Part of what drives us to the poker table are the interesting people we meet and the friends we make while playing a game we love. Poker is a game open to people of all colors and creeds. It's truly a melting pot of cultures that meet on the green felt.
And then there are those other times when we find ourselves across the poker table from a person we just can't stand. Friday was one of those days.
The trouble began when a Binion's Horseshoe regular we will call The Complainer accidentally mucked one of her cards when she would have chopped the pot in a $1-$2 blinds no-limit hold'em game. She grabbed the card and turned it over, but a man we will call The Angle Shooter took the pot he was entitled to under the rules, although a gentleman probably would have split the riches.
The Complainer kept incessantly barking at The Angle Shooter, who had a friend at the table. This friend will henceforth be known as The Donkey. John, another regular and friend of The Complainer, raised the $2 big blind to $15 and The Donkey called in the small blind. After a flop of , The Donkey checked and John bet $15. The Donkey check-raised to $45 and John called. After the hit the turn, The Donkey went all in for about $100 and John called. The Donkey won with his after a meaningless card hit on the river. John held .
"We've got donkeys in this game," The Complainer said - loud enough for the entire Binion's poker room to hear - obviously referencing The Donkey and The Angle Shooter. Never mind that her friend called a $30 check raise on the flop with second pair.
The Donkey took the abuse in stride. On the next hand, he said, "Donkey bets $11" as he pushed some chips into the pot.
"They call me a donkey online a lot," he confided to us players on his end of the table. "I don't like it very much."
Meanwhile, The Complainer continued to bicker at The Angle Shooter, who was sitting immediately to my right.
"I should invest in headphones," he muttered to me.
Finally, The Angle Shooter couldn't take any more verbal abuse. "How long do I have to hear this?" he shouted at The Complainer.
"As long as you're sitting at this table," she responded.
"If I wanted to keep getting bitched at I would have stay married to my ex-wife," he said.
The Donkey tried to make the peace, after all the disturbance. "I think we all need a big group hug," he said. "Here, how about a hug?" he added, while motioning his arms toward the dealer, a woman named Selma.
Selma already had an annoyed look on her face. Now her expression practically turned morbid.
"OK, folks, let's cut it out and play poker," Selma commanded.
And with that the war was over and the poker action continued.
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