Comes the cry from Vince’s or Ivan’s, fill in! No we didn’t need to fill in any holes, except those around the table. Fill in is the cry to fill your seat around the poker table.
Fall Friday nights were often spent at Ivan’s or Vince’s, playing poker, not the texas hold-em of today, but dealers choice, usually 5 Card Draw. Get a jackpot? Well then someone needed jacks or better to open the next hand. We also occasionally played some blackjack or blind indian, high or low chicago, and I forget what else.
The biggest difference in our games was though the gizmo. The gizmo was an innocuous film canister. Well, its what held it anyway. The gizmo takes some explaining; the first hand of the night was the gizmo hand. All players put a loonie in the pot and we played as normal, with the winner winning the gizmo, and its value being the contributed loonies. Here’s where it gets interesting, when it was the winners turn to ante, he anted the gizmo, basically a free ante. but if anyone else wanted to play that hand, they had to ante its value. So we could automatically have a large pot on the board before we really started. Tradition then said the winner added another loonie to its value so as the night went on, it got more and more valuable.
Of course with increased value, often no one played the hand at all, but sometimes…. well holy cow!
Of course there were other memories of poker night too, like the night Ivan’s brdige collapsed, or Dale Butt calling for Tracey and Eric saying “Terra Nova fisheries, Connor speaking”. To be followed by two more “Duffet’s Building Supplies, Carpenter Speaking”, and finally “House of the Lord, Jesus speaking” before he caught on he wasn’t getting wrong numbers.
Memories of me and Howard raising each other over and over, him with a pair of 3s and me with a pair of deuces. And Chris Haynes laughing his head off cause he had thrown away three nines. Memories of being “notched”, of Vince feeding the rabbit, of Vince opening a jackpot and then throwing away his openers and taking 5 and still beating Jim Bailey and memories of watching the OJ Simpson chase on Ivan’s small black and white tv.
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