Looking for a book I read back in 2003 that featured a card game like poker and the ultimate hand to get is the celestial dragon hand. It features a story about a future Hitman with a lot of really cool tech and great writing.
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
A Game of Universe by Eric Nylund.
The hit man is Germain and the celestial dragon stuff crops up when he's playing an unnamed card game with his shipmates Virginia and Quilp:
It was Quilp's deal. His shaking hands threw me two blank vacuums, a pair of planets, a gas giant, and a binary star, which gave me the beginnings of a system.
Discarding my pair of vacuums, I hoped for another planet, a comet, or even an asteroid to complete my system. Instead, I got a black hole and a section of the celestial dragon for my wishful thinking. That left a single pair of planets—a lousy hand—but that wouldn't stop me from bluffing. Another round of betting and cards remained. I felt lucky.