Monday, November 12, 2007

Just a "Friendly" little Poker Game

Every once in awhile, I like to go to this pub I know of where they play poker in the backroom.

It's a beer only joint and the people are really nice. Now, as you can imagine, the place has been around forever and the clientelle are an older group of folks, which suits me fine. Well, this last Saturday night, I dragged my partner to this game. She called a friend and they drank beer and watched tv in the bar area while I got my fix of Texas Hold'em.

So, I see the small group of men moving into the backroom. They are lighting up their cigars and cigarettes and counting chips as I move in with them. The men have accepted that I am a bit "different" then the rest of the gals that frequent this place and in their best 'don't ask, don't tell' liberalism, we all get along just fine.

So, I belly up to the poker table and begin playing. I was having an awesome night. People were starting to pour in to the room to watch us play. I eliminated several regulars by catching an incredible River card. Moans and groans are heard loudly as I scrape the mounded chips in the middle of the table toward me.

Now let me set the scene: Most of the regulars can't remember my name, so my nickname is "Baby Girl". I always silently chuckle at that term, cause I am anything but.

Well the oldtimer I was playing wanted to win. BAD. He kept offering me some money to stop playing poker and let him win. Nope, I wanted to play a complete game.

Then it happened. It's as quiet as library when the flop comes down. He looks at me and says, "I bet 2000 chips". He stares at me to show he's all business.

I pause and the oldtimer says, "Baby Girl is about to fold!" and he hoots and has already spent his winnings.

"All in," I replied quietly.

He stops in mid-crow and stares at me. the Turn and the River are flipped over and I throw down my hand.

The whole room hollered and whooped it up cause "Baby Girl" beat the oldtimer. The oldtimer has a hard time accepting this and is even calling me by my real name. That's not a good sign, calling me Taryn.

So, after alot of talking, alot of handshakes. I went into the bar and sat next to oldtimer. He wouldn't look at me. I asked the bartender, "Buy him one on me, ok?". He grits his teeth and nods his thanks.

I sat there for a few more moments and knew my winning wasn't worth this. I knew I could do it and I did. So I took out my winnings of my pocket and pushed it toward him. He looked at me dumbfounded and said, "What?"

"Take what you believe is fair." He looked at me for a long time and reached for my money. He thumbed through it and split it 5o/50. I nodded and he was happy. "Thanks for the beer, Baby Girl".

With all my differentness and all his conservative beliefs, this much I learned about poker that night:

"You got to know when to fold'em, and know when to pick your battles".

More Musings Later-


Kay Richardson said...

A truer moral has not been uttered. I got shot at during a poker game once - true story.

Anonymous said...

I think this is without a doubt one of the best things you have ever written. You masterfully draw the reader into the story and it builds beatifully. Have known you from way back and am fully aware of your 'shark' abilities, e.g., pool, cards, etc. -- I remember well at the age of 15(!) when you walked into a pool game and blew the 'older people' (high school guys who had been playing for years) away when you quickly and skillfully won the game. I watched the guys as you walked away, their mouths hanging open and wondering where did this kid come from?!!

Great work ... great story. More like this, please!

Anonymous said...

"Baby girl," Sure enjoyed this. Hope you do more of them. This story not only shows your skill or the skill you have always had, but also shows your wonderful, dry sense of humor.

Loved it!

Joy Gipson