Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vampires and Poker

a vampire blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in general

This probably won't come as a surprise to you Blog-reading folk, but I'm a fan of America's newest and often the most dubiously rigged professional pastime…Poker.

Pocket Aces: The Best hand in Texas Hold'em

(Especially that suspicious World Series stuff on the tube. Jamie Gold sucking out in ’06 by winning with nothing but junk for ten or twelve straight hands in a row, then went on to win the title with hardly any resistance?? PLEAAASE!!)

Jamie Gold: He one more money for being an asshole then you'll ever see in your entire life Dude!

But, it still can be fun to play anyhow.

And of course I most often play the Texas Hold'em variety.

Oh sure, there are plenty of places to go if Vampires are looking to card-shark-it up cobrastyle…whether it’s the casinos in Vegas or super-duper secret Austin Vampire clubhouses that operate in the wee hours. Almost every one of them has a Poker room.

Quite a few Vampires are pro gambles actually. I mean really, does it seem all that farfetched to you? Most cash game Poker and whatnot takes place at night anyway, it’s really perfect for us…the hours are right up our alley (sometimes LITERALLY) and well, being permanently nocturnal has its advantages at the card table.

Why yesss, my blog-watcher children, you DID correctly sniff out a Chet-ragious sayings cliché’ coming on…as I’ve already said before, and I’ll probably say again to the infinitesimalist…VAMPIRES ARE NATURAL PEOPLE WATCHERS!!

(Whenever I do eventually pass on after my 1,000,000th “recreational” sponge bath, thousands of years from now in a nursing home on Europa space colony, some poor bastard schmuck is probably going to put that in all caps on my tombstone…with pepperoni and cheese!!)

Even before I was infected with the "V-Night Train" I had played Poker quite a bit, and knew that it’s at least 70% people observation.

Now, I'm just so much freaking better at it.

Take for instance this.

Let’s say that there is a certain super-duper-secret Vampire social club about a block or so from the UT campus that I like to visit with my posse. Let us also say that this club is called…umm….”Bloody Mary’s” (It’s not, but for the sake of my AWESOME storytelling impromptu naming skills let’s assume from now on that it is. )

Let’s say that myself, Trish, Remmy, Antoine, sometimes Stinky Linda, and once in a blue balled Moon her Normie bitchboy Claude have our weekly Poker Night there maybe once or twice a month, and then the rest of the time at Remmy's houseboat.

(I can't give you too many details about this said “Bloody Mary’s” social club…seeing as how you're NOT a member, but there’s a certain funkadelic bar and grill place you Austin Daywalker guys like to visit near the campus during the daytime that doubles as our hangout when no one else is looking…you’d never even know it was Vampie owned and operated unless someone told you…which I guess I kinda just did. HA! But SHADDAUP about it…okay? )

Anyhow, our Poker forays are without doubt further proof that even us Nocturnal cool kiddos are not exempt from the sin of too much repetition.

I’m in the habit now of noticing all these things.

Take for example my gal pal Trish.

My Vampire Friend Trish, as seen in her Sims 3 game

Here you have an adorably charming little pixie lass who’s been around a long time (as in a 530-something year old chickipoo who doesn't look a day over 24 ) yet she STILL has a lucky charm or two when she plays. A little miniature metal spindle whorl thingie she’s had for centuries that she sometimes uses as a card marker. She’s also got like this weird plastic little monkey…something that looks like it originally belonged in a tiny plastic zoo playset of well, zoo animals, that she’s rammed a hole straight through and attached a piece of braided string for a necklace as a kind of lucky charm. What’s so lucky about a monkey around your neck, I haven’t a clue.

When one who has never seen it before asks WHY she has a little plastic toy gorilla beating his chest hanging from her neck, her answer will always be...

“Because people ask me why…THAT’S WHY!!”

She always wears a blue scrunchie in her hair on Poker Night too…no matter how long her hair is, or even if her hair happens to be in its blue phase.

Trish also never takes a sip from her Appletini just before the cards are dealt. If she’s got a big hand she has an annoying tendency to whimsically bounce her feet under the table with her pink combat boots still on…OR to put her bare feet in other peoples…umm….PLACES where they don’t belong!

Appletini: The wimpiest drink ever created!

If she’s trying to be sneaky, she’ll likely start “coffeehousing” it up, or for you poor uniniatated with the slanguage non-Poker slobs out there, conversing and bullshitting with random chit chat during a hand…usually about geekdom stuff… like the latest episode of The Office or the “wonderful” complexities of String Theory

String Theory: Yeaaap, that's about what it's like to try and understand it!

(Which is practically an orgasm-and-a-half of excitement to hear about, let me tell you!)

When she’s having a tough time with the cards, she’ll start to mumble obscenities sometimes…especially in Middle English…as if someone else at the table doesn’t know how to speak it fluently. (Remmy, certainly not yours truly!! I was never that big of a weirdo in High School…once through the prison anal reaming…err…I mean LEGALLY REQUIRED CURRICULM of Canterbury Tales and Beowulf was enough!!)

My Vampire pal Remmy, as seen in Trish's Sims 3 game

Remmy is a kind of a throwback Poker dork. Yeaaap…he’s got to do it all up with a lucky suit vest and one of those uber gay green shadey visor thingies for your dome, like some old timey gamblers used to wear on their heads. He’d use a cigar to complete the look, except that the Remster has a dreadful dislike for anything and everything to do with smoking…so a Slim Jim that had been playing understudy to the cigar will get the lead part this evening.

Remmy doesn’t have too many obvious tells, but one thing I can say, for all the years I’ve known him is that his rather pointed Nosferatu ears tips, one or both of them, will flex a little bit when he’s starting to get emotional, the real trick for yours truly is to try and figure out if it’s a happy happy, joy joy kind of hand emotion, or if I’m whopping his ass and getting him flustery.

For some reason wearing his “Poker Uniform” gets Remmy all nostalgical about trains, a’la his days working for various railroad companies.

“ Chet, Did I ever show you the gold pocket watch given to me by Isambard Kingdom Brunel himself ?”

Whoever the Hell he is!!

Remmy particularly likes to impart a time he spent building a railroad bridge in British Africa with some guy named Patterson…helping him night hunt a pair of man-eating lions…which someone like Remmy (or me) would be ideally suited for.

If he’s in a rather watermelon Jolly Rancher (read: sucky) kind of mood, he might ramble on about how he wished we could just play a game of Pinochle Pinochle (pronounced like you just PEE-ed all over your KNUCKLE-s in the public toilet) instead. Oh, he did TRY to teach me once, about a decade ago, but in the end, trying to learn that game is just a big clusterphucking headache. In case you haven’t noticed by now, Remmy is rather fond of telling stories…which is one of the reasons why he is my best friend…and also the reason why he sometimes annoys the Hell out of me!!

Then there’s Stinky Linda and her bitchboy Claude.

I don’t recollecticate I’ve talked much about these two thus far, though I’m PRETTY sure I’ve mentioned Linda some time before….hmmm.

Anyway, of the Vampies in our little clique, Linda is probably the one who appears to be the oldest…in her mid to late thirties. (Though I THINK she’s 88 chronologically) Picture a woman about 5’9 with a lean, sinewy muscular ballet dancer’s kind of body, very long legs and short, boycut jet black hair with free falling bangs over her forehead. She’d be an almost perfect brunette tipped pencil of a skinny hardbodied Vampiress if it weren’t for her boobies and ass, which are both full, and bouncy. (Not as big a cup size as Sophie the blonde Amazon, but still very noticeable.) Her eyes are tiny little coal black marbles in appearance, each with a garnish of feminine eyelashes, a nose between those eyes that’s a tad too thin and raven dark eyebrows. I suspect in her pre-bloodsucking days Linda was likely olive toned in skin-shade, for even after the “milking” up of her skin due to Vampiritis, she’s still darker than the rest of us, only Antoine is darker. She kinda reminds me a bit of a short-haired Gina Gershon only not QUITE as hot.

Gina Gershon: FUN FACT, there's actually a FACE in this picture too yaknow? ;)

I also believe that she’s Italian, for I seem to recall her loudly screaming “Fongula” or is it “Voncula!!” in my face when she was bouncing up and down hard on my….uhh…err…nevermind.

That’s how I met her actually. (Linda I mean, NOT Gina Gershon ;) ) It had been quite a while after Sophie, and my last serious Normie girlfriend (perhaps maybe YEARS)… and it had been awhile too since she’d been with a Vampie guy, so we…uhh…both needed a little…umm…”exercise” and “company.”

(Hey, don’t be giving me that evil scowl …you have NO IDEA how hard it is to boink a lover with less…umm…vigor than you’d like to, ‘cuz you’re….umm…Vampire “enthusiasm” might snap their pelvis like a twig!! Doing Normies can be like doing it with one hand tied behind your back…umm…metaphorically speaking!! Sometimes Vampires just NEED to get it on with other Vampires, yadig?? )

Anyway, we transitioned out of the original “bootycalling” phase to just friendship some years ago now. She works as a “nighttime CPA” (whatever the Hell that means!) and is obsessed with fitness. (Bowflex, Bowflex, P90X!!) The reason why I often refer to her as Stinky Linda is because of her fondness of all things garlic…which I’m definitely not into in the slightest.

Her poker game is alright, but I still find it way too easy to escape when she’s trying to trap me with a monster hand…she’ll get a nervous laugh sometimes that sounds a little…umm…piggy oinkish. It’s cute.

Claude, Linda’s current Normie boyfriend is another matter entirely. Oh, it’s not that his game is so hot mind you, it’s that he’s soooo freakin’ annoying at the table. For those of you who know Poker fairly well, Claude’s Poker style is the embodiment of the “Tourist” type of player. A Phil Hellmuth kind of guy in attitude…. but not in skill.

Phil Hellmuth: Insane in the Membraaaaane

If you were to see me and my gang out at Whataburger late at night or something, you’d assume he’d be the “Daddy” of our little impromptu family, but you’d be wrong. See in your Sunshiner mind’s eye a man in his mid fifties to early sixties.

Loud Hawaiian shirts (he even has a Magnum P.I. ) that he tends to leave open one button too many exposing his salt-and-peppery white HUGE manbush of chest hair through the top of his wifebeater undershirt.

The Magnum P.I. Hawaiian Shirt: It made chest hair and The Stauche Famous!!

Stubble beaded, or sometimes he lets it grow out so that he kinda resembles that Santa Claus looking spokesman from the Christian Save The Children’s Fund Worldwide Scam International or whatever the Hell it’s called, or maybe a little like the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island.

A Parrothead reject.

Parrotheads: I told you Jimmy Buffet Fans are crazzzzy! ;)

He’s originally from Louisiana (I think I heard him say Houma or Slidell once) A Vietnam veteran. He often reeks of industrial barbecue pit smoke. He has a fondness for smoking cigars, Monte Cristos, not a bad choice if you’re gonna smoke a cigar, (though it bugs the helloutta Remmy) but what REALLY irks me is his need to chop them in half and make little fat stogies out of them. (If you’re gonna buy an expensive cigar, smoke it as is, don’t bastardize it and make it look like a little lit dog turd in your mouth for phucks sake!)

He drinks Shiner Bock like it’s water. He’s loud, he likes to talk a lot of trash at the table, and he has wild chip stack swings. Really I don’t know why Linda lets him shack up with her at her house in Pflugerville for as long as she has. I guess she’s got a fetish for hairy old dudes, and he also does favors for her during the day.

Shiner Bock: Beer so good, a dog will risk its life to open one for you!

I only put up with him in our games because he buys A LOT of my Bloody Tears Goat Whiskey, one of the few non-Gothic Normies who digs it…Oh, and he’s a “fish” with his Poker money.

Oh yeah and maybe because I feel a little sorry for him too. It’s not like he’s got anybody else anymore other than us. Poor Bastard.

The only one I can’t seem to get a good fix on is Antoine.

My Vampire boi Antoine

It could be that I’m not paying attention enough, or more likely that he’s just that freakin’ good at hiding his emotions at the table. Not that I’m all that surprised…this WAS what Tone used to do for a living in his normal life…card sharking in back alley clubs in the French Quarter..and playing music. He even likes to posh up his gear when he’s at the table with us…a flashy shirt, some Cool Water cologne, and this peal white vintage Homburg style hat with a peacock feather in the brim. Though he’ll dress down a lot more when he and I play heads-up on some early mornings during the week when it’s just the two of us available to hang out and we have nothing better to do. I’ll tell him about all the weird observations I’ve made about life over the last few nights, he’ll laugh that big boisterous proud laugh of his, and then maybe bounce some of his latest standup material off my ass…and I often laugh so hard with him the beer shoots out my nose.

(Beautiful image no?)

Sure, he takes some money off me…but I think I mostly hold my own against him, and make more than enough of it back when I take ol’Claude for most of his dough in the group games.

I guess that’s one thing I and Tone have over our buddy Ol’Timers. Remmy could ride and joust on a horse better than I could ever hope to in ten lifetimes…Trish can paint like the wind blows and make mad science inventions that scare the living crap outta people, Linda can do things with pasta, and Claude…umm…well…he can just be Claude, and try not to kill anyone.

Poker is a marker of MY time. Texas Hold’em is MY game…which is only natural seeing as how I’m the only native Texan in our bunch.

But, in the end, whether I kick ass at it or not, what I enjoy about it most is spending a few hours bluffing, chating, and yucking it up with my good friends.

After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Anyway, what TIME IS IT??

It’s poker game time, HOO!!

Do you play Texas Hold’em or Poker in general?

If so, how would you rate your game?

What’s a ritual that you and YOUR posse of friends like to regularly share together?

Ever played Pinochle?

Do know what “String Theory” is? If so, think you can explain it in a way that DOESN’T hurt my frontal lobes?

Think you could bluff a Vampire out of his money??

Because Hell is playing Pinochle with a bunch of Geeks discussing String Theory...


a cheeky vampire blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in generala cheeky vampire blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in generala cheeky vampire blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in general

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