Poker, karaoke fit nicely for Colorado’s Godoy

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Killing me softly with his song. … that’s from Carla Godoy’s favorite jam, Killing Me Softly. She usually goes with the Fugees version, impressively emulating the dulcet tones of Lauren Hill, but she digs the Roberta Flack original as well. Both tracks are readily available on most karaoke lists, and Godoy, 27, enjoys karaoke as much as anyone you’ll meet. Over the past few months, though, she’s gained a close second: poker.

Karaoke night at most bars doesn’t tend to coincide with free poker night, and Godoy spends a few nights a week on the karaoke stage at several Aurora-area bars, entertaining patrons with songs by Adele, Florence + the Machine and Katy Perry.

Godoy, an art student who sells handcrafted jewelry and paintings, didn’t have any interest or understanding of poker until one evening in April. After one song, she got a big round of applause from a table near the back. It turns out an impromptu poker game was running, and Godoy decided to check it out. She was quickly hooked.

This is where you’d want Godoy to provide some insight on how her artistic passions relate to her poker play, but you’d be disappointed: “It’s so different. It’s scientific…. There’s nothing in common. Sorry, dude.”

Yet with little experience or advice, Godoy has quickly become a solid player in several local free hold’em games, commonly reaching the top five in two-table tournaments and even finishing second a couple of times. (That’s typically worth a $10-15 bar tab, though Godoy doesn’t drink.)

Godoy never has played online poker, even Zynga. She’s never played a cash game anywhere, casino or home game. She’s played for money, but only when it’s a buy-in for a no-limit hold’em tournament. She’s never played anything but NLHE.

When it’s suggested this might not endear her to old-school poker aficionados, Godoy responds with a shrug: “I don’t know anybody who plays those games. … When you say ‘poker,’ that’s this.”

— Rick Gershman is Ante Up’s Colorado Ambassador. You can email him atrickgershman@gmail.com.