Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Table stakes only

Following on from my last blog, I met Mrs AC at the airport on Friday morning and worked from home for the day whilst we caught up. I finished my work on Saturday and we'd arranged to have a couple of my friends and their partners round for dinner.

I've been friends with one of these guys since the early 2000s and there's virtually nothing we haven't got up to together - we've had countless drunken adventures together with the most memorable probably being separate trips for both our 30th birthdays. For his we ventured to Krakow where his dodgy Russian language skills got us taken to a brothel on the edge of a very rough looking part of town when he's adamant that he asked to be taken to a lively club where we could drink and dance. The highlight of my 30th birthday trip was a visit to a strip club in Budapest only for my dancer to kneel on my phone which was inside my pocket, call the original Mrs AC without my knowledge who then proceeded to listen to an hour's worth of drunken shenanigans (the hour international phone charge was the least of my worries when I got back from that weekend). And what was he doing whilst this went on? Well he was getting himself thrown out of the aforementioned strip club for getting up on stage and trying to dance using the pole. The other guy is an ex work colleague turned drinking partner. I don't think I've actually been in a social situation with him where we haven't been drinking - he's also a keen beer nerd like me and was very keen to sample the beer I'd picked up in Belgium during the week (the verdict was it's good but apparently needs to age for a few months to develop the full flavour range).

So, a dinner party involving us all is not the smart, sophisticated affair you might believe that all English folks have on a weekend. We had one at the first friend's a few years ago which involved quite a big fire in his garden, which was only partly intentional.

Over drinks and dinner we got talking about our trip to Las Vegas and Mrs AC professed her shock that I've never actually been to Vegas with either of these friends. I think we planned to go one year but the original Mrs AC fell pregnant so that scuppered that plan - if I ever find out who's responsible for that I'm going to have words with him!!

But we told our stories of our drunken idiocy which kept the girls amused until Mrs AC wanted to know the most salacious thing I'd ever encountered in Vegas. The oldest cost centre, who is still at the table trying to act grown up asks what salacious means, "It means it's time for you to get ready for bed as the conversation is going to get blue" I reply.

But I was actually stuck here because I had virtually nothing, I've never been to a strip club in Vegas, have only had a couple of brief and mostly uninteresting interactions with hookers and am generally in town on my own. I was trying to recall anything of interest that I've already blogged about (neither Mrs AC nor my friends know about this blog) but I've actually already told her most of my stories but then I had a flashback - it was the poker session with a very flirty lady who wanted to play for more than just table stakes.

This was about 4 years ago, just after I'd started coming here quite regularly and hadn't even come across a poker blog, let alone considered starting my own so I'd not started taking notes on players or hand histories which is why I've never posted this story before - there's obviously some Freudian reason why this had been repressed deep down in my memory and the reason for this will probably become obvious later on.

I'd been at the table for an hour or so and was enjoying my usual unhealthy intake of free beer when a lady sits down on my left hand side. She's got a drink in her hand and she says that she needs to get drunk to cheer herself up. Super - I've got a drinking partner now so I'm effectively not a solo drinking degenerate for a couple of hours. She clinks her glass against my bottle and necks her vodka and tonic whilst she's ordering another one from the waitress.

She says she's celebrating the anniversary of her divorce which is why she wants to get drunk. She asks about my marital status and I tell her that I'm divorced as well - this definitely perks her up as she tells me she's always had a thing for English guys. Now at this point it's probably pertinent to describe myself - at the time I was not really in shape and I definitely don't bear any resemblance to Brad Pitt or George Clooney. I've had a tough life (I always joke that my paper round was uphill both ways) and I probably look older than my true age of mid to late 30s (despite my mental age barely being out of the teens).

This lady has a problem though - although she's pretty and in good shape she's also at least 10 years older than me and I've never really been into that sort of Mrs Robinson thing. So I'm not overly interested in flirting with her although I'm more than happy to have a drunken conversation at the poker table. She's also very flirtatious with most of the guys at the table so this is probably just her being friendly rather than trying some sort of pick up. At this point of the story Mrs AC is in hysterics - she's 12 years younger than me and says she would have loved to have seen the look on my face when I'm being pounced on by a cougar.

But anyway - back to the story.

Over the space of an hour or so she continues to drink and flirt - she's also very tactile and puts her hand on my arm or neck whilst she's talking to me and more than once she's put her hand on my leg. Whilst I'm not an overly tactile person I'm not bothered as she's very friendly and it's a nice change to have a friendly female as opposed to the miserable guys who frequently populate poker tables.

This continues for quite a while and she's not afraid of divulging very personal information - delighting in telling the table about the boob job she's got planned and asking very personal questions of her neighbours - especially me. She's asks me how "big" I am and the dealer almost gets beer spat at him. I laugh at her and she then looks to see how big my feet are as she says you can tell a guy's size from that. She seems impressed at what she sees as she continues to flirt and talk suggestively.

But then I get into a hand with my new admirer. I flop the nut flush and get a call on all streets from only Ms Cougar until the river when I'm still holding the nuts. I bet $75 and she min raises to $150. I have her covered - maybe $350 left to her $200 so I need to raise. I decided to shove. I announce all in and she thinks for a bit and is acting a bit confused. I think the stack differences are the cause of her confusion.

"So it's $350 to me?" she questions. Well it's not is it? It's $200. The dealer confirms it's all in for her to call but she's still confused. She seems to think she can win my full stack if she calls and wins which is obviously wrong - she can only win whatever she can match. So she clarifies the situation. "I can only win an extra $200 from you?" following up with "Is there any way I can win all of it?"

She then leans into me and whispers in my ear "If you put your whole stack on the line I'll let you take me back to your room for the night". Ok - the dealer is now definitely wearing some of my beer.

Mrs AC is now on the floor upon hearing this tale of a cougar about to pounce on me. She tells the dinner table she can imagine me screaming in terror as I'm dragged off.

So back to the table - there's a problem. Ms Cougar might have thought that she whispered this offer to me and me alone but the alcohol has probably messed up her volume control. It was nowhere close to a whisper - the entire table and some of the players on the table behind have heard and are waiting for my response to being devoured by a hungry and horny cougar. Do cougars eat their mate after copulating? I'm not hanging about to find out or let her do either to me. There's shortly going to be an AC shaped hole in the nearest wall if this carries on.

I probably have a look of abject terror on my face and for once I'm completely lost for words. What the fuck is an appropriate response to this? Thanks but a polite decline? Pretend I've misinterpreted her advance and tell her that there's no need to clean my room as housekeeping does a sterling job?

Luckily the dealer helps me out once he's stopped laughing "I think it's table stakes only here" he pipes up with.

I remain silent, hoping that she doesn't make the offer again. She announces call and I turn over my cards and scoop the pot. She rebuys and goes back to her flirtatious self but doesn't mention her offer again, much to my delight.

So thanks to Mrs AC for providing the impetus to remembering this story - now off to raid the bar in the BA lounge at Heathrow (we're heading back to NY later today) as I need to drink to forget this again. It's either booze or subject Mrs AC to me waking up screaming in the middle of the night and booze is probably cheaper than therapy.


  1. Now that is a good poker story! Sometimes the predator and other times the pray, be it at a poker table or elsewhere.

  2. Hmmm ... can't say I've ever had that kind of an offer at the table in Las Vegas. I had an explicit offer of sex to meet someone there once, but that is a story for another day. But frankly, I have had a number of women interested in me in Las Vegas. Funny, but they mostly approach me about a date late at night while walking down the Strip...