I have this handheld deuces-wild video draw poker game. It’s a good diversion for when I’m waiting for my computer to start up or if the TV show I’m watching gets a little boring. (That means I play it a lot.) There are 10 winning hands worth varying amounts of points: three of a kind (5 points); a straight (10 points); flush (15 points); full house (20 points); four of a kind (20 points); straight flush (50 points); five of a kind (80 points); a royal flush with deuces (125 points); four deuces (1,000 points); and a royal flush (2,000 points). It is tiding me over until I get back to Las Vegas.
Over the years I’ve played with my little game, I’ve gotten every winning hand – even the four deuces – a few times. But the top hand, the royal flush, eluded me. One source says the odds of getting a royal flush with a deuces-wild game is one in 45,281. Realizing it was a longshot, I never really expected to get a royal flush, though heaven knows I tried. How many times have I had four of the five cards I needed, breathlessly “held” them, paused before pushing the “deal/draw” button again, only to be disappointed. I resigned myself to getting every other hand but that one.
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Until last week.
Playing the game one morning last week, the 10, queen, ace and jack of clubs popped up on the screen. I just needed the king of clubs. I held the four cards and then hit the draw button, expecting to get a deuce and therefore a 125-point royal flush. I could hardly believe it when the king showed up. It was a royal flush! The most difficult hand of all, the one that’s almost impossible to get, and I got it!
Happily, I watched the numbers roll up to 2,000 points. That little handheld game showed me something I needed to learn, or at least needed to be reminded of: Anything is possible. With persistence and confidence and optimism, even the most far-fetched and seemingly unattainable of goals can be reached. You have to at least go for those dreams and keep trying. It’s never to late to start dreaming – but it’s always too early to stop.
And that's why that same week I sent a manuscript package to an agent, a short story to a magazine and a scholarship application to a top-flight writers' workshop. Because anything is possible!