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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

The Back Room – Leverage

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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 was having one of those restless periods. Couldn’t sleep, the television had the appeal of coyote ugly and the town was quiet.

I went off to the shop.

One would think, if at 2:30 in the morning, that quiet would mean just that. Quiet. About the time I got the lights on in the work area, the phone rang. “Who?” I growled into it.

“Lum? It’s Mary. You alright?” came the slow voice.

“Well, yeah. Of course. What’s up?” I wondered out loud.

“Nothing! I was up and I saw the light go on over there and wondered who was in the shop, that’s all.” She said. “Will you be there long?”

“Don’t know. I can’t sleep, just thought I’d do something.” I explained.

“Wonderful,” she says, “I’ll be right over.” And she bangs the telephone down, leaving me, if you’ll pardon the expression, a buzzing in my ear.

So I go back to examining the roll-top desk I had glued up during the day yesterday. That desk was a wonderful piece of work sitting there in the middle of the floor. Good work.

Tap, tap. I looked up to see Mary at the door holding a covered plate. It turned out to be a plate of chip cookies. Mary usually offers home baked stuff, and this was no exception.

“Your table image is noted, Lady.” I said. “But what are you really holding?”

She grins at me over the coffee cup and makes her eyes go wide: “Why, Sir, I’m holding the nuts at this table.”

“Oh, really, or are you just making the image look loose and aggressive?” I say, grinning back.

About that time a voice bellows through the joint – the voice follows a medium sized dog coming around the corner from the work shop. The voice is none other than Rimshot, and the dog is none other than his trusted herd dog, Ghost.

Ghost is gray speckled black. Ghost is really a beautiful dog, and generally a pretty polite animal. But he rides on the back of the truck and stays there while they’re in town. What’re they doing this early?

“Rimshot?” I yell back,

“Don’t yell,” he says, coming into the office and helping him self to the cookies, “I’m right here.”

“Yeah, I see,” I say, “and don’t be giving Ghost one of those . .” which was too late. He’d already done it and Ghost grinned at me.

“You could, you know, try to get it back.” Rimshot slow rolls the challenge.

“Ah, with forty-two teeth and his lips curled back like that? No way. He has too much leverage.” As I settle back in the chair.

“Leverage?” Rimshot asks rather a pensive question, looking between me, the dog and the cookie. I suppose I should say the crumbs the dog was licking up.

Mary had been sitting silent watching, as is her habit. She pipes up with; “A light coming on, Rimshot?”

“Mm, yes,” he’s thinking aloud now. “The last Back Room game I asked Lum and Seamless how they ousted me off that big pot. They got to talking about table knowledge and Lum, here, explained he had outside knowledge he used as leverage. I didn’t really understand what they were trying to tell me.”

“And now you do?”

“I think so,” he says, “I was fairly deep stacked, but the two of them whip-sawed me close to the felt on the hand, and then Lum made it so I either went all-in or give up the pot. I wanted to continue playing and was short of money while I’m waiting for the cattle sale this morning, which is what Lum said he knew outside going in. He used it to leverage me out of the pot, big time.”

Mary got a wolfish grin and said: “That’s, Lum.” As she said it she wrinkles her nose.

Mary wrinkling her nose is clue enough for me, I look around and realize that Ghost had gone missing. I peeked around the corner and looked into the work room. Sure enough, there’s a big yellow puddle a foot high on the side of that unfinished desk and spreading across the floor.

“Say, Rinshot,” I throw out, “let me ask you a couple of questions, “did you give Ghost a chance to walk before you came in? Or did you just come busting in? And, I suppose I need to ask, how much will you make, do you think, when the cattle sell at auction today?”

Rimshot goes over to take a look, and vanishes out the door with Ghost.

I yell after him: “Seventy-two hundred, Rimshot. Seventy-two hundred dollars!”

Mary and my laughter is pretty well drowned out by Rimshot’s truck squalling tires out front.

“Now, that’s leverage.” She says.

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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