Gambling is the closest I get to religion - betting on the roll of the dice is like saying, 'Come, Lady Luck, and do be sure to bring it, for I will thrash you in the craps'. Poker, though, has always terrified me. I'm not scared of maths, probability and luck; I'm scared of aggressive fat men beating my pair and then not giving me my money back when I start crying - it's so unfair. Roulette may not reward expert play, but it doesn't glare at you with contempt, either.
World Championship Poker 2 reproduces this smoky world of indecision and gloating, and thankfully, Crave seems keen to make you a better poker player. At earlier stages, abnormal play is flagged and punished with a mini-game that makes you squeal in uncontrollable delight if you fail. As your experience grows though, you can level up your stats, making the game easier as the competition hots up.
So, screaming chuckle-bluffs may be unavoidable at the start, but level up your poker face, and you'll soon be giving nothing away. This makes up for the limited dress-up-Barbie character creation and the fact that half the voices, although they get their points across, sound touched with the special needs wand.
With nothing beyond a grim gambling fascination, I quickly went from reckless overbetting calamities to profitably unsexy play. Finally, I might be ready to throw fivers at my friends and start crying.
Know when to hold 'em