Pseudopod 196: The Hand You’re Dealt

By Frank Oreto

Read by Jesse Livingston

“Find yourself a nurse,” he remembered his mother saying as they prepared for her act. “They always have jobs and they like to take care of men.” It was good advice but even Sharon’s patience had an end. Danny thought he had almost reached it. He borrowed the three hundred from her. Told her he was done gambling.

“Does that include poker?” she’d asked.

It was a good question. Danny didn’t think of poker as gambling. He learned to cold read rubes in his mother’s mentalist act. His card-sharp father taught him to make the cards dance – when the man was sober enough to hold a deck.

Poker wasn’t gambling. When you gambled you might lose. Danny knew all about losing. He was down twelve grand to Rod Renshaw due to a string of sporting misjudgments that climaxed when the Steelers had the bad grace to win the Super Bowl but lose the point spread. That was gambling.