it requires calling on a deity, it requires calling on a deity. Desperate times, desperate measures, hallelujah.

But this man was just looking after his lunch. Apparently he saved his prayer for sustenance, because the fact he was sitting glumly over a plastic plate of noodles meant he was no longer playing poker. There was a reason for that, and we were all about to hear about it.

Our man finished talking to God and then promptly pulled out his cell phone.

If you have been around poker for any amount of time, you know the trope of the guy who has to tell you his bad beat story. If you're newer to the game, it's a lot like your Uncle Harold telling you about his gout affliction every time you see him. Now imagine: everyone in the hallway outside the WSOP Main Event is your Uncle Harold.

Nobody wants to hear about your gout, and nobody wants to hear how you got knocked out of a poker game. Nobody. Your mother who loves you? She doesn't want to hear it either.

Brasilia Room, Main Event, players_2014WSOP_EV65_Day1A_FUR_3288.jpg

A room full of potential Uncle Harolds at the WSOP (Photo: Jayne Furman/Poker Photo Archive)

"I'm out," he told the person on the other end of the line (maybe his mother, maybe not), who presumably had absolutely no interest in the fact that this guy had queens and some other guy called with ace-king.

"Ace-king! I asked him how he could call with ace-king there," the man fumed. "Guy said he didn't put me on a good hand!"

He took a bite of noodles, and then as an afterthought said, "Jesus is out, too. Know where he is? Blackjack table."

This conversation went on long enough for Jesus to return. It turned out he was not the poker-famous Jesus Ferguson, nor the more famous Jesus of Nazareth. Instead, he was a muscled-up guy with a big tattoo on his shoulder. Shockingly, the blackjack had gone about as well as the poker.

"When you have bad luck," he exclaimed, "you have bad luck!"

This is not what I expected Jesus to say.

Here's where anyone watching should have found enlightenment. See, Jesus wanted to tell the Noodle Eating Guy about his bad luck, and the Noodle Guy had no interest. That's right: the guy who had just spent his entire lunch telling a bad beat story didn't have five seconds to hear a bad beat story from his friend. It's further proof: no one wants to hear a bad beat story--even people who tell them.


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