January 13, 2005

Red Chip Diaries, Vol. 1: Meet the Freaks

As some of you may know, last year my buddy Lupus and I were professional poker dealers for several months in the Columbus, O. “charity” gaming scene. We would work about 30 hours during the weekends for $18/hr dealing both live games and tournaments, our boss being one of the sleaziest yet somehow oddly likable guys I’ve ever met. Apparently he figured out a loophole in the system where he can run “Casino Nights” every weekend in the Columbus area, saying they were for charity but I’m pretty sure he pocketed most of the cash.

Anyway, during our time there we came across tons of “interesting” and “pathetic” people and experienced some “ridiculous” and “utterly frightening” scenes and stories that I thought would adapt well to this blog. I could probably actually devote an entire website to my poker-dealing experiences but I figured I’d do a series of unscheduled posts whenever I felt led to do so. Hand to God, every single one of them will be at least 99% true.

To get to know the “Ohio Charity Gaming” scene, first you should know about the people in charge and the people that work there. This group of characters honestly competes with the entire casts of OZ and Dukes of Hazzard put together. The names will not be changed unless I forget their real name or if their nickname is cooler. Let’s begin…

Louis (aka Louie, Lou) – he founded the whole operation. Every Friday-Sunday almost 24 hours/day, live gambling can be found in some of Columbus’ finest establishments ranging from VFW’s to American Legions. “Ohio Charity Gaming” he calls it, supposedly the profits are supposed to go to charity, but again, I have my doubts.

Lou used to live in Vegas and plays in all the major poker tournaments that you see on TV, and he’s been doing it for years. He considers himself one of the “original guys” and also thinks he’s famous. I think he may have won a lot of money in Vegas back in ’88 or something. Anyway, most of the patrons kiss his ass like he’s some kind of white trash god (who is also oddly rich).

He’s a skinny guy w/ big gold-rimmed glasses and longish greasy hair. Never in my entire time working did I see him wearing anything other than a nylon windsuit w/ no undershirt, 1988 Reeboks or Asics, and a “classy” gold chain to accessorize. I honestly can’t think of anyone to compare him to.

Vicki – handles the money. She’s been a major player in the Columbus underground poker scene for like 20 years, seriously. About as trustworthy as she was friendly, and she was about as friendly as that little girl from The Ring, except the ring girl was more attractive. Once you get to know her, she’s not that bad though. Vicki clocks in at about 5’4”, 200lbs, most of the weight can be found in her ginormous boobs that I’m pretty sure became fused to her stomach. I found her size 346JJJ-sized bra on the floor once, but that’s another story for another time.

Lynnette – Vicki’s friend who helped out keeping the books. Really nice, really fat. Fatter than Vicki even. It looked like Lynette was hiding bowling balls in her arms - bowling balls made of motor oil. It was disgusting to watch her try and shuffle cards, like a midget trying to glue toothpicks together. Her fingers looked like overcooked hotdogs. She tried to hug me once, I about threw up and told her to get the hell away from me and never do that again. For some reason all of the dirty regular guys liked to hit on her, which I never understood (call me crazy). I still liked her though cause she was nice.

Gary & Young Chris – Gary and Young Chris were buddies in their mid-twenties who started dealing a few months before us. Pretty cool guys, Gary always had sweet names for poker hands and Chris always wore his Blue Jackets jersey which clung on to his 300lb frame for dear life. I gave him a ride home once, it was like 45 minutes out of my way.

Old Chris – he was a good guy too, probably about 45-50 yrs old. He liked Lupus and I, and we always had a running game to see who could rake the most money. He always wore his Kangol hat and had a cigar in hand. He also thought my shoes were neat.

Lupus & I – two stunningly sexy super-sweet stallions somehow smack-dab in the middle of the freak circus.

There were a couple other random people who did odd jobs, but quite frankly I didn’t like them and they are pretty much irrelevant to all of the stories, and society in general too.

This has officially become the longest post in the history of Robertcat’s Blog. I would not have read this many words if it wasn’t written by me, so if you made it this far - I’m proud of you. Stay tuned for the next volume of Red Chip Diaries where I may actually tell a story.

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