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    ChuckyTheGoat's Avatar SBR PRO
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    (Zoom into the Rio Poker Room)
    LON McEACHERN (on ESPN): “These players have been playing in the WSOP Main Event all week. A field of 14,000 players has been thinned down to 40.”
    NORMAN CHAD: “Four tables left. These players have defied the odds. Luck or skill, they are now so close to achieving life-changing wealth.”
    (Pan to poker table. It’s Mike McD in seat 6. He puts a sizable river bet into a healthy pot.
    Mike pauses and then gives a stern look to his opponent in seat 8. Seat 8 inhales…and then contemplates the stakes he’s playing. With an exhale, he mucks his hand and purses his lips.)
    MIKE McD (scoops the chips with both hands, looks to the left to acknowledge his foe): “Good fold!”
    Mike starts re-stacking his chips. The female dealer stands to leave, and a male shadow stands over the dealer chair.
    Mike glances upwards and his mouth is now agape. It’s a familiar face, Mike thinks he sees a ghost. It’s Worm!
    WORM (swivels the chair and takes his seat as the new dealer, sporting an ear-to-ear smile): “Mike McD! Still grinding it out on your leather ass all these years later.”
    WORM exhibits the same quick shuffle trick that did him in so many years ago: “How ARE you, Mike?”
    MIKE (regaining his composure, now accepting that this is reality and not a dream, half-smiles): “I’m good.”
    PA ANNOUNCER: “All players will be on a ten-minute break after completion of the current hand.”
    WORM (sly smile): “Aren’t you glad I got you back rounding?”
    MIKE (matching smile): “Yeah, I am.”
    Mike stands up and heads for the doors. He needs a few minutes to clear his head.
    STRANGER (who is playing at the same table): “Mike!”
    Mike is still flummoxed from seeing Worm. Mike doesn’t know this face: “Yeah.”
    STRANGER: “I’m Steve. Stevie Knish…Joey’s son. My dad used to tell me about you.”
    MIKE (now putting it together): “Oh! Yeah! Stevie! (Flashes the Mike McD million dollar smile) Look at you, you’re all growns up now. Yeah, your dad talked about you. Wow.”
    STEVIE (now pushing 30): “Dad told me that you were the best.”
    MIKE (modest, eyes raised): “I don’t know about that. (Dramatic pause) Hey, I…heard about your dad. Heard they car-bombed the shit out of his truck while he was delivering The Daily News. I used to drive that route…..Sorry, man.”
    STEVIE (nodding): “Thanks.”
    MIKE (optimistic): “Hey, maybe we’ll BOTH final-table. Good luck!”
    Mike shakes Stevie’s hand and walks away, knowing that the break will end soon.
    VOICE FROM THE RAIL: “Michael!”
    Mike turns to see if HE is the “Michael.” A grizzled old face gives a toothy Jewish smile as he approaches. It’s Petrovsky!
    MIKE (stunned): “Wow. Professor! How are you?”
    PETROVSKY: “I’m good. Michael, you disappeared. And then last week, I saw you on ESPN. I had to come see you.”
    MIKE: “Aw, you didn’t have to do that. But it WILL be nice to have a friend on the rail.”
    PETROVSKY (pauses, smile now disappears): “Not exactly.”
    Mike’s mind is racing. Petrosky had always been in Mike’s corner. And Mike had made amends by getting the loan money back to him. Oh, shit. “You got the money, right?”
    PETROVSKY: “Michael. (Dramatic pause) I never got the money.”
    From the shadows behind Petrovsky, yet another face from the past emerges.
    GRANDMA: “People have been looking for you, Mike. I bought up your loan. The juice has been running for TWENTY YEARS. You owe $3.2 Million.”
    Mike’s jaw drops. It’s all coming full-circle. The reparations he made fell through. How could it all be going so wrong?
    PA ANNOUNCER: “Players, please return to the tables. Hands will re-start in one minute.”
    Mike turns away from the rail. He’s in a daze. He had been so careful to square up.
    As Mike approaches the table, a buxom female player (on his right) stops him: “Mikey!”
    It’s Jennifer Tilly! Mike is almost in tears, he gives a lifeless: “Hi, Jen.”
    Jennifer reads him like him like a book: “Mikey, what’s wrong?”
    Mike just shakes his head and turns away.
    JENNIFER (grabs him by the shoulders, stares directly at him): “Mikey, I know something’s wrong. You call me! You know I can make you feel better.”
    She brushes his inner-thigh with her hand and Mike brightens up.
    MIKE: “Thanks, Jen.” Mike gives her a hug and a half-grope.
    The thought of Tilly’s balloons helped. But Mike’s still wondering how he could have gotten it so wrong. As Mike is about to sit down, he hears yet another voice.
    The blonde female player in Seat 4 says: “Hi, Mike.”
    It’s Jo, his ex from New York! She’s now sporting two friends that weren’t there before: “I always knew you cared. Thanks for the money.”
    Last edited by ChuckyTheGoat; 08-03-21 at 03:55 PM.
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