Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Royal Flush

After we reached Arizona, we dropped Bingo off at his checkpoint and were told to wait in the lobby of this old slumpblock house that, on the outside, looked very near collapse, with brown clay bricks that had largely dissolved and washed out from the lattice-work of mortar, but on the inside the house had rich red carpets, antiques, shuttered windows and a large mahogony table that hosted a poker game in progress, with two chairs vacant.

Cheryl and I like a game of poker, so we didn't need much encouragement to sit down with these players that, we assumed, were like us--away from home on a mission for some secret purpose and playing the role of escort for some puppy, with nothing to do but wait while a drama played out elsewhere.

A Mississippi gambler sat stone-faced across the table, rarely speaking and playing a tight game--a hard man to read for sure. Cheryl sat to his left and was cruising on a streak of luck, so as a series of hearts flopped up, to match her two hearts in the hole, she pushed her hand with some confidence, but the gambler just grinned. On the river, Cheryl raised and the man re-raised. Since Cheryl had the 8, only the ace, queen and 9 would beat her--pretty good odds, and something about the man's attitude said he was bluffing. She raised again and the Mississipian did not hesitate (he's got the ace, I thought) with another re-raise. Cheryl called, and the man flipped over a royal flush like it was no big deal.

More later...

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