We were in the Sahara, my daughter, Starla and I. I had been playing blackjack and had won 155 dollars. All from a lone twenty. A good win indeed.
We were on our way out to the side door to the parking garage when suddenly fate stepped in. A most charming man took a few small steps from the poker room area and said " Good evening ladies, how about a little poker tonight? I have seats open."
Well now, I had never played poker in a casino, had never even thought about it. At Thanksgiving we always had a fun poker game with pennies and nickels. I couldn't play a lick, didn't hardly know what beat what.
But here I was in one of my manic the-world-is-my-oyster states. So I thought "Why not?" Before I knew it I was in a plush poker chair, Starla in the same sitting behind me. The game is 3 to 6 dollars 7 card stud. I had to have been crazy.
The cards were in the air. I was in the game. Wow!
A cocktail waitress appeared and I ordered a whisky and water, Starla a coke with lots of ice. Drinking at the poker table is something you should never do. Not ever. I can imagine today how happy the "sharks" were to see me drinking. They had a real "fish" with a 100 dollars on the green felt. And brand-new to the game, a "fish" ready to be eaten alive. Happy days were here again.
The drinks kept coming. The cards were in the air, I played every hand, every card clear to the river. I was riding' high. I won hand after hand: two pairs, straights, flushes, full houses. I could do no wrong. The Jacks and Kings were smiling and winking at me. Some of the pros ceased to be so friendly and they started cussing and throwing cards at the dealer. One man was laughing his head off.
That fantastic night I won 365 dollars at that poker table. Old Sahara dealers still talk about it. I was hooked for life. Some say the "Poker God" wanted to create another player that night. He made two. Starla went on to become a professional player and holds two world titles.
Sometimes fate "deals out strange cards" into our lives.