All Cards are
by Eric Miller
A poker group
at the local tavern invited me to be a substitute.
They called themselves "The Studs,"
more for their aversion to draw poker than their
testosterone levels. I told them I was in.
I found the
number and monetary limits for raises too
limiting, as I believed that poker should
frighten your adrenal glands sufficiently to
induce rivers of sweat on the forehead and
patches of clamminess on the palms of the hands.
Penny antes and nickel raises didn't ignite
enough heat. I decided to sprinkle enough
adrenaline around the table to shorten some
breaths, to speed some heartbeats, and to tighten
some sphincter muscles.
your nickel and raise you a dollar," I said,
whoa, whoa; you can't do that," Ace Upsleeve
did," I observed.
allowed," Jack Spade snapped.
who?," I countered.
Quincy Queen announced.
don't say so," I differed.
the rule of the club," Klaus King whined.
let's change the rule," I stated.
do that," Harry Hart lectured.
course we can," I pressed.
sniveled Dennie Diamond.
moves to do so, and we all vote on it," I
explained, in my best parliamentary manner.
has moved to do so," Ace stated.
that we do so," I proclaimed. "All in
favor say aye."
the six men said, collectively.
have it," I announced.
say aye," Jack challenged.
either," said Klaus. "I said oy vey,
Thesaurus', as well as 'Roberts Rules of Order',
considers them synonyms," I noted. "The
bet is a dollar. Who sees it?"
dropped out. The pot was mine. Any one of them
had a higher hand than I did.
deal?," I asked.
deal them and shut up," Ace groaned.
I said, as I tossed cards around the table to
each of them. "We're playing six card no
peek. There will be two winners, one high and one
low. You can exchange one card for a new card,
fifty cents if it's up, a dollar if it's down.
The ante is a dollar. There are no limits on the
number of raises, but there is a limit on the
amount of a raise. It is twenty dollars."
collectively and in lockstep, fell off their
chairs to the floor. LaLa LaRue, the waitress
assigned to the game that night, rushed to the
table, fell to her knees, and began mouth to
mouth breathing on each fallen player in a
rhythmic cycle, pressing each sternum as she
rotated around the table. As each man opened his
eyes to look squarely into LaLa's seductive
peepers, a collective smile wrapped around the
"That was one hell of a game," Ace said,
offering an opinion with which the other five men
agreed. "Let's play that game again!"
Harry called out. "Bring another pitcher of
beer. No, make it two."