A Different Kind of Crazy

One of the craziest poker games I ever played in was located in the back of a local bar. I am sure this story is straight out of the “what happens in the poker room stays in the poker room” file. The game in the back of the bar downtown was best described as unsavory. This was not the type of game that women played in and I only remember a few women who ever played there. I love you Jen. Thank God Jen was not there this night.

The game was full of locals and I was on the younger side of the crowd being in my early thirties. The game was full and we were playing steadily into the night and thinking Ira might swing in after his shift out at the casino. Other than that, there was no real hope of any more players showing up. The room is attached to the bar and occasionally the cocktail waitress would come back to check on us. From time to time, one of us would run into the bar to use the bathroom but for the most part the poker room was separate from the bar with a separate entrance.

A few minutes after midnight everything changed quite dramatically when the card room door opened up and in walked three loud drunk young girls. I was almost sure they were coming in the back way to the bar to avoid paying the three dollar cover charge. This is an advanced play usually only used by the poker players. When the girls began to walk toward the poker table it was certainly time to rub my eyes and pinch myself because I was sure I was dreaming. These were not smoking hot chicks but by the standard of the day and considering the time of night and where we were they were off the charts hot.

The party started a little slow as the girls worked the room and warmed up a couple of the younger guys. A few quick lap dances took place with some serious five dollar tips and the dealing of the cards was ground to a near halt. I have played poker while I was distracted before but this was probably the all time worst.

I have long been considered table captain at every poker game I have ever played in. This night was no exception and I finally gave up on playing poker and decided I better find out what the hell was going on. I pulled aside the older girl and had a private chat with her. I asked what was going on and she told me, “We would like to make some money and we are willing to do whatever it takes to get the money from your boys”. I had to ask, “Are there any rules?” She gave me the classic answer, “When your boys quit tipping we are out of here.”

The full ranges of emotions were present from scared and excited to just plain shock and disbelief. I was pretty sure the bar owner would shit if he walked in on this fiasco. At the same time, I was just in no position to say no. Not all the guys got into the action…or am I supposed to say that none of the guys did anything? A bit of revisionist history is in order or perhaps a little amnesia would help.

The party lasted about 90 minutes and as last call arrived we were quick to tidy up before anyone came back to gather our drinks. The girls were only able to pry $900 out of the poker players. That is not a record but it was definitely an outstanding effort when you realize how cheap poker players are. Most of that $900 went out a nickel at a time and these girls earned every penny of those tips.

I recognized one of the working girls from a gym where she was an aerobics instructor. I could not tell if she had fallen into drugs or not but she was keeping herself in good shape and was willing to chat with me for quite awhile. They were strippers from Redding that had driven over to Crescent City to work a party they were hired for and the party did not happen. They had stopped at Denny’s for a bite to eat and a waitress directed them to us and an impromptu show evolved.

This was definitely one of the crazier poker games I was ever involved in and I touched on the highlights as well as I could. The sensitive nature of such events and the basics of human decency prevent me from giving a blow by blow account.

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