This is my entry to the weekly freaky friday organised by @pete who is striving to help, struggling bloggers on this platform, visit the link below to be part of it

It was a festive night in Rome at the home of my father's best friend, Sandro traniello, a nice ballet dancing crew, beautiful serenades, picamon rolls, and Italian sushi's, there were just about enough to keep you going in anticipation of the big event of the day, a poker match between my father's clique of friends, there was a big gamble at stake, and my father had staked high for this, I sat on the table across them, I was in a clique of some of my peers, though I didn't know them, but it was also a poker table,we were supposed to have a match but I was more a spectator, and I watched with interest, how kids of roughly 8 years old, were so interested in the game, maybe it was simply because I wasn't, their dads had surely influenced that, but me however the only thing my dad's love for poker, had influenced was my drawing, and weird dreams about poker,one of the kids, looked way smarter than the rest, the other two were just about there but however I learned a lesson for living for sure, "in life it doesn't matter,who your up against, as long as you want to win", I studied them with keen interest, as they studied each other, it seemed to me psychology played an important role in winning poker games, you had to outthink your opponents", and "sometimes you just had to follow your instincts and see where it leads you, you might just get lucky"

I looked on as they played and had drinks, and well I was the odd one out, I knew I wasn't meant to be here, but dad had brought me along all the way from, Naples, simply, because I had done a beautiful piece of artwork, which according to him was worth millions, occasionally I would glance at my portrait of Egyptian gods playing cards, which sat pretty tall on a wooden basement, in front of the table, my dad had made a stake with it, among all of his friends at the table, he was the only one who didn't contribute a cash prize, to the prize winning total, he was short on cash, and of course, found a remedy in my art piece, he had gotten lots of medals from winning poker games, so for the records, i simply couldn't loose this one

Everything went into full swing soonest, the game had begun and suddenly the atmosphere in the Italian palace was that of a serious one, no more serenade music and no more ballet dances, the only sounds coming from the hall was those of the poker table, I had a good look at the game, I studied it, I was a quick learner, I observed the basic things they did, and of course the way and manner in which the game panned out, but I also watched as they all revealed their hands and my dad wasn't the winner, he lost the game and I lost my artwork.


The American dream, was what pushed me to the "city that never sleeps" New York it was, pretty weird isn't it, but then again you just need to spend one night there to actually understand why, it was a 24hr city, people went about their activities in the night, just like they did during the day, from the pizzeria malls, to the grocery stores, the fashion shows, the parties and of course, they were just mundane, art auctions and exhibitions weren't stuffs that happened every night, but everytime it did, I always had to break my norm of "sleeping in the city that never sleeps" hahaha, yeah, they're three things I was very good at, curating artworks, sleeping and of course sleeping some more, but this night it was definitely only about the first, I pulled into the parking lot, of the new York art exhibition and auction house, since I became an art museum curator, I had been there countless times, but it was simply to source for artworks to display and curate for the museum and all of it of course was done by auctioning, my fat pay check allowed me to easily outbid other curators, and today I certainly needed it, to get my hands on one of the biggest art paintings of the 21st century, I was more than definitely living the American dream at only 26 years of age.

As usual the parking lot was filled with cars, except this time it was much more, the artwork had better be worth it, I didn't know much about it, except that it was owned by America's finest all round poker player 'Phil ivey' I got into the hall, they were various artworks on display, and I couldn't help but admire it's beauty, my attention was drawn away quickly, when I heard a very familiar voice speak over the mic, I raised my head to see, the legendary Phil ivey grace the podium, with his artwork fully covered standing near him, it was supported by a balancer

"When I was a boy, nothing ever really seemed to interest me,"he started .

"I led a boring life, and was only fascinated by mystical books, my maternal grandfather would often teach me how to play card games, whenever I came for vacations in italy,, but they never really got to me, but all of that changed when he brought home, a piece of artwork as his reward for winning another poker tournament, I had said earlier this year, that I was gonna reveal the secret of my success, and this right here is it"

he said as he pulled out the white piece of cloth covering the stunning artwork, and oh my world, how stunning was it, or rather how familiar, was it, no alright wake up sleepy head,this is definitely some dream, I took steps further towards the piece to examine it further and the moment I got close, I almost wanted to shout and grab it, but of course I couldn't, but i was definitely emptying my bank account to get back my artwork, cos it just had to be it, I really couldn't believe it, 16 year's since I last saw that piece, thought it would have been long already

"I always wanted to be the god of war, just like Anubis, always the superior one, with my mates competing and trying to defeat me, I drew inspiration from it, took interest in poker, and that was how my life changed, it's funny how a piece of artwork could be this inspiring, but we always need a trigger in life to get us going and this was definitely mine, and so I want to give back to the society, by auctioning this into a museum, I bet it will be a huge source of inspiration, from generations to generations, just like it was for me.

I was studying the artwork with keen interest, until I locked eyes with Phil ivey, and a small smile curved onto his lips, it was more like a smirk, but that pretty much explained the next thing he was going to do

" but, however this time around, the artwork will not be auctioned with money, but with ability and might, whoever is able to win a poker match between me and two other world poker champions,gets the artwork, that's it, I think that's fair enough, truth is I'm not really interested in the money, I have enough, and so I just simply came up with this

It was a pretty weird decision, that evoked silence from the crowd, no one definitely expected it

"So who is daring enough" he continued

There was more silence, until I broke it, surprising everyone, myself included

" I am" I said as I stepped forward, but was I, how good was I at playing poker, to stand a chance of defeating poker champions, it was an impulsive decision I made, simply because what was at stake, was my priceless artwork

"Sure, then let's proceed"

We proceeded to a poker table at the far end of the hall, I was nervous and reluctant, but had to do this, I was sitting alongside 3 world poker champions, and guess what, I was not even a professional, my dad had forced me into liking poker, taken me for tournaments, so in truth I had to learn the game, but all I wanted was to be an artist and a curator, and so after his death, I gave up on it, sometimes I would ride my luck and play few games, just to gather some cash, that I really needed to survive at that time, sometimes I got lucky, sometimes I didn't and lost all I had, but today I needed that luck, Phil ivey, Roberto romagnoli , and Davide traniello took seats besides me

This was surreal, I just felt like telling Phil I was the owner, of the artwork, quit the game, and receive the artwork and go home,but of course they won't believe me, I already felt defeated, even though I wanted to win, and then I remembered my childhood poker lesson, "it doesn't matter who your up against as long as you wanted to win", how bad I needed an inspiration, the game started and the cards were spread face down, we all picked a card each, Phil had the highest number, and so became the dealer, tranniello was left to Phil, became the small blind and I became the big blind, so it was 25¢ and 50¢

Phil dealt each of us our hole cards, and with all due protocol's observed, we were ready for the flop round, everyone seemed calm and collected, I might seem so to them, but there was no doubt how restless I was inside, the rounds came by quickly and soon we were in the fourth and final round the river, I was the only one yet to fold a hand in the previous rounds, i was simply calling and raising, to ensure to improve whatever i had, folding meant you had bad hands, and I simply wanted to appear very good and force my opponents to rethink, and you could tell no one wanted too, after all " psychology" played an important part in winning poker games, "you had to out think your opponent" Another of my childhood poker lessons encouraging me, the round went swiftly and it was basically everybody deep in thought's trying to be calculative, I had done my part, unsettling them and forcing them to fold even when they probably had good hands, simply because I hadn't folded, I wasn't going to fold, sometimes you just had to follow your "instincts and see where it leads you, you might just get lucky" the betting round ended and I had applied all of my childhood poker lessons, it was time for the showdown, it was time to reveal our hands, the hand with the highest value card wins, Phil started first, and it continued in clockwise direction till it reached my turn, I placed my cards face up on the table, Phil was the winner, but we had the same cards, so at the end of the day it was two winner's, I was shell shocked, but the next thing I heard shook me farther

"It was a tie so you weren't an outright winner, the aim was to defeat us all" Phil said with a very serious look, that got me flustered up, there could be two winners in a poker game, I gave him a bewildered look, I probably looked like I was going to punch him

"I'm just kidding, congratulations maximilliano coletti, your the winner" he said bursting into laughter and I couldn't help but smile,feeling relieved but it dissipated the moment I really took in Phil's words 'Maximilian coletti', how did he know my full name, I never mentioned it

"Are you surprised, he knows your name " davide traniello,asked studying my expression" and it was that moment it downed on me that we were all together on the day I lost my artwork, that day in Rome, I was left for dead to say the least, a knowing smile now formed on all their faces, but how did I not know this and I found myself asking

"Why, how"

" I knew you'd come, I had been following you up for a while now, I could easily had just given it to you, but it was high on demand, so I had to come up with a strategy, even if you had lost, i would have still found another way to make sure only you gets it, but I knew you wouldn't because of how bad you had wanted this all those years, and in truth this wasn't going to be a very complicated game" Phil said,

Of course it made sense, the smile he made the moment he saw me,like he had been waiting for me to come, the strangeness of the decision to have a poker match, it all just made sense

" but, why did you give it back to me" I asked curiously

" I'm sure you'll figure that out yourself " he said with a smirk, before handing me a walk of fame medal, then they all got up and left, the spectators watching were dumfounded as I was, but soon I was being presented with the artwork, as people took photographs of me standing next to it, I was so proud and wished my father was alive to witness this day, he was so guilty for stripping me of my artwork, it was just the same as it was, I checked the back and my name was still written on it

Milan coletti, but there was another writing beside it

I finally brought it back son, I finally did