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((Monte Carlo, USS Apollo))

The two of them made their way over to the poker area pushing through the crowds of people and the thick cigarette smoke. Jalana held her breath everytime they walked through one of those clouds. It might have been holographic but in her eyes.. or rather her nose, it still smelled bad. She was glad when they left one of the other clouds behind them and she felt Vik slow down and stand at the table. ::

Dealer: Ah! Two more players for some Hold Em?

Laxyn: Uhm.. For what?

Dealer: My dear lady, Hold Em? Why its only one of the most played card games around?

Lanius: I think she'll sit this one out, maybe next round? I'd like in though. :: He pulled up a seat for her and leaned over :: Watch this, see if you can grasp it, then give it a shot, yeah?

Jalana was surprised as he pulled the seat for her but she gave him a smile and sat down. Blinkig she heard the quiet voice close to her ear and turned her head slightly to gave him a nod. ::
Crossing her legs she watched the dealer giving out the cards and her eyes diverted to those that Viktor showed her. She was not sure what those Qs stood for but two of the same could not be that bad, she thought to heself. Her eyes followed the other players as they placed chips from one pile to the middle of the table and others who gave their cards back. oO Might not like what they got Oo she thought to herself but also noticed that they did not get new ones ::

Lanius: :: leaning towards her :: Now, these two cards that I have, my hand, is fairly strong. I hold two of the highest card values in the deck, queens. Now, odds are that no one at this table has anything higher than what I do, being that there are only five of us playing.

The Trill slightly bent to him so he did not have to lean over that far. oO Oh that is what Q stands for Oo. ::

Laxyn: :: whispering :: Two of the highest means though that someone else could have them or maybe higher ones, right?

Lanius: Correct, but its not all mathematics. Statistically yes, I might be able to win this. But there's a problem. :: Eyeing the man in the cowboy hat who had placed the initial bet ::

Laxyn: :: following his gaze, still whispering :: That you do not know which cards he has?

Lanius: Albeit he might have that hand, and statistically there is reason to believe he does, this is where being an Operative comes in handy.

The Trill was not quite sure what exactly that meant and watched the man fora moment. He smiled, did not watch his cards too often and looked rather relaxed to her. ::

Laxyn: Looks like he's confident with what he got.

Lanius: You're quick on the draw ma'am... But there's always something that gives them away...

Jalana thought about what he said and watched the people around the table. Saw the cards in the middle, recognizing at least one card of them. She still did not see what would give the others away, maybe she did not have the experience like Vik did. What did she say there, maybe... it was pretty sure that she did not. The man still did not move, still looked relaxed. Hearing the other man call distracted her gaze to him and she thought she saw somethig like hesitation in his expression. ::

Laxyn: He still looks relaxed..

Lanius: Patience now... Like I said... He could have that hand, but its really up to you to look for clues to help you determine if he does or not. Problem is, that costs you chips...

Cowboy Hat: Come on now... We're waitin on you boy! :: he smiled when he spoke ::

The green gaze of the Trill wandered back to the man who just spoke. Okay that was not that relaxed. Even she noticed that although he smiled he seemed to want to get it over with. As the smile slowly faded she got an idea why. Seeing the man tap on the table she already leaned to Vik when he answered the unspoken question. ::

Lanius: That's called a check. Sometimes another clue. Seems to me he's uncertain as to whether or not his hand still stands...

Laxyn: So it is your decision now?

Lanius: Exactly. From here, I could simply push him out as I think I have enough evidence to do so... but...

Instead of talking she saw how he tapped the table as well before the last card were put down and seeing another Queen the corner of her mouth twitched. Knowing that this was rather good, three were better than two, at least in her book and from what she had seen during this game. When the man on the other side threw his chips stackwise on the table, she wondered if his card were really better than three Queens and what would come above that. ::
She noticed how Vik watched the man, his changed posture gave her the impression of wanting to protect himself, even if she might have been wrong about that, it was way less relaxed. Then somethign distracted her, the light reflected on something that twinkled in her view and when she looked closer she saw that he was sweating. She was pretty sure that this was not looking good for him. He then put down his cards so she could see what he had. ::

Dealer: :: moving cowboys cards :: A pair of four's, pair of four's... and for you sir?

Lanius: :: Flipping his hand over :: Three honest and beautiful ladies... :: he smiled at Cowboy, who was now sitting back in his chair looking down at the cards on the table. ::

Dealer: Trips beats a pair! Congratulation sir! :: he slid the enormous pile of chips to Vik. ::

As Vik took the chips he just won and smiled, meeting his gaze as he turned to her.

Laxyn: That was quite interesting. I would not have thought that a game of cards can be so exciting.

Lanius: I know! It can be very fun, but there's one thing I tried to tell you about earlier.

Laxyn: :: Raising her brows :: And what would that be?

Lanius: Luck Jalana... If those cards hadn'tve fallen the way they did, none of this would have happened. That's the beauty of it. It doesn't matter how much you know or don't know, or how much you try to calculate anything... The point is that the cards fall where they fall. It's how you play the hand that determines your fortune.

Laxyn: :: Smiles :: Well that is something I do understand. Hearing all those men talk about a system made me wonder how much of those games is luck.

Lanius: Well, sometimes luck doesn't grace everyone with its presence... only the right people. :: He smiled :: Wanna give it a try?

She bit her lip for a moment, her eyes back on the table before she straightened up and shook her head with a nervous smile ::

Laxyn: I think I better try that another time. It is already late and I'd do a lot of mistakes I would not do if I'd be more attentive.. oO And knowledgeable Oo

She also wanted to read a bit more about this came, which cards where worth more than others and what else belonged to it. She had caught a lot during this one round already but she was sure there was much more to know before she would dare to play a round herself. ::

Lanius: :: He joked :: A bit nervous are we?

Laxyn: :: raising her hands :: Yes okay, you got me. But you can't blame me for wanting to know what I am playing. :: She smirked at him before getting up from her chair. ::

Lanius: And for that, I can't blame you one bit.

Laxyn: As said it is quite late and I had a long day, plus a meeting in the morning. So I better head to my quarters. It has been a pleasure Vik. :: smiles widely ::

Lanius: It certainly has :: Moving out of his chair and standing. He extended a hand to her :: Perhaps we can do it again sometime?

Laxyn: :: Took his hand to shake it slightly squeezing in hers :: It would be my pleasure if we would. :: Shaking her head about how often she used pleasure she laughed slightly but did not comment on that :: I hope you will get some sleep, you look a bit tired :: smirking ::

Lanius: Only if you do :: He laughed :: Good night ma'am.

Laxyn: :: Wincing slightly about the 'Ma'am' she still smiled :: I will. Good night, Vik.

She gave him another smile and turned, pushing a strand of hair behind her ear, brushing over her dress, whyever she did that it was not that she really noticed it, and left the Holodeck to head to her quarters ::