The Game #37

Edward heard a small popping sound and saw Angela grab her neck.  She whirled around and took two steps before falling to the floor.  A man with a tranquilizer gun stood in the doorway and waited for her to stop moving.  He walked into the room, joined by a number of other men.  All were dressed in the same black slacks, white button down shirt and black blazer.  Two of the men picked up Angela rather unceremoniously and carried her out of the room.  The others assisted their fallen colleagues.  A stretcher was brought in and used to carry the man who had taken the shot to the throat.  His eyes were closed and he was not moving, but Edward could not tell if he was alive or not.  After a few moments, all of the men cleared the room and Kenny shuffled and dealt the cards.  He announced that the blinds had gone up and Nelly put in the big blind, the small blind skipped for this hand.

“Ms. Wayne is certainly a spirited opponent”, Darius quipped.  “She and Ms. Halstead’s presence will certainly be missed.”  Edward listened for any indication that Angela’s actions had taken him by surprise, but Darius’ voice was calm and even.

Four players left and Darius was seriously crippled.  Edward felt that any one of the rest of them could take him out at this point, but he knew better than to underestimate the man.  There were many players who were at their best when they were short stacked and Darius could easily be among them.  He was first to act and limped in with a minimum bet.

Edward was still thinking about Angela.  She had taken out half a dozen of Darius’ goons with the bracelet blasting her with electricity.   Had that been a misstep on Darius’ part?  A mistake?  That was how Edward beat his opponents at the table, he waited for them to make a mistake, then took advantage of the situation.  Darius had thought to have the tranq gun in the ready, so maybe he had anticipated everything.  Edward hoped it had been dumb luck.

Edward looked at his cards.  Seven of spades and the three of hearts.  Rags.  Edward tossed his cards into the muck without a second thought.  With Darius limping in, he could have anything from a small pair to aces or kings.  Edward doubted the latter, the former was more likely.  At any rate,  seven-tres was not a hand with which he wanted to play against anything.

“Raise to six hundred”, said George, sliding his chip to the center.  Big pair or big slick, hard to tell with George, but there was definitely something there.

“Raise to twelve hundred”, Nelly said, adding her chips to the stack.  Nelly had a reputation for bluffing at odd times, and now was certainly one of those times.  She also had a rep for taking down pots with monster hands, disguised as bluffs.  Now the action came back to Darius.

“All in.”  

Edward’s heart almost jumped out of his chest.  This was it!  Two against one, with both players raising.  Edward hoped that Darius wasn’t playing aces, or that George or Nelly had the cards to beat him.  This could all be over in a matter of minutes.

“Raise to twenty-five hundred” Kenny announced as George pushed a stack of chips into the pot.  Why was George pushing against Nelly? Edward thought.  He had Darius all in.  Bust him and it was all over.

“Call”, said Nelly, mirroring George’s bet.

Kenny flipped the top card into the muck and put the flop on the table.  Ace of diamonds, nine of clubs and the queen of hearts.  Edward felt sure that at least one of them had gotten a piece of the flop.  Hopefully Darius was staring at a small pair and nothing more.  With him being all in, George came first.  He checked.  Good, showing some restraint.  Nelly came behind him.

“Eight hundred”, she said.

Edward was dumbfounded.  Why in the world did she keep betting?  If Darius ended up winning the hand she would be handing her chips to George who really didn’t need them.

George called the bet and they went to the turn.


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June 2010
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