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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

The Back Room – Moustache Mary

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The only mouse you’ll find in the back room of the Farm Barn is one that scurries away from the light and the sound of a poker game that runs late night once a week – no computers, no internet poker, no electronic gadgets allowed.

I stood in the doorway of the back room at the Farm Barn Siding and silently swore.

The game was in two days and last week the room had been about a third filled with sacked grains. We worked around the problem of room fairly well. But, this? I just wasn’t sure about this.

Someone had gotten into the room and cut every reachable bag on the outer row, as high up as they could reach from the looks of it. Sixty, seventy bags slashed at forty pounds the bag. A lot of grain spilled.

I set off looking for Clovis. I damned sure couldn’t shovel up all that stuff and wouldn’t know where to put it anyway.

I was blind to everything but my problem, so I ran into something soft and cuddly any other man would have seen - barring double advanced cataracts. Maybe even then.

“’Pardon, me!” I barked, “Didn’t see you.”

“That’s because you don’t look, Lum,” came a well known, nicely modulated voice from about eight inches below my chin.

Moustache Mary; she’s one of my most favorite people. She owns the local convenience store over by the High School and a couple of squares of property outside town. The lady is no dummy and one of the most deadly poker players in our group. As a matter of note, I think she goes easy on several of the boys just to keep them in the game.

It’s seldom she has time to get run over behind the Farm Barn. So I asked her: “What’re you doing back here in the daylight?”

You can see, right away, that I’m a bit scrambled where it counts when she’s around.

She grins and says: “You’re here.”

“Yes, well.”

“I was here on other business and saw you over here, and thought I’d ask about a sticky point on a hand Friday.”

“Mary, I don’t have the time right now.”

“The grain?”

“Yeah.” I say, easing my way around her. “I need to tell Clovis about the mess.”

“He knows.” She informs me. “He’s making arrangements to have it cleaned up. He said he figures it’ll get done before Friday’s game.”

“The guy has eyes in the back of his head.” I said. “How’d he even know something happened back here?”

Mary shrugs and interesting things went on. “Does it matter. He knows and it’s his business, and it’s being taken care of.”

“Yeah. I guess so. So, what may I do for you?” I say. I’m also keenly aware that talking with this woman will make me appear to be full of double meaning speech. She handles it well. Though I often think she’s enjoying it. Maybe she’s even encouraging it.

“Well, Friday I was dealt a small pair and the flop brought me another of my pair.”

“Okay. What do you want to know?”

“Simple. What’s the best play?”

“Mary. You’re one of the best players we have. What’re you trying to pull here, Girl?”

“Seriously, Lum. I usually call here if not the first to act, but any more it doesn’t feel right. I’ve started thinking that’s wrong because I’m either losing the hands or money. I haven’t figured which, or more probably, both.” She says.

“I can relate to that,” I say, “Poker is changing. Still in this case the old school thought seems to be best. Raise; both for value and protection. The reason for that is 2-pair, straight and flush draws. If the draws hit, then you’re probably going to lose a lot of money.”

“Okay. Now! When are you coming by for coffee?” She asks.

Looking at her, appreciating her standing there without leaning into or away from me, I ventured to say: “Soon, Mary.”

She grins and nods, as she moves off.

For those wondering how she got the name “Moustache,” well, I’ll tell you – someday. But, for now, you didn’t hear that. We call her “Mary.” Yeah, she knows the nickname and doesn’t blush when she hears it. But we don’t use it talking to her.

*Find the ongoing Back Room Tales in our Poker Wall Section - or type The Back Room in 'search.'  And for the sake of discussion, you'll find The Back Room tales in this thread in the forum.

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