They call me "The Pro". It's my Official Poker Nickname.
The name was earned while playing cards at one of my favorite poker rooms "Chip's Poker Bar & Grill". The only poker room near my home. Located in Oregon's Beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Chip's Poker Room Bar & Grill is just across a river bridge and a couple stop lights. Boom! Couldn't be closer!
In a town called Bingen, Washington population like about one thousand. It is the Poker Room equivalent of the bar "Cheers". If I was ever I need a of a cheering section they would be the ones shouting for me to win it. One of my favorite places I am proud to have survived playing poker at.
A great game as far as the top notch wild action. A well run poker room by the owner Jonny. It is the last poker room I know of that charges an hourly fee still like the old days. Instead of a rake or drop. You can also deal your own cards if no dealer is available. We have added wild cards to Omaha Poker or played other poker games like Mexican Poker. The room only limits how big bets can be. And will play any game the players wish.
Finding good fair games is a must when playing for a living. And finding a good poker room just a couple miles from my life long home town. Again rare as it is the only game within an hour. I play there when at home. But prefer Poker trips or extended time dedicated just for poker work. Chip's game is where stay sharp as I really have to add dynamic to my game to keep a profit.
I had been sloppy though and found myself talking during a hand out of nervousness. I purposely said one phrase when I had a certain hand. Then said it again when his time doing holding the opposite poker hand. But talking about the hand for me was out of character and not something I usually had to work on controlling.
When I make mistakes that continue to occur after I noticed it. It becomes a potential danger to me that can be controlled if dealt with diligently. First I gauge whether or not it was out of line. Next now that I identified it some leeway on reoccurrence is going to exist. Depending on how long I had been making the poker error will influence my tolerance of a repeat. For example if I just found out something new that seriously demanded a change well that one is gonna be understood as possibly nothing I can do. But if I have been doing a no-no repeatedly beyond the normal. I go on an alert status. Habits form fast that are tough to shake. Along with the many players that have gone over the edge never to return. There is a tipping point I believe where to many factors will over whelm what was before just barely holding on.
That is what it is like to play for a living if you have a loose wire or two like me. Constant battle to maintain a good balance of reality. I am winning making money for years how can I look back at all the times I broke things in anger or even cried about a bad day, week or even month. I have never lost ever! Broke even a few months one time. That was due to cheaters.
I always felt okay there at Chip's. If I ever wondered whether or not I was gossiped about when I left. I would laugh a little and be like of course they are likely talking smack. They do it to everyone. Some just nicer about than others. Dick was a topic every day and the man responsible for my poker nickname becoming used daily. Dick is wearing the green shirt with suspenders in the photo below.
My last time playing him was heads up. Rare for that poker room. The game was Omaha Hi Lo Split. I never can remember a better run of cards heads up ever. Dick was like just passing every pot to me. I don't remember one time that night he acted like his usual self.
Usually a huge Dick that complained every hand I ever beat him on. Or even bet on. Not that night though. I was even honestly spooked at my own cards like what the heck can the dealer be doing this or some cosmic force. A super good poker hand over and over. Flopping the nuts or something like it. I felt like I was being gifted that moment or some shit cause he had said something that really pissed me off the week before. Something that I was already fighting for my life on.
Which was I was an idiot that should be in jail for not dosing anything illegal or some shit. I didn't know before that but this Dick was a former prison guard I am no criminal but have been locked up at least 20 times or so. All over marijuana I got caught with just out of high school. So being locked up with murderers and everything I own taken was not even bothering me as much as the recent events this last few years. Worse than ever accused of a crime of the century.
I had yelled at an intruder who was in my home against both me and my spouse orders. I did say hurt me or my family and I am gonna fuck you up. While the policewn were on the way my spouse at the time stubbed a toe. I swear it...stubbed her toe. The intruder said I was out of control and was taken out of my own home. Obviously very pissed both hands in jail and was actually scared. They charged me with assualt for yelling at this bitch lady who would not leave my house. Yeah I had been told she was dangerous and to watch out. So anyway I am on probation for yelling at an attacker during a home invasion. What the hell first for weed now yelling at someone I would have got a weapon for if male. Wow just like that everything was gone for me.
So I was getting back on my feet when Dick said I should be in jaiI if I do drugs and I was an idiot. I almost had a blow up and hit him. Which I never hit anyone so am not sure how close I was to absolute destruction. But he told me he had done time too. He was a prison guard though. I don't only imagine that kind of hard job. So I felt sorry for him a little and mad at him to be involved with taking peoples freedom like mine and worse.
Dick did not mumble anything I can remember while I was putting the hurting on him over and over heads up the next weekend. I kicked his big ass over & over without any skill. The cards just fell into place like I have never seen before. The game was Heads Up Omaha Poker hi/lo split with a kill. So bad was his beating even I got scared it was unnatural somehow.
The one night he could have legitimately complained was the one night he said nothing! Ever other night though I could not even bet a hand without serious whining about it. We always played with like nine or ten of us. The heads up game was a fluke to even happen I was shocked we even played. You'll see in the next page why. Below is a picture of Dick. Green shirt with suspenders. Dick passed away shortly after our game.
I usually play cash games at live poker rooms & I showed up to play a juicy holdem full kill cash game and somehow had the day wrong. It was tournament night. I seldom bothered as the money to be made wasn't worth my time to put in. At home I played less to conserve myself for the long poker trips I took.
So some how I had thought it was Friday when it was Thursday. The tournament was getting ready to start I was already there which is half the battle for me. I was at work might as well work.
So I know just about everyone that plays in the cash games there. The tournament crowd was for the most part a few faces I knew with a couple names the rest were anybodies guess.
So there is one guy I had played with before. Named Richard who went by the name Dick sure did a great job being a good fit for his name too.
He was on some type of medication along with a mental trauma of somekind. The only way you could spot anything strange was his overwhelming grimace that he would make when putting chips in the pot.
I watched many times to look for a tell or pattern. It was not acting that's for sure. Poor Dick was often one of those that find themselves part of a joke at the poker game. Verbal assaults were normal at this poker room if you played the verbal assaults game.
Those who behaved or chose not to participate were usually left out of the joking volleys of insults, innuendos, trick questions, or jokes. I liked to stay out of them whether or not done for fun. It was crude and disturbing at times like men can be when drinking and hanging with the boys.
Dick was not like that. He was often mocked or made fun of because of his whining & tantrums though that were actually allot scarier when he had them as he weighed a good 300 or so pounds.
The jokes were plentiful about Dick. Often it was something to do with winning. Or the huge grimace, sort of a smile with a strained involuntary muscle contraction is what it was. And only when putting chips in the middle. Even though Dick was a nice guy he could be a real prick. Usually a scene was followed with him apologizing if out of line. So anyway I knew Dick only from one previous cash game.
We are five handed on the bubble at the tournament's final table. This is where I excel as a player. So time to win money. Short handed, large blinds & antes and my favorite part of tournament play "the bubble". Where the solid players lose their edge and the loose players are fewer and farther between.
Well out of the five there were two players soon one of them would be the bubble boy. Landing me easily in the money and beyond. First guy was a super loose yet passive player who drinks a bit. Second is Dick who was semi-solid but passive.
The other two were super rocks that always were making it to the end but rarely got top place. They were conservative and easy to read when holding a hand. I just needed to put the wild man strategy of mine into a cruising gear and be a little picky when playing a hand.
I would never ever do this but the line up was perfect for smooth easy bluffs to be enjoyed if I didn't over do it too much. I could set a clock alarm when it was time to bluff a pot again and they would still look down at their cards shaking their head saying "take it" but one of these times.
That is when to my terror I heard something about chopping the prize pool. I pretended not to notice. They hashed it out and I was the one player left not already on board. Which was just simply pay five places instead of four & have the bubble behind us.
I knew no way this was happening. I wanted the short handed bubble play. Even if I lost and was knocked out I was willing to take the chance. I had a reputation as the Best Holdem Player in the place and was worried about being knocked out and embarrassed.
Last time I had played I was way to aggressive when the blinds got just right and got slammed by a big hand someone had in the blind. A chip leader then a 10th place walk. It is impossible to play exactly perfectly smooth here in my experience so I value over aggressive mishaps. I will not tolerate overboard scared weak play though.
The end of a poker tournament is like riding a wave you know will usually end in a wipe out. But one or two good waves that you ride to the end pay will leave a feeling of accomplishment.
When I met Dick a few games before he had said he did not want to play against a pro. Which the guys ofcourse had told him in a ha-ha type of way. Like why did you call him Dick he's a pro you know. A little bit of a jab to me a pro playing in a game with less than one million dollars on it. Which meant I was not really not a pro due to that I had a normal home, vehicle and was on a budget all the time.
That's cause of a few reasons one of which is I never took big risks. I didn't have a rich daddy or back up at all. Along with the fact I was very sick for ten years limited my ability to put in more that 25 hours a week or so. Anyway it was the only work I did for money and it was a small town where everyone knows everything about you. They knew that's all I did was play card professionallly. I was just not on T.V. playing in the big games. I also was never broke though either.
Anyway so after playing dumb toward the proposed deal on splitting the prize pool five places instead of four. I acted like I was thinking it over. But I was trying to find a way to say no without having hard feelings that could haunt me later as the owner was also on the bubble and one of the dealers.
I almost did it out of pure willingness to avoid hurt feelings. I knew I was in a good spot just not convinced I had enough experience or skill to avoid fouling up though. Getting knocked out was an issue. I could here it "dumb ass didn't want to chop and got knocked out".
I put on my big boy pants and said lets just play it out. I wanna see how I do. After all I dont get much practice or some lame excuse. So game on. Then Dick blew up all the sudden. Dick frantically cussing the situation looking for a reengaged debate and plea for fairness as he mentioned loudly " I chopped last time when I didn't even want to" obviously the previous time he was a major chip holder. Today it was a close chip count between him and the player bound to be the tables least capable. I told Dick he shouldn't have chopped it then.
Of course all the pre-bubble deal struggle had made it way more intense. Me as the primary villian of the crime. Well it went on for a while then Dick got knocked out. Me rooting for him out loud during the had was my weak attempt to maintain the peace whether he won or not. And I wanted him to win for strategic reasons yet also probably wanted him to lose cause he was a Dick to me.I waited for the eruption and boy it was a big one.
Even though he was around 60 he was a very big boy over 300 and able to move around well too. Fishing & doing laborious chores common to the rural lifestyle made left some of the older guys tough as nails. Dick was one of them and like me a bit of a mental case with anger management issues. Poor Dick's heart was going that night cussing his way out the door saying he would never come back as long as I played there.
A small poker room is easy for a guy like to find unwelcome. Most places would be assholes just because I don't tip like other players. Then if you hurt the tipping machines you are half way on the chopping block. I needed the game to stay open for me as I had to commute over an hour to play any where else. Usually I just headed out for a couple weeks then back again.
I liked it there though I could relax there on break as the crowd was mellow diverse. They are one of the most indistinguishably well run poker rooms I know of even though farm animal or other vulgar comments are used as ammo in the endless ping pong or tennis type exchanges of verbal domination between some of the regulars. I really hated it for a long time. It was really part of working there. I had to bite my tongue not to bitch. Having the new nickname was a little nerving too "the Pro".
Dick was made fun of for the next month he didn't come in due to a pro being there. The owner full of funny things to say like a loaded semi auto with a large clip. He always had a joke, some funny gossipy comments. My favorite was he would laugh so hard at things that were funny to me too. And getting me to smile was hard as I was in pain allot.
I enjoyed his jokes when not related to pedophiles in the news or sheep herder jokes. After that night it was "who bet....oh it was the pro..well in that case since the pro bet i will just fold. It was a great poker nickname to have as i already had dealt with explaining many times to him the owner of the poker room that it is good business to have a consistent winner like me play even though money does technically leave.
I have been in jail five or so times this last couple of years for a misdemeanor I didn't do and was forced to take a plea bargain on. Just got out again last month so...guaranteed they all passed around the online jail photo of me being booked in. A great website that displays all inmates is a huge hit in my home town area. I don't get it but some people look every day to see whose in the dang jail. So every time I go to jail I know there will be Q & A when I go back. How was the food which they know sucks or some smart comment like nice photo or what not...laugh.
Usually it is the comedian owner taking shots at the opening a trip to jail has to offer. So I told him the truth one day. I told him about the poker game inside and about one guy in there for killing two folks. I told John if he ever ended up in our local prison / jail watch out for the murderer named Rocco. He was like why with a legit puzzled look into a serious issue. I'm really sorry John. I had the nuts but he sucked out on the river. I lost you to a guy named Roco on the river. I had to pretend I had a bitch to look tough. You were the first person I thought of sorry man.
Last time I had brought the owner a real "shank". I told him it was for him to have as a souvenir. I said just not to tell anyone. It was given to me by another inmate. Worthy craftsmanship I was impressed with. Home made with material ground up & mixed with jelly. Then compressed & dried out to form a type of super hard ceramic mixed with other material. Anyway I used it for a pen holder. The tiny mini pens they give you. Pens so tiny they are hard to even hold on to. Tiny so they cannot be made into a sharp stabbing objects.
So now I was ready to make my move as payback to the owner's jail jokes that were below par for the place. But still my life was torn apart due to B.S. I didn't do. So going to jail there is not a no big deal type thing. It's a real life & death thing to have your things impounded home taken etc. Then as a bonus jail where no bills can be paid home lost and that is if you are lucky like me and only have to fight here or there. Nobody messing with you is what I'm saying.
So I tried to take the jokes like all of us there eventually get teased. He could not find much to teased me about usually except my booking photo I looked like crap. Or how was the food which they from me sucks. I would try to act like no thing. I had my usual cell reserved already and wasn't too bad. Truth is my entire well being got destroyed by the whole bunch of it.
So that was two years ago. Just got out last week again. Ten days only for drinking three shots after losing my uncle. The closest male relative I had left. Ten days was getting off easy most think. I don't not when framed from the get go. Since then I have got in a police chase along with everything I own and my beautiful vehicle impounded three times. I am a dam nerd not some hard ass thug. I ride motorcycles play poker and jaywalk when possible but hey nobody is perfect.
Rest in Peace fisherman Richard better known as "Dick" what a dick.Top of Page