Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Poker stories

They used to have this house game in Dallas. Not to far from Love Field if my memory serves. It was dealer’s choice. The house provided a dealer and when it was your turn you named the game but the dealer dealt.

Mostly it was Seven Card stud and draw, guts to open. I don’t even remember any Holdem but there may have been some. Sometimes the stud game would have the high spade in the hole split the pot and every now and then we’d play Low Ball. The buy in was $1500 which was pretty big for the mid 70’s.

The game was upstairs in a large room that I would guess was a master bedroom in better days. It was well lit with a nice felt covered card table with a nice buffet laid out on another table with all kinds of finger food and beverages. The “house” cut each pot for a few bucks to pay for expenses. It was never stated but understood that the game was protected in that it had been around for years and the police knew about it and tolerated it. And I want you to understand. "Tolerated" doesn't mean the police were paid off. They just knew about and had better things to do than roust a quite game that someone was making a living off of.

That may be hard to understand today because we live in a culture that sends a first graders to reform school for bringing his cub scout eating utensils to show and tell at school. Back then there were fewer idiots. Really.

Anyway one summer night this new player, who claimed to play offensive line for the Oilers during the season, reached cat quick across the table and grabbed the dealer’s arm as he was getting ready to shuffle. The guy had been losing, in a bad temper with a couple of drinks in him and he was Texas big. Probably 6’4 or so at around 275 lbs. He had everyone’s attention.

His claim was that the dealer was dealing “seconds.” Without turning loose or doing anything further he told the dealer.

“Do it again and I’m gonna throw you out that window.”

The window in question was a tall double hung single sash with nice drapes. It opened to a huge oak tree that was probably two hundred years old.

Well, that created a bit of a scene. We all knew the dealer and assured the new guy that all was well and to be cool. Someone suggested he take a break, which he did, along with taking a couple more JD and coke.

Two hands after he got back in the game he reached across the table, grabbed the dealer by his shoulder, spun him around, picked him up and threw him right through the window. It took maybe 4 seconds.

We were players of some experience so our first reaction was to grab our money off the table and try and get back what we felt we had in the pot. Since it was a cash game there was no messing with chips and when our football player declared to no one and everyone that he was through and leaving we all decided that there was no need to make a bad situation worse. Misunderstandings do happen.

Meanwhile the dealer was trapped in the branches of the oak tree and calling for help.

Everyone wandered downstairs and outside and started discussing how to get the dealer down who was crying that he had multiple broken bones and bleeding like a stuck hog. Through no fault of his own he only had a few scratches and someone talked him down.

Long about then someone noted a police car turning the corner up the street. We decided that it was the best thing to leave the premises so we just walked away. I came back later for my car, which was legally parked down the street, and found out that a neighbor across the street had been outside and saw what happened and called those who Protect and Serve.

He seemed embarrassed about it, saying that he didn’t know what was going on and thought there was a robbery in progress. This made sense since house games have long been considered a source of income by various low lives.

I never went back to the game, if indeed it started back up. I heard it did and that being the nature of people who run house games I saw no reason to doubt it. And since the dealer explained that he and a friend had been tossing a ball back and forth in the upstairs when he tripped and stumbled through the window the police decided no harm no foul and drove away to places on the south side where there were real shootings and cuttings and bashings.

Now back then there was very little legal “poker” outside of Vegas and a few poker rooms in California, mostly in LA. But just about every town had a game at the country club, VFW, American Legion, etc.

So it was about six months later I was in a burb of Houston. After checking in to a Holiday Inn around 3:30 I checked out the bar and had the bar maid pour me beer. She was a friendly type with a tip jar on the back shelf with a sign that said, “For my grand kid’s education.” So after discussing the weather and such I asked her about any poker action.

“Right down the road,” she said and provided some excellent directions.

Now I don’t remember the name of the joint, and if I did I wouldn’t tell you, but I walked in, asked to be considered a guest and went to the bar. After one Lone Star I popped the question to the bartender.

“Yeah,” he said. “We have one everyday. Right now it aint going because they just caught the dealer cheating. Dealing seconds to a buddy. They’ve got some things to get right.”

I nodded and took a sip of beer. To my left was a view back across the bar’s dance floor to a hall. As I looked four big guys dragged two smaller guys up the hall, turned right and disappeared in the direction of a sign that said “Exit.”

One of the smaller guys was the dealer from Dallas. The other was a guy who had played every week in Dallas.

I picked up my change and left a tip and went to dinner. I had no idea what was happening to the two cheats and I didn’t want to know.

And I decided that offensive linemen have better eyes, ears and brains than we give’em credit for.

“Come back later and the game will be going,” the bartender said. Of that I had no doubt.

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Colorado lawmaker wants instate tuition for illegal aliens

He looks normal enough. If you met him on the street you wouldn't want to run and hide.

Yet we find this.

A Democratic lawmaker has been quietly lining up support for his upcoming proposal to allow undocumented students to pay in-state college tuition.

Rep. Joe Miklosi of Denver said he often points out that a majority of states that have OK'd in-state tuition to children whose parents illegally entered the country are conservative states.

"We're talking Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas," Miklosi said. "These are states where the Republican business leaders go to the Senate president and Speaker of the House and say, 'We need a more educated workforce. Can you please pass this bill?' "

Uh, sure Joe. If these states decided to withdraw from the union they could count on your support. Right?

I mean the next thing I expect to hear from Joe is that two wrongs make a right.

And then we have this.

Miklosi was the House sponsor of a bill in this year's legislative session that would have allowed students who had attended a Colorado high school for at least three years and graduated to attend public colleges and universities at the in-state tuition rate, regardless of their immigration status. Currently those students must pay out-of-state tuition to attend a Colorado college.

Wouldn't a better question be.... Why aren't we arresting and deporting these illegal aliens?

House Minority Leader Mike May, R-Parker, predicted the proposed bill would die for the same reason this year's measure was killed.

"We've got enough budget trouble without this," May said. "I know they make claims it doesn't cost any extra, but it does."

But Miklosi said an analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Council's fiscal staff shows colleges would receive $3.3 million in tuition in the first year.

Uh excuse me Joe, but isn't instate tuition less than out of state tuition? I mean it was when I paid out of state tuition for at least a year for my daughter after we actually moved to Washington. But I digress.

Let's try this. Out of state $5.00. In state $4.00. $5.00 minus $4.00 yields a dollar loss... At least it does in the universe I live in.

But not Joe's. But after all, he is a Democrat. And most likely a Leftie Democrat. Why would anyone expect him to understand math??
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Global Warming Strikes!!!

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