Matt Meets Gordon: Episode Fifteen

Posted by Matt '13 on Monday, February 22, 2010
Hello everyone. As I told you all in my last post, this semester as part of my Great Conversation class I have been given the opportunity to spend my Monday afternoons volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club in Lynn. The Boys and Girls Club is one of the community partners of the Gordon in Lynn Program (go to http://www.gordon.edu/gordoninlynn for more info) which oversees the service learning portion of the Great Conversations course. I have been to the Boys and Girls club around a half dozen times thus far, and each time I go there, I enjoy myself more than I did the last time. I came into my volunteering experience not knowing what to expect. I had no idea what it would be like to be thrown into the midst of 400 children, and I was nervous about it. However, within my first few minutes at the Boys and Girls Club, my fears were alleviated. I was given a fascinating and complete tour of the facilities by one of the boys and I met many of the wonderful staff members. As I was led around the Boys and Girls Club by my younger guide, I was amazed at the amount of activity, the kindness of the children and the boundless energy and compassion of the staff. My initial impressions of the Boys and Girls Club have not been altered by my subsequent visits; rather, they have been reinforced by my new experiences. Whether I am officiating a foursquare game, being defeated by one of the kids at bumper pool or just talking with a child or staff member, I keep finding that I am genuinely enjoying myself. In fact, my visit to the Boys and Girls Club is often one of the highlights of my week. Below are some pictures of the Boys and Girls Club, sorry if they are a bit blurry. Thanks for reading and God bless.

The Boys and Girls Club of Lynn

The Downstairs Gameroom


Poker is a family of card games that combines gambling, strategy, and skill. All poker variants involve betting as an intrinsic part of play, and determine the winner of each hand according to the combinations of players' cards, at least some of which remain hidden until the end of the hand. Poker games vary in the number of cards dealt, the number of shared or "community" cards, the number of cards that remain hidden, and the betting procedures.

In most modern poker games the first round of betting begins with one or more of the players making some form of a forced bet (the blind or ante). In standard poker, each player bets according to the rank they believe their hand is worth as compared to the other players. The action then proceeds clockwise as each player in turn must either match (or "call") the maximum previous bet, or fold, losing the amount bet so far and all further involvement in the hand. A player who matches a bet may also "raise" (increase) the bet. The betting round ends when all players have either called the last bet or folded. If all but one player folds on any round, the remaining player collects the pot without being required to reveal their hand. If more than one player remains in contention after the final betting round, a showdown takes place where the hands are revealed, and the player with the winning hand takes the pot.

With the exception of initial forced bets, money is only placed into the pot voluntarily by a player who either believes the bet has positive expected value or who is trying to bluff other players for various strategic reasons. Thus, while the outcome of any particular hand significantly involves chance, the long-run expectations of the players are determined by their actions chosen on the basis of probability, psychology, and game theory.

Poker has increased in popularity since the beginning of the 20th century and has gone from being primarily a recreational activity confined to small groups of enthusiasts to a widely popular activity, both for participants and spectators, including online, with many professional players and multimillion-dollar tournament prizes.

In casual play, the right to deal a hand typically rotates among the players and is marked by a token called a dealer button (or buck). In a casino, a house dealer handles the cards for each hand, but the button (typically a white plastic disk) is rotated clockwise among the players to indicate a nominal dealer to determine the order of betting. The cards are dealt clockwise around the poker table, one at a time.

One or more players poker online are usually required to make forced bets, usually either an ante or a blind bet (sometimes both). The dealer shuffles the cards, the player on the chair to his or her right cuts, and the dealer deals the appropriate number of cards to the players one at a time, beginning with the player to his or her left. Cards may be dealt either face-up or face-down, depending on the variant of poker being played. After the initial deal, the first of what may be several betting rounds begins. Between rounds, the players' hands develop in some way, often by being dealt additional cards or replacing cards previously dealt. At the end of each round, all bets are gathered into the central pot.

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