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John Boston | Is it Right to Inquire in Poker, ‘Got any 8’s’?

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I’ve played more poker than I’ve attended church. Both, done right, are good for the soul. Played in a run-down mobile home on an Indian reservation once. It was at Pyramid Lake. Not ours off Interstate 5 — the one up a smidge near Reno.

The local sheriff’s nephew warned that you could get “…shot, killed, beaten and stabbed, all at the same time. You go in there and they’ll slit you open like a canoe.” Good folks, them Paiutes. Seem to recall having a grand time that night.

I’ve played in rec rooms and lost Georgia farmhouses where you had to be careful not to win too much because the good ol’ boys sitting around the table were so formidable they terrified the Ku Klux Klan. You didn’t want to wake the next morning peering down from a cloud, realizing your last moments on Earth were as Purina Alligator Chow. I’ve played in casinos. Never recall having fun. Then there was our delightful and regular Monday night game in a Newhall bunkhouse-ette.

Most poker games, the serious money ones, are tedious tests of wills and stamina. My life span has decreased by decades from all the cigarette and cigar smoke compressed into an 8-by-8 room and increased by centuries from the laughter. There was beer, fast food, sadly, no fast women, ribald language and plenty of theater. Vampires all we, sometimes, a friend would bring a P.I.

Poker Imbecile. A mark.

I like to think we were kind to him and they’d always say it was the most fun they had with their clothes on for 20........

© Santa Clarita Valley Signal

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