I think I'm quite a gracious loser. I had plenty of practise on the basketball court, that's for sure. Over the years I've refined my gracious losing to an art form.
Last night I discovered my winning could be somewhat more gracious. I was playing some home poker with a few friends and we had a hand almost directly out of Rounders. That scene, you know, where Matt Damon has a killer hand, thinks he can't lose, and thinks he is extracting every cent possible out of KGB, aka John Malkovich. But then it turns out that Malkovich's hand was one better and he had actually been slow-playing Matt Damon.
So my Russian-accented friend Anton shows his full house aces full of twos, expecting me to muck. Instead I taunted him ("a full house? what could beat a full house? a better full house maybe? but what could be better than aces full of twos?"), until he demanded I show my cards, a full house Aces full of kings. He was not a happy Russian speaking player.
I think he'll come back next week. After all the beer was free, there is not much else to do on a Tuesday night, and he'll be dreaming all week of getting revenge.
And by then hopefully I'll learn to be a more gracious winner. The type who doesn't brag on the Internet about taking his friend down in a low-stakes home poker game.