I find myself mesmerized by the personality display of the people that put money in my pocket. You may not see what I see. If you see only the cards and the chips…I would have to believe you are not capable of seeing what I see. I never judge anyone until I’ve witnessed that someone make themselves look cheap and sleazy, trap themselves in a lie, or watched them steal something…at that point I know I don’t want them around me.
I’m open for a personality check raise when it comes to someone that I’ve spent time with at the table, while I’m dealing or playing. I have a lot of latitude and understanding, yet I have no patience for the dipshits that try to run over everyone and think the world was created for their convenience. Some of the people I deal to keep me enchanted by their actions and conversation and the way they play the game of poker and life. And so it is with Lance.
Lance is a reckless, wild child trapped in an adult male body and society’s straightjacket. He’s ready to run, scream at the wind, paw the ground, and leap from the top of the highest mountain with a parachute made from the gossamer strands of fairy dust.
I’ve had my days with Lance before he figured out that I wasn’t the enemy. He’s the subject of other posts in the Diary and Table Tango.
One day I slid into the box in a $30-$60 7 Card Stud game…Jean was leaving the game with a couple of racks and Lance was ready to buy chips. As she walked away, he yelled, “Jennifer, sell me some chips.”
She kept walking and he kept yelling, confounded by the fact that she wouldn’t answer him. He was in the 1s and I quietly said, “Her name is Jean.”
He did a, “You want to bet? You want to bet a $1,000? I’ve known her for years,” as he started counting out $100 bills to make the bet.
I never said another word, just kept dealing, and he raced off with his $100 bills to buy chips.
He came back a few moments later and had a little conniption fit about the fact that she could have told him her name wasn’t Jennifer….
Another time he was in the 10s in a $30-$60 Holdem game and he won a few pots. He said something like this, “I know you’re thinking that I’m not your friend because I didn’t tip you.”
I laughed and retorted, “No…I don’t think anything like that.”
He said, “Yes you do. If I don’t tip, you don’t think I’m your friend.”
I couldn’t help but laugh and I didn’t say anything else. Really kids, that’s not my style…but he seemed so sure that he had me pegged.
He’s got an attractive, delightfully friendly wife named Becky. She played a lot in the room for a while. She’s quiet and always appears to be quite calm, which is just the opposite of Lance. She hasn’t been in now in some time. I asked him about her and he said she’s been playing a lot on the Internet.
So…Lance may not know that I enjoy his personality, but I do. A lot of it reflects my own thoughts at times and I can’t help but laugh when I see some of his antics and listen to his outbursts at the table.
I dealt to him in a $30-$60 Holdem game the other night. His hands clench and loosen, repeat, repeat, repeat…as if he’s going to detonate himself and the world will have to go too.
He raised it pre-flop and got a caller, the Flop was 6-6-? and two Clubs. He bet, got called, the Turn and River were both blanks.
He bet the Turn, got called and bet the River and got raised. He raised! His opponent turned his hand up and showed the K-8 of Clubs before he pitched it. Lance showed his opponent no pair, Q-J of Clubs.
As I pushed the pot to Lance, he exclaimed, “Six…Six…” as if he was stabbing his opponent with the words.
His features were carved in stone as he stacked the chips but I know he was exploding inside. I looked at him as I shuffled and it was all I could do to keep a straight face and not bust out laughing.
A few minutes later I asked him if he remembered the time he was talking to his voice mail, pretending it was his wife. He did a quizzical, “No…you’ll have to tell me about it.”
When I got pushed, I walked around behind him and explained the basics of the conversation. He roared. He said he’d forgotten all about it. He told me a ‘Pigeon Tale’ a few weeks ago and I laughed so hard, he told me I could write about it. After I reminded him of the voice mail incident, I told him I wanted to write about that too.
His words were interrupted through laughter, “Write anything you want. Just send it to me when you do.” Yes, he’s going to get a copy of this in an email.
But on to more of Lance and his zaniness: December brings the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) to Las Vegas. We miss most of the Cowboys and Cowgirls, as they are more at home at Sam’s Town, The Gold Coast, and The Orleans. We do get a few that I consider regulars…they come in once or twice a year and like to play poker. They dress the part and are friendly and nice to have in a game.
One in particular was playing in a $30-$60 Holdem game, seated next to Lance, while I was dealing. The talk between the two of them was about the different events, the rodeo in general, and tickets to see the events. Lance appeared to be totally wrapped into that conversation with question after question and finally picked up his cell phone. He dialed a Number and then went into this, “Hi Honey. Yes…we’re going to go to the rodeo on Saturday night. What? Yes, I know you wanted to see Neil Diamond but cancel that, we’re going to the rodeo instead…What?” a pause and then in disbelief he stated, “She hung up on me.”
I started laughing. He pulled it off so well…the whole thing was too cool and polished for me. I said, “Come on. We know that was your voice mail.”
He gave me a startled look and did some form of denial but just the way it went down…I would’ve bet him $1,000 that he was talking to voice mail and not his wife. Yet no one else even picked up on it. They were all buried in the poker game…no, not necessarily stuck…just buried in their own plot known unawareness.
You see the keen thing about watching Lance is that he’s not buried…even when he’s stuck. His mind is still cavorting and searching, prying and prodding…yet very few people ever pick up on that. It’s too bad because they really are missing a show.
The pigeon tale: I sat down to deal a $30-$60 Holdem game. Lance is in the 5s. He gets a devious smile that rages through his eyes and leads me into it like this, “I got myself into trouble again.”
“I’ll tell you about it.”
He can’t contain himself. He’s dying to tell the story and the table is his audience, the stage is set. He’s ready to burst with the details and as I shuffle and deal the first hand, he starts laughing. I, of course, have to laugh because when he laughs it makes me laugh.
I know the story is coming and I wait, it doesn’t take long.
“I went to the Gambler’s Book Store the other day. You wouldn’t believe it. There’s pigeon shit everywhere. The parking lot, the building, every thing is covered in pigeon shit.”
I’m directing the action in the game, nodding as I listen to him…
“When I walk into the book store, there are three guys in there standing around. I asked them if they knew there was pigeon shit everywhere outside.”
I asked, “Really, that bad?”
He asked me if I’d ever been there and I said, “No. Not in years now.”
He continued, “You wouldn’t believe it. It’s covering everything. Well, I should have known something was up because none of them said a word. So…just before I left, a guy came out of the back and said the Mayor had been there last week and talked to him about the pigeons.”
Lance continued, “I told him that I could take care of the pigeons for him for a fee.”
He still had that boyish, devilish, I’m going to blow up laughing look, dancing out of his eyes. “The guy said, ‘Why don’t you just get out of here and don’t come back’.”
The whole table was listening to the tale and I’d been dealing and running the game through all of this. Now I exclaimed, “No way!”
He went on. “I should have known something was up as soon as I made the statement when I walked in and the three guys never said a word. I told this story to the table a few nights ago and Mason said that the owner of the Book Store keeps bags of feed in the back of the store and he feeds the pigeons all the time.”
I did a, “Ugh! How in the hell could he keep his business up if people have to wade through that to go into the store?”
“You wouldn’t believe it, Linda. The back of the store looks like someone painted it with pigeon shit.”
He did go on to explain how easy it was to get rid of pigeons…not that he was in to killing animals or anything. And I couldn’t help but query why the Mayor was there talking to the owner about the pigeon problem. My line of reasoning would be that other store owners or people that live in that area might not want pigeon shit landscaping, not to mention the disease factor, smell, and a few other things that go with the whole scene. No answer on the Mayor thing.
Lance said he’d visited the store with a friend, Mike. When he left the store, Mike asked him why he couldn’t just behave normally and not open his mouth.
I agree with Lance. If the World’s tilting or something’s awry, why should we just shut up and pretend it didn’t happen…shout when you have to…let’s clean up the pigeon shit that surrounds us and make the world a better place.