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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Body Language (11/25/10)

TITLE: Tell Me About It
By Donna Powers


Now, son, if ya wanna make your livin’ as a gambler, take a tip from me. Folks’ll tellya winnin’ at cards is all about luck: and ya either got it or ya ain’t. But I been gamblin’ nigh onto fifty years – and I know better. Luck’s got diddly squat to do with it. It’s readin’ the people at the table with ya. When yer playin’ poker; they calls that a “tell”.

Not sure why it’s called that. Maybe it’s cuz nobody but a pure-dee fool’d tell ya what cards he’s got in his poker hand. So, if ya wants to know what cards a player’s holdin’, - so’s ya know how ta make yer own bet - ya kin be fool enough to trust Lady Luck - or ya kin figger it out by that thar “tell.”

Now, most gamblers got a poker face. They show less reaction to their cards than a piece of plywood – and they think they’re foolin’ ya by doin’ so. And mebbe they fool some. But not me.

Take Clem over there. He’s the one in the plaid shirt. See the way he’s squirmin’ around in his chair? That means his cards ain’t worth diddly squat. He ain’t got nuthin’ worth talkin’ about, but he’s hopin’ for a miracle, jest the same. Heck, we all do. That’s the way us gamblers is.

The only one whose hand is prolly worse’n Clem’s is Tex. Look over yonder; he’s the one with the glarin’ eyes. Looks like he could melt steel with that cold stare o’ his. He’s tryin’ to make us too skeered to bet agin him but he prolly ain’t got a even pair of treys to speak of. He’s jist pertestin’ too much – like Mr. Shakes-beer done said.

Now, ole Ben’s prolly got a decent hand. He’s the one in the denim vest. Lookit his breathin’. Did ya ketch how it suddenly got real fast after he got that second card? It jist reeks of pure-dee pride so he’s prolly got sumpin’ worth bein’ proud of.

But the one I’m watchin’ real close-like is Garth. He’s holdin’ most a’ his body real still-like, but if ya know the signs, even Garth gots a “tell.” Yup; shore does. Didja notice his Adam’s apple: goin’ up and down real slow-like? Yup; he’s got some slam-bang cards in that hand and he thinks he’s about to put one over on us.

Well, not me. I had me two of a kind – aces high – and I thought it might take everyone; ‘cept prolly ole Garth. So, mebbe I done folded and wet my whistle and watch from over here; whilst Garth battles Ben for the pot.

After all, ya can’t win ‘em all. I won plenty in my time, and you kin win, too – if ya pays attention. It takes time to learn ‘em all; but that’s what separates the winners from the losers.

Well, lookee there. Guess ole Garth had a straight flush - almost a royal one,too. Toldja he was gonna win, didn’t I? Them other boys sure look unhappy. Well, I gotta feed the kitty and git my cards for the next hand; this may be my time to win. Ya want in? Why, shore: welcome. Don’t fergit what I tole ya. It ain’t luck what wins: it’s the tell.

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This article has been read 539 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/06/10
I really enjoyed this. The first line took me to the Kenny Roger's song "The Gambler". I could see Kenny talking to a rookie explaining all the tells. It was a fun read. Nice job.
Rachel Phelps12/06/10
I thought of poker when I saw the prompt, and I'm glad someone went that route. Your MC's voice was engaging. Fun read.
Noel Mitaxa 12/07/10
I also thought of the Kenny Rogers' song and I loved the folksy feel. It also reminded me that gambling is the fine art of getting nothing for something. A good fun read. I hope you feel flushed with success...
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/09/10
Congratulations for placing 10th in your level and 14th overall!