He sat there for a dozen or so hands, just staring at his stack of chips, before finally shoving them all into the betting square, the exact upper limit bet.
He was in the middle seat, so everyone could see him get the ace.
They didn't know his story, but they could sense that this was a moment that would change his life, and there was a silent willing for him to get a face card.
He got a five, but everyone somehow knew he'd draw another one to get 21.
Except the dealer hit blackjack so he lost automatically.