64. Does a Tiger Change Its Stripes?

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Melissa had heard about Bill. He was a womanizer. He dated one woman after another, telling one lie after another. He was a pilot, a tiger trainer, a banker, a publisher, a tycoon, an investor, an adventurer, and on and on. He laughed about how easy it was to deceive women. Dress sharp and drive a luxury car, and they would follow you anywhere. Bill could get almost any woman he wanted. And then he discarded them like so many empty water bottles.

Although Bill owned a carpet-cleaning business that had five employees, he made most of his money gambling. He went to Vegas at least six times a year, and played at a couple of casinos in the Los Angeles area regularly. Tonight he had invited himself to a monthly neighborhood poker game. For most of the evening, Bill was rather quiet. He hadn't said one unkind word about women, and he only briefly bragged about his poker skills. Melissa wondered if Bill had finally met a woman who had put him in his place. Meanwhile, he was winning every third hand.

Melissa decided to play one last hand, and then leave. She ended up with a wonderful hand, three nines and two aces. The betting was spirited, but eventually all the other players dropped out, except Bill. Bill made a final raise, and Melissa called. There was almost $200 in the pot, the biggest of the evening. Melissa was mentally shopping with the money (much of it Bill's!). Bill, however, also had a full house, three tens and two deuces. Bill chuckled, "The best female poker player in the world couldn't beat me, honey. What on earth were you thinking?"

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