The Biggest Game II – a screenplay

Continued from Part I

INT. oxford – poker room – NIGHT

Solitaire deals Holdem to Gary and four PLAYERS. Dave joins the table.

DAVE

Hi, Buddy. How’s it going?

SOLITAIRE

Umhhhh…Ok. Where did you slip off to last night?

GARY

Some things are best left alone.

DAVE

(laughs)

What he said.

Solitaire deals. The action comes to Dave, his two hole cards lay an inch from his fingers.

SOLITAIRE

Come on, Dave…

DAVE

I folded an hour ago.

Solitaire scoops up Dave’s cards and throws them into the muck.

SOLITAIRE

Yeah, you’re some kind of poker pro alright.

Dave laughs and mimics Solitaire.

DAVE

You’re some kind of poker pro alright.

Everyone folds to the Blinds, they take their chips back. Solitaire bites her lip. She shuffles and deals. Gary’s look goes from Solitaire to Dave.

GARY

Come on kids, stop playing “The Game”. Just stick to poker.

The other four PLAYERS never look up.

HELEN and HAZEL, classy looking sisters in their Golden Years, step into the room.

Their squinting gaze goes from the Players to the sign on the wall as they slowly approach the table. One holds onto the arm of the other and stammers.

HELEN

I’m Helen. This is my sister, Hazel.

Everyone stares in silence except Gary.

GARY

Hey…Hi! I’m Gary. Looking for a card game?

Helen’s breath comes in spurts.

HELEN

Yes…we’re staying at the Red Lion Motor Inn and the clerk told us we could find a game here.

Life pops into the Players and they twitter. Dave laughs out loud. Gary glares at Dave and extends his hand to Helen.

GARY

What do you like to play?

HELEN

We’re from Las Vegas and we play Pan.

GARY

Darn it! The Pan Game is always finished by dinner time. How about poker? Ever played?

Helen’s grip tightens on her handbag and she looks at Hazel.

HELEN

No…we’ve never played poker.

DaVE

Neither have these guys.

(laughs)

Gary jumps up and grabs two chairs.

GARY

Well sit right down, Ladies. You can watch me play and I’ll explain everything as we go.

Helen looks at Hazel.

HELEN

Well…OK. We’ll just watch.

Gary holds their chairs as Helen and Hazel settle in.

GARY

The dealer’s name is Solitaire. She handles the cards so we know the game is on the square.

Helen elbows Hazel and they watch Solitaire.

GaRY

(to Solitaire)

Call for drinks for the Ladies, please.

SOLITAIRE

SAM. WE NEED COCKTAILS AT THE POKER TABLE.

GARY

We’re playing Texas Holdem, Ladies.

Gary peeks down at the FOUR OF CLUBS, ACE OF HEARTS and shows his hand to Helen and Hazel before he folds.

HELEN

(whispers)

What are you doing? You had an Ace.

GARY

Yes, but nothing to go with it.

BARTENDER arrives. Helen and Hazel order wine.

Gary peeks at the NINE OF HEARTS, SEVEN OF CLUBS and shows them to Helen and Hazel before he throws them away.

HazEL

You’re no fun to watch. What are you waiting for?

Gary chuckles.

DaVE

Pocket Rockets, Ladies.

HelEN

What?

DaVE

That’s what he’s waiting for. You’ll die of boredom before you see him play a hand.

Hazel nudges Helen.

HAZEL

Daddy taught us poker…remember?

HELEN

But this is real poker for REAL money.

Hazel grabs Gary’s arm.

HAZEL

What are the stakes?

GARY

This is $3-$6 limit. That’s the most you can bet or raise.

Hazel pulls Gary close.

HAZEL

I want to play. Can I sit next to you and Helen can sit with us?

HELEN

Sister…

Everyone slides around and Gary pulls Hazel’s chair up to the table.

GARY

$100 is a good buy-in. It gives you a little playing room.

Hazel nods and pulls a bill out of her handbag. Gary slides the bill under his stacks and pushes Hazel five stacks of chips.

HAZEL

I’ll just watch for a little bit…if that’s ok?

Bartender returns. Hazel almost spits her first sip of wine.

HAZEL

Whew! This isn’t real wine, it’s vinegar mixed with water, right?

HELEN

What’s wrong with you, Sister?

Hazel plugs her nose, takes a big gulp of wine and pats her mouth with a lace handkerchief.

HAZEL

(belches)

I’m ready. What’s the game?

HELEN

Sister. Mom would be so disappointed.

HaZEL

But Daddy would laugh his ass off.

HELEN

I don’t believe it…we should go.

SOLITAIRE

(To Hazel)

The first player to the left of the button has to post the $1 blind. The next player has to post the $3 blind.

HAZEL

You mean without seeing your cards?

Gary pats Hazel’s hand.

GARY

Yes…but it’s only once during a round of the table and everyone has to do it, so it’s fair.

Solitaire deals.

Hazel peeks down to the EIGHT OF SPADES, FOUR OF DIAMONDS.

SOLITAIRE

Three to call.

Hazel looks around the table, points to herself.

HAZEL

To me?

SOLITAIRE

Yes. Three if you want to call.

Hazel slowly counts off 3 – $1 chips and pushes them out. Three other players call.

Solitaire burns a card and puts the ACE OF CLUBS, TREY OF DIAMONDS, NINE OF HEARTS on the table.

Hazel takes a long slug of wine.

DaVE

Check!

HAZEL

What the hell is check?

Helen shakes her head and shakes Hazel’s arm.

GARY

He’s passing the action to the next player.

HELEN

Honestly, Sister, are you going to swear or play poker?

HAZEL

Hell, loosen up. We’re in Nowhere, Montana.

(giggles)

SOLITAIRE

You mean you both live in Vegas and you’ve never played poker?

Bartender returns.

Hazel

We play Pan every day.

Hazel plugs her nose, drains the glass, and reaches for another.

SOLITAIRE

The old railroaders play Pan here every day but I don’t understand the game.

HAZEL

Believe me, Dear, you really don’t want to…some things are best left alone.

Dave slaps the table. Everyone jumps.

DAVE

Can we just play the hand for Christ’s sake?

Hazel glares at Dave under raised brows. Dave grunts and pitches his hand to the muck.

SOLITAIRE

Dave…come on…

DAVE

They came to bullshit! I came to play poker.

Helen’s hand flies to her open mouth.

HAZEL

Young man, you’re behavior is uncalled for…

Dave jumps up and leans down, face to face, with Hazel. Hazel timidly looks into Dave’s eyes.

DAVE

BOO!

Hazel jumps back.

DAVE

(laughs)

I’ll be back when you’re ready to play.

Dave stomps away from the table.

SOLITAIRE

(whispers)

Thanks for the warning.

HAZEL

Get your face out of my space, Sonny!

HelEN

(claps)

You tell him, Sister.

Everyone laughs.

SOLITAIRE

Everyone checked to you Hazel. What do you want to do?

HAZEL

OK!

(giggles)

I don’t know if two pair are any good.

Solitaire burns a card and puts up the NINE OF SPADES.

HAZEL

How does she make money?

GARY

Players tip her when they win a pot…and she gets an hourly wage from the House.

Hazel leans into Gary and whispers.

HAZEL

What’s the secret cards that are face down under the pot…are they hers?

Bartender returns with drinks.

GARY

Burn Cards…no…they protect the top of the deck so no one knows what card is coming next.

Hazel pushes out a stack of chips and sucks up wine. Solitaire pushes the chips back to Hazel.

SOLITAIRE

Just six when it’s your turn.

Everyone checks to Hazel.

Hazel counts out six – $1 chips.

Everyone folds.

Solitaire pushes the pot to Hazel.

HAZEL

Do you want to see what I had?

GARY

Sure.

Hazel turns up her hole cards and laughs.

HAZEL

NOTHING! I bluffed your butts.

Helen slaps Hazel on the back and giggles.

HELEN

Good for you, Sister. It’s about time you showed them what you’re made of.

Everyone laughs. Helen chugs most of her wine. Dave returns and falls into his seat. He glares at everyone. Solitaire deals.

HAZEL

Wow! Sister, look at these guys shuffle their chips. I want to do that too.

DAVE

(snorts)

Yeah…that chip shuffling ranks right up there with Basket Weaving 101.

Gary is the Big Blind and peeks down to the FIVE OF SPADES, SIX OF SPADES.

Dave peeks down to the DEUCE OF DIAMONDS, DEUCE OF HEARTS.

Dave fires a raise.

All Players fold to Gary.

Gary raises.

Dave returns a raise.

Gary raises.

DaVE

I c-r-a-w-l.

Dave calls.

Solitaire pulls in the bets, burns a card, and puts the DEUCE OF SPADES, TREY OF HEARTS, FOUR OF SPADES on the table.

Gary slams out a bet.

Dave lofts a raise at the pot.

Gary raises.

Dave sends out a raise.

Gary calls.

Hazel cranes her neck at Gary’s hole cards and grabs Gary’s arm.

HAZEL

Show us!

Gary shakes his head without taking his eyes from Dave’s face.

GARY

If I show you my cards, then I have to show them to anyone that wants to see them…if you get my drift.

Everyone is glued to the action as Solitaire burns a card and puts the DEUCE OF CLUBS on the table.

Gary checks.

Dave bets.

Gary raises.

DAVE

You can’t win, Old Man. I know you’re playing style and I’m telling you now that you’d better just give it up.

Dave slowly throws out a raise and smiles.

GARY

Just remember, Sonny, all trappers don’t wear fur hats.

Gary calls.

Solitaire burns a card and puts the TREY OF SPADES on the table.

Gary

I check.

Dave smirks. He takes a week to peek at his hole cards and watches Gary as he slams out a bet.

DAVE

Alright, Old Man…you got something?

Gary peeks at his hole cards and shrugs.

SOLITAIRE

What do you want to do?

DAVE

Mind your own business! We’re in a hand.

Solitaire stammers.

DAVE

Well, Old Man? It’s up to you. Make up your mind before I start collecting Social Security.

Gary surveys the cards on the table, Dave’s chip stacks and his own chips.

GARY

I can cover what you’ve got in front of you…

DAVE

You want to stack off? You’re crazy. You must be showing off for the “Vegas Golden Girls”.

GARY

Make up your mind, Sonny.

DAVE

You’ve got me covered. It would serve you right if I had more money on the table.

(laughs)

I’d like to bust your ass!

Dave shoves out all of his chips. He jumps up and slams his cards on the table.

DAVE

Just Quads, Old Man.

GARY

You’ll just have to get that fixed, Sonny.

Gary slowly turns his cards over one at a time.

SOLITAIRE

Wow! Quads beat by a Straight Flush!

Dave’s eyes dart to Gary’s cards and back to his own.

DAVE

There’s no way in hell you’d play that hand, Old Man…let alone raise with it. You’re the rock that could sink the Titanic.

Dave’s glare hates Gary.

DaVE

You slow rolled me on top of it…Fuck!

Dave picks up his hole cards and fires them at Solitaire’s hands. She jerks her hands up and the cards rattle into the rack. Dave thunders out of the room and runs into King.

KING

Whoa! Slow down, Dave. What’s the rush?

Dave motions at Solitaire over his shoulder.

DAVE

Ask her. If she deals a cold deck like that in Vegas, they’ll cut off her hands.

Dave slams out the door.

Solitaire shoves all of Dave’s chips to Gary, shuffles the deck, and mumbles.

SOLITAIRE

There’s a “Will Work for Food” sign in your future, Buddy!

Helen and Hazel stand up.

GARY

We don’t have to stop playing…

HazEL

Is he coming back?

SoLITAIRE

Sooner or later.

Hazel

Good! Let’s stay. I want to piss him off too!

Helen covers Hazel’s mouth. Hazel weaves and Helen steadies her.

HelEN

We need a bar of soap and I am definitely driving!

King waves at Solitaire.

KinG

Meet me for lunch tomorrow at The Red Lion…around 2:00. Ok?

Solitaire nods.

HAZEL

(to Gary)

I have to go before she drags me out of here.

(to Solitaire)

She’s so-o-o-o bossy sometimes.

Solitaire and Gary laugh. Hazel racks her chips. Helen scribbles a note and hands it to Gary.

Helen

Gary, if you ever come to Vegas, call us. We’ll teach you to play Pan.

GARY

Ladies…it’s my pleasure and if you ever come through again, please stop and say hello.

Helen carries Hazel’s chips to the Cashier. A minute later, Helen grabs Hazel’s arm and guides her out of the room. Gary and Solitaire wave goodbye to Helen and Hazel. The game breaks.

SAM DILLINGER, a middle aged cowboy without a horse, rockets out of the Cashier’s Cage.

SAM

Just can’t keep a game together, can we?

SOLITAIRE

Dave took a beat. He thinks he got cold decked.

SAM

He IS the rock in the road and he wants to play for a living.

Sam checks his watch – 11 p.m.

SAM

Pick up the chips and you can call it a night.

Part III

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.