Greg Slovacek is a software engineer from San Francisco. This is his first published crossword. He finds puzzle making similar in a way to programming — each involves problem-solving within constraints. He enjoys puzzles that have layers to be uncovered, which is certainly true of today’s. — W.S.

A note on Texas hold’em (useful for completing this puzzle): Players seek to combine up to two of the cards they hold with cards laid out on the table to make the best possible five-card poker hand.

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