April 29, 2006

A Play A Day #15

_______ Hold'Em

Setting: Poker table, one light over head, cigars and whiskey all around.


Gramps: (dealing 5 cards to each of the younger players) Alright, ante up. 10 to play. Straight poker, it's all about the bluffing, kids. All about the bluffing. And the tells, watch your tells.

Stan: Ah, Gramps, I thought we were going to play Texas Hold'Em.

Fred: Yeah...

Nate: That's what we usually play, Gramps, you know if...

Gramps: Don't know how to play that.

Buck: We can teach ya, Gramps; it's simple.

Gramps: My Grampa always used to say that if ya weren't playing straight poker then you were playing queer poker!

Nate: No, hey now, no fags here! We just like Texas Hold'Em.

Fred: You'll see... it's a great game.

Stan: You'll like it. Give it a chance.

Fred: We've been playing it almost every Saturday for 'bout two years now.

Nate: Poker night.

Gramps: Queer poker night.

Buck: No, come on, we all love it.

Stan: Yeah! Let's go. Deal'er up, Pete!

(Pete looks at Gramps and then the cards in his hand)

Fred: Little and big, start at 2,4.

Buck: Deal, Pete.

Nate: What's the delay?

Pete: It's just that... well... we've played Texas Hold'Em so long, and I'm kinda sick of it.

Fred: Come on! We always play, man!

Stan: Tradition, man; it's tradition. It's good to have some tradition, you know.

Pete: Yeah, I know, but...

Nate: Yeah, something you can count on.

Pete: Sure, I...

Buck: Deal. Pete.

Pete: It's just that I learned a new...

Stan: The game's Texas Hold'Em, Pete

Nate: Yeah, you know that.

Fred: Always has been. We play Texas Hold'Em here.

Buck: Deal. Pete!

Pete: Alright, I know, I know, I know... but there's this new game I learned...

Buck: Jesus... are we gonna get to play tonight, huh?

Nate: Alright, alright... what's the new game?

Stan: It's poker, ain't it!

Pete: Yeah, yeah. It's poker. It's really...

Fred: At least we got that.

Pete: ...really fun, you'll see.

Nate: Right... what's the game?

Pete: It's called Minnesota Hold'Em; O.K. No one gets dealt any cards, and then we start...

Gramps: No cards? What the hell kinda poker's that?

Buck: It's kinda hard to call it "Hold'Em" when you ain't holding anything, Pete.

Pete: Just a name, guys; don't worry. It's great. O.K. Everyone antes up for their neighbor. Five to play, unless you don't have it; then the person on your left also antes up for the person you were supposed to ante up for. We don't want anyone to be "the" dealer; so we each take turns dealing one card face up to the center of the table until we go around twice.

Stan: Twelve cards? Face up?

Pete: Yeah, then the betting starts...

Fred: The betting? On what?

Nate: Ummm... Pete...

Pete: The betting starts on the cards that have been dealt face up, and we take turns...

Nate: ...Pete...

Pete: Yeah?

Nate: We are all betting on the those twelve cards?

Pete: Yep.

Nate: And they're all face up?

Pete: Yeah, that's what I said, wasn't it?

Buck: (unbelieving) Yes! But you can't do that!

Pete: What? No! No! Let me explain! O.K.?

Nate: Everyone has different cards they select, or something?

Fred: It'd have to be something like that.

Pete: No... it's like this, the betting starts. The first person to bet is the person who is most able to sincerely sound like they don't actually want to bet at all. Then, when we've reached consensus on who that person is, he starts the betting.

Buck: We discuss?

Pete: Yeah, it's a very social game, you know. The betting continues around the table to the left, unless the group would rather that it go to the right, in which case it goes around to the right.

Buck: We discuss?

Pete: Right, now with the...

Buck: We "reach consensus"?

Pete: Yeah, consensus. Now, the betting is pretty...

Buck: Pete.

Pete: ...straightforward, each person gets...

Buck: Pete.

Pete: ...to bet whatever amount...

Buck: Pete.

Pete: ...they want; they don't have to call...

Buck: Pete!

Pete: Yeah?

Buck: We don't "reach consensus".

Pete: What?

Buck: Not here. No consensus. We don't "discuss" things.

Pete: Sure we do; we always discuss things during poker.

Buck: No. No, we don't. We don't discuss. Not here. We make fun of each other. We talk about poker, whiskey, tits, cunts and ass. We bullshit. We fuck around. We don't discuss. Anything. Ever. Not here.

Pete: I think we do.

Buck: You want to discuss something? Go talk to your doctor, and ask him exactly how your head made it into your ass in the first place.

Pete: Come on; just let me finish.

Nate: Leave him be, Buck.

Stan: Yeah. Finish up, Pete.

Gramps: Shit. My Grampa'd be slapping me silly right about now.

Fred: I'm with you, Gramps. Just tell how the game goes, Pete, but there's no guarantee we're playing it.

Pete: O.K. O.K. Let's see... oh... yeah, the betting. So, as I said, anyone gets to bet whatever they want, don't have to call the bet on the table, or anything like that, can raise any amount they want...

Nate: Wait. So they don't have to call the bet?

Pete: Nope.

Nate: So they fold then.

Pete: Huh?

Stan: Well, they'd have to fold, Pete. You know, if they didn't call the bet. You call, or you fold.

Pete: Well sure, in Texas Hold'Em, but this is Minnesota Hold'Em, you just bet what you feel you're able to bet, and it goes around to the right. You don't have to fold if you don't want to.

Fred: Then why the hell would you bet at all?!

Pete: Well, you bet because, if no one bet, then there wouldn't be a pot of money for anyone to win.

Fred: So! You can still win, even if you don't bet!

Pete: Right, there's the ante for people to win, but that's really not enough.

Fred: This would take forever.

Pete: No, people bet; because it's the nice thing to do. So people bet even if they don't want to; because it's polite. It would be pretty rude not to bet, actually!

Buck: Fuck, Pete, you just said we didn't have to bet at all!

Pete: Right, and you don't! But, I mean, everyone bets. But you don't "have" to.

Buck: Fuck.

Stan: So, after everyone has bet or not bet, what happens?

Pete: Well, Stan, the betting continues until there's a general consensus reached that the betting is done, and...

Nate: Wait a sec here, what exactly are we betting on until we reach consensus?

Fred: Exactly what I'd like to know.

Gramps: Yeah, count me in on that.

Pete: I was just getting to that... o.k.? You're betting on the twelve face-up cards on the table.

Stan: Everyone?

Fred: On the same cards?

Nate: The cards everyone can see?

Pete: Right! You got it! You bet on the best hand of five cards you can make out of the twelve.

Nate: Oh... so when someone claims a particular five-card hand, no one else gets to claim the same hand?

Pete: No! That would be stupid. Everyone can claim the same hand if they want to; we all have the same twelve cards in front of us, remember?

Buck: Fuck.

Stan: Pete, that makes no fucking sense! We're all good poker players; we'll all be able to pick out the highest hand!

Fred: Fuck.

Pete: No, here's how it happens: You try to help your neighbor by convincing them that you only need to take a lesser hand, and that they really should take a better hand from the twelve cards. Then the person who gets talked into the highest hand wins that round.

Buck: Fuck.

Nate: Why would you want to take a lower hand? What the hell's the point!?

Stan: Fuck.

Fred: Fuck.

Pete: You don't "want" to take a lower hand, because you want to win the hand, but everyone takes a lower hand anyway, because it's polite. Then the winnings are divided equally between everyone playing, and a new deal starts.

Nate: What?!! The fucking winnings are divided equally!? Why the fuck would you do that?!!

Buck: Fuck.

Pete: Well, you don't have to divide the winnings, but it's the nice thing to do; so everyone does it.

Gramps: Then who the hell wins?!

Pete: That's the great thing about Minnesota Hold'Em! Everyone wins! It's great! Alright, I'll start the first deal! (lights start to fade out)

Buck: Fuck.

Nate: Fuck.

Stan: Fuck.

Fred: Fuck.

Gramps: Fuck.

Pete: O.K. Ante up five for your neighbor, or ten if you want to! You don't have to, but it'd be great if you did. (Lights out)



Anonymous said...

5 minutes later and I'm still laughing.

- Your favorite wife

ShOI said...

I don't have to say that was a funny play, but it's the nice thing to do.