Your Cheating Hearts

After recent sojourns to the casino left me in abject poverty I noticed a pattern. When I went on my own I left with an empty wallet, but when I responded to a text that was as simple and direct as the Batsignal is for  Batman, I came home with extra money and a smile on my face.

Like many card players, I am superstitious. When I check my phone and it asks “Poker?” I drop what I am doing and drive immediately to the local dog track as I will until my winning streak ends.

This casino I have been frequenting is filled with mad Cubans. They chase after their cards hoping for a winning hand even after they pass the point of no return. After much study I know the way to win at this casino is to only bet when you have premium cards. They will call you and even reraise you with absolutely nothing, but it you try to be a hero and bluff they will still call and obliterate you. The detective in me can deduce that the reason I win when I go with a friend are the jokes and conversation allow the time to pass quicker, so you can be more patient waiting for the proper hands to play.

When I go by myself since half the players don’t speak English and the other half you wish didn’t speak English you are left looking out the window waiting for the greyhounds to run around the oval. The dogs all look equally fast and are of the same size and shape, so I have no idea how one can pick a winner.

My father will not return to this casino for they do not have shuffling machines. Instead the dealers deal the cards with their bare hands. My father suffered a horrific bad beat and is now convinced the dealers are cheats. He tells of a guy he knew in the army who was able to deal from the bottom of the deck. “If that hillbilly could give me two kings and the other guy two aces, I’m sure these guys could do it too.”

On the streak I have been hitting I feel I could even defeat a cheater. I know what cards everyone has even better than I know what I am holding. But still poker is a game, one can be only so good at. You can have discipline and confidence, but if you don’t have luck, you will lose to the worst of players and so I know I must pay tribute to lady luck. If it someone else’s idea than the fates will grant me good cards, if I go based on my own yearning to see cards, trouble will find me.


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