Don’t announce this to a table full of degenerate poker players, myself included. Between playing and debating whether Brett Favre should retire, the table was calm. That is, until a young player announced loudly, “This is boring. I’m only playing because someone talked me into it and I may as well be watching paint dry! I have never played anything I hate, like this game,” he proclaimed, adding, “What do you people see in this; I don’t get it.”
His contempt was met with incredulous stares. Suddenly an entire table’s camaraderie was in place. A bond occurred. Just moments before, these people were going after each other’s jugulars.
After loudly stating again, just how boring the game was, he shoved all in. What a good reverse tell this could be. This guy looked like he could pose for the cover of WASP Magazine. His attitude brought sudden silence to the debate about Brett Fayre’s career decision, which only moments ago had players loudly opining that Fayre should retire and stick with it.
I was the first to defend my cherished game. “If you play correctly, it is not boring,” I argued. “There is a lot of strategy involved, and you should be making note of the way the others are playing,” I added. “Yeah, then it won’t be like watching paint dry,” another player yelled. The table was taking on a lynch mob mentality.
You could cut the hostility with a knife. Even the dealer was now involved. Kid WASP’s brother showed up at our table. “You out?” poker-hater said. “Yeah,” some idiot sucked out on me,” his brother whined. Poker-hater remarked, “Of course, idiot game, idiot suck out.”
At this predominantly male table, neck veins were now prominent. Testosterone was not the only cause of players preparing to defend their beloved game. The mother in me was preparing to defend her baby. “You wanna go outside?” I heard my own voice say. “What, am I nuts?” I thought, I don’t know how to fight, he is a lot bigger than me, and I am wearing a short skirt and high heels and a very expensive designer blouse.
“OK baby, but not for the same reason you wanna go outside,” he said. Then I thought to myself that I am hanging around men too much. Look how I am acting. I used to be a lady. Maybe I could arm wrestle him to defend the honor of poker.
“Let’s go, I wanna be anywhere but here,” he said, and then added, “I am trying to get the hell out of this game.” The dealer said, “Wait a minute, with any luck he’ll be joining you.”
The other players were now busy getting the rope ready. If anyone could will cards to come that would beat this kid’s hand, this collective mob mentality looked strong enough to do it.
Poker-hater looked up, glanced around the table, saw glaring faces, and said, “Jeez, I did not mean to defame the game; you people are taking this far too seriously.”
Silence, two sevens face up. They were beaten and the table collectively cheered. Then he was gone.
The dealer, loud enough for our table only, said “Get out of my poker room, get out of my game, and don’t come back.” He paused then added, “Get out of my casino, get out of my city, and get out of my country.” The dealer’s Asian accent caused us to strain a bit, to make sure we heard him correctly. Three “Yeahs” came from the other players. “Go back to Cleveland!” said one player. The poker hater never said where he was from. One lady yelled, “See you around, like a doughnut, punk.” The dealer again added, “Stay away from my poker!”
You can “dis” your hand, you can “dis” the suck out, but do not “dis” the game.
Barbara Rogers is Northeast regional sales manager for Poker Player Newspaper. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.