I blew it at the poker table the other night. Not in a hand, but in a political discussion between hands. I usually avoid the topic, but this time I couldn’t resist.

One of the other players, who I know to be a Republican, was looking at some things on his phone and blurted out, “I’d bet any amount of money that Romney gets at least 315 electoral votes.” I immediately said, “I’ll take that bet for a thousand dollars.”

As soon as I said it, I realized I had acted too quickly and confidently. The way to play these proposition bets is to make it seem like the other guy has the best of it and you’re not too confident in your side. I’d done just the opposite. In fact, the tone of certainty in my voice had surprised him.

A thousand bucks isn’t a huge amount of money for this guy — I’ve seen him risk much more than that on a single poker hand — but he actually seemed taken aback. Demurring, he said, “A thousand? No, that’s too much.” To which I replied, “You said you’d bet any amount of money!”

He bargained: “I’ll take it for $100, if you’ll agree to bet another $100 on Obama winning 315 electoral votes.” While I think Obama will win, there didn’t seem to be any reason to give him an edge, so I countered, “Tell you what. I’ll put a hundred each on Romney under 315 and Obama over 270 (the minimum number required to win the presidency).”

He finally agreed, but said we’d just end up splitting it, because he’s positive Romney’s going to win, even if he doesn’t get to 315. I’m sure it will go the other way, because the path to 270 looks much easier for Obama than Romney, who would have to turn things around at the last minute in some of the battleground states, particularly Ohio, which will be the linchpin come Tuesday.

The pundits all say, “It’s too close to call.” I should have remembered, “It’s too soon to call (the bet).”