Palace Casino Resort in Biloxi, MS Expedia

PREMIERE: We're Having Issues On Table 8

2020 was already getting off to a bad start. Here it was New Year’s Day in Biloxi, Mississippi and I was already down four-hundred for the year. And it was only noon...
Of course, the black-eyed peas didn’t help. No good luck charm could cure my current drought at the Imperial Palace’s poker room.
This was the last day my buddies and I would be out here. Our final day touring Biloxi’s many casinos. Just like years past, The Vegas Of The South hadn’t been kind to me. But I still had fun. Your wacky horror author Rhonnie enjoyed poker after all. Even when I was constantly being battered by bad beats.
There were four of us out here. Me and my Stanwyck, Georgia poker pals. I was the youngest of the bunch. Scrawnier than ever, my combed-over brown hair was still a mess from this wild binge of booze and cards. My green eyes wild with drunken life. The gambling fix just what I needed after a hectic 2019.
Obviously, I missed Ashley… But I suspected she was doing just fine partying with Carty and Erika in Columbus, Georgia. The power trio indulging in their own New Year’s blitz of margaritas and dancing.
My friends J.T., David, and Trent were all with me. From playing nickel/dime house games to $1/3 at the IP, we brought the rowdiness of South Georgia with us to this fine establishment... much to the chagrin of all the dealers and poker players.
A few years older than me, David was a stocky, red-headed Southern boy. The combination of his loud voice and drunk shit talking ensured we’d never keep a low-profile. David always unrestrained unless he was behind bars or in a strait-jacket.
J.T. was similar but more stable. At forty, he’d skirted by authority and drama with the type of good luck he inexplicably had at the casinos. Tall and lanky, J.T. was Hispanic in ethnicity but a crazed country boy at heart. And with him and David together, their fighting and flirting hit a manic overdrive. Trent only dealt with them due to experience... J.T. was his ex-brother-in-law after all.
Trent was the most reserved out of us. Even drunk, he didn’t cut up much. His bushy beard and piercing eyes certainly gave him clout on the felt. Not to mention he was the only one with a real job. With real money to spare. When David, J.T., and I inevitably went broke, the three of us followed Trent around like roadies desperate for a rock star’s sloppy seconds.
New Year’s Day was just a chaotic continuation of our three-day bender. At noon, everyone but Trent was already hammered. The constant “free” beer and vodka our only way of staving off the New Year’s Eve hangovers hunting us down…
This early, the IP’s card room was empty save for one $1/3 table. The usual players probably still out recovering from the previous night’s festivities. Party favors and empty bottles littered the other tables. The room’s 60s soft rock soundtrack well overshadowed by the constant chimes of neighboring slots.
The four of us had table eight together. Under bright lighting, we enjoyed the game with four other Hold Em stragglers. I only recognized Lily a hot regular I’d seen over in Gretna, Florida’s poker room. Someone from our neck of the woods. Wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses and flaunting her stylish short brown hair, she was the only female player here... And already, both David and J.T. had tried her. And already she’d insulted them right back. Not to mention took the last of David’s pathetic chip stack.
Table eight’s other players included the usual low stakes caricatures. The shitregs. A depressed dad with an equally depressing dad bod. The smartass college kid masquerading as a poker pro. And an older farmer still wearing overalls, the type of surreal sight you somehow take for granted in Biloxi. Our dealer was a bitchy man in his mid-40s. The type of rude personality reserved for the casino’s deader shifts.
None of the players were any good. Then again, I couldn’t talk much. My thirty-big-blind buy-in strategy had been continually getting crushed by suckouts. Usually by Trent. Needless to say, he and Lily were the big winners so far… Their colorful chip stacks even contained stray hundred dollar bills. But somehow, J.T.’s drunkass had even more. Obnoxious as ever, the son-of-a-bitch had been running off Fireball cinnamon whiskies since the ball dropped. And here he was with over three grand on the table. A stack of Benjamins clustered amongst his towers.
Now the farmer had just thrown in another hundred dollar bill. J.T. snap called. Farmer showed three of a kind. J.T. hesitated for a moment... either he was too drunk to read the board or slow-rolling his opponent. My guess was both.
Finally, J.T. slung down the winning hand: ten four of diamonds. A flush on the river.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Laughing, J.T. collected his latest pot. Another two hundred for his growing stack. “Nice hand, sir!” he taunted the frowning farmer. “You see that shit, Trent! I played that shit like you!”
Broke and on his tenth Corona, David now sat behind me. A rail I never asked for… but an entertaining one at least.
He leaned in toward me. “Hey, here she comes!”
A red-headed waitress complete with an hourglass figure and flawless face walked toward us. Right into David’s carnal sights. Then again, I couldn’t blame him.
He waved his beer at her. “Hey, I need another one!”
Annoyed, she stopped and jotted down his order.
David grabbed my shoulder. “What are you having!”
“Miller Lite,” I said to her, my calm voice the opposite of David’s rowdy roar.
“Alright, I’ll be right back,” the waitress said.
With drunken confidence, David reached toward her. “Hey, sweetie, what’s your name?”
He just missed her… The waitress was in a hurry.
“None of your business!” she yelled back.
With that, she high-tailed it straight for the table games. Then again, neither of us were complaining to watch her leave… Only the beer was definitely gonna take awhile. Especially once she stopped to take an order from a young bodybuilder. A hunk by the slots. Excited, the redhead leaned in closer. A rare smile on her face. Her thirst obvious…
David turned to me. “Hey, why’s she talking to him like that!”
“Damn, boy, she got you good!” Trent teased.
David shrugged him off. “Man, fuck you, Trent!”
“Language!” our dealer warned us in a pissed-off growl.
Trent collected another pot. “I don’t think she like you anyhow,” he told David.
“She just playing hard to get!” David yelled. The alcohol hitting him hard, David leaned in toward the table. “I bet I can get her before the day’s over with! I’ll get her in my room-”
Like a brick wall, a fat arm blocked David. A pot-bellied security guard glared over him. “Move back, son!”
David threw up his hands. “Alright!”
J.T.’s crude laughter echoed through the room. The rest of the table cracked up in a sadistic chorus. Even the dealer.
Keeping my cool, I pointed David behind me. “Just sit here, man. Drink the beer.”
“Get your brokeass back, David!” J.T. jeered.
“Man, whatever.” David moved his chair behind me. Flashed a glare at the guard. “There? You happy?”
Behind a cold expression, the guard just stared at us. Completely unamused.
I looked over at a corner where the front desk was. Where all the chips and cash were. The clerk just watched us, her dark eyes like lasers. David again the center of attention.
A wave of cold air hit us. My FSU hoodie couldn’t keep me from shivering. And regardless of all the booze, I suspected David’s long-sleeved AC/DC shirt wasn’t helping him much either.
I looked down at my cards. Ten three offsuit. Yet another fold on my fucking big blind.
Then a rotten smell hit me. Well from beyond the grave. The scent more putrid than roadkill.
“Is this one three hold em?” I heard a guttural drawl say.
The entire table looked toward our latest player. Hopefully, our latest fish. The black man certainly looked the part. Dressed in rumpled jeans and a red jacket with rolled-up sleeves, he was in his fifties. His scruffy beard matched by greasy Jheri curls. Years of wildness captured in his arsenal of tattoos and odd jewelry. The skull-and-bones earrings and gold teeth certainly hinted at what was sure to be an eccentric gambler.
The man’s stern gaze locked in on the security guard. “Is it one-three?” he asked in that muddled Cajun accent. With a flourish, he pulled out a bundle of Benjamins. Well over five-hundred dollars.
Immediately, the guard went to work getting those chips. Him and the clerk eager to count the dough.
The Cajun took a seat right beside J.T. Seat number seven.
“Holy shit…” J.T. exclaimed. He flashed David and I a drunken smirk.
But soon, that smile was wiped clean. The wild man didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and he may have been stinking up the place with a corpse’s hygiene, but he was damn sure winning.
Even Trent and Lily’s stacks were going downhill. Left with only fifty bucks on the table, I just enjoyed the show as David kept the beer flowing. Him and I an audience for this black Cajun man’s rampage.
Ashley sent me an obvious drunk text: I love you :)
Grinning, I texted her back: The two of us drunk at noon on New Year’s Day. How cute.
J.T.’s triumphant yell then caught my attention. “Whoo!” He slid out a huge tower into the pot. The arrogance such an obvious tell… “Come get some!” he shouted at the Cajun.
The man deliberated on the river bet.
Like a young gunslinger, J.T. leaned toward him. Trying to get eye-to-eye. “Come on, call me!” he yelled, desperate to antagonize the man.
The dealer forced J.T. back. “Sir, please don’t lean over the table.”
Holding his latest mixed drink, J.T. waved toward his opponent. “I don’t care! I’ll call clock on his ass!”
“Aw-in!” the man stated. He pushed his huge stack out.
Everyone watched, dumbfounded... but fucking entertained. Even if we didn’t quite understand the man’s dialect...
The dealer leaned in toward him. “Uh, sir. Was that an all-in?”
“Aw-in!” the Cajun declared. “I said aw-in!”
Now put on the spot, J.T. trembled in the cold. His weakness well on display. “Goddammit!” he yelled. His good mood long gone, he threw the cards toward the dealer. The confident drunk now hurtling through depression.
“Language, sir,” the dealer reminded him.
“I don’t give a fuck!” J.T. replied.
Now David was the one laughing his ass off…
J.T. motioned toward the Cajun. “How the Hell you keep winning these hands!”
With a smile of gold rather than teeth, the man faced J.T. “Dat’s juss how I play, boy.”
I couldn’t help but crack up. Trent covered his own chuckle.
“Yeah, and you stink like Hell too,” J.T. said.
Cackling, the Cajun stacked up his winnings.
Lily looked over at J.T. “Maybe that’s part of his strategy.”
“Well, I’m about to bust that shit! Fuck his strategy!” J.T. shouted. “And you wanna know why!” He looked down at his latest cards. “Because I’m J.T. Torres! That’s why!” On the warpath, he took out his phone. “I’m about to get in my zone, Rhonnie!”
I cringed. Simultaneously amused and embarrassed.
Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” blasted off J.T.’s phone. Over the IP’s soundtrack. Over Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” J.T. glared at the whole table. “I ain’t playing now! Who wants some of this!”
“It’s one three, boy,” Trent quipped.
Growing more and more aggravated, the dealer confronted J.T. “Sir, you can’t play music,” he said in an exasperated tone.
The security guard approached us. “No phones on the table!” he barked at J.T.
J.T. cut off the music. “Alright, that’s fine!” Without hesitation, he waved at his stack. “Fuck it, I’m all-in!”
“Sir-” the dealer began.
“I caw!” the Cajun cried. With everyone else out, he flipped over his cards. Pocket aces. The fucking bullets.
A dramatic intensity dominated the table. Only the ominous beat of “Bad Moon Rising” could be heard. The man’s rotten stench like cigarette smoke in the arena’s atmosphere. This heavyweight match we all anticipated now looking to be a quick knockout.
“Oh shit!” Trent joked to J.T. “You done fucked up!”
The twisting knife sent J.T. further into his downward spiral. Anger built inside him. He threw up his pocket kings. “Goddammit!” he said. “How much does he have?”
“He’s got you,” remarked the dealer in a not-so-subtle jab.
The Cajun chuckled. “I got you covered, boy!”
And he damn sure did. J.T.’s fifteen-hundred dollar stack was in a world of pain.
“Fuck!” J.T. yelled.
I then noticed the man jam both his hands inside those hoodie pockets. Burrowing them in deep.
“What the fuck!” I heard J.T. say to me. “What the fuck else could I do, Rhonnie! I had fucking kings!”
I watched the Cajun’s lips move... but his voice didn’t carry. He was mumbling… All while his eyes stayed glued to the center of the table. To where the cards would fall.
An unsettling realization hit me. The guy was praying… Mumbling some sort of chant.
“Luckyass bitch!” J.T. yelled.
With indifferent efficiency, the dealer laid the board out quick. The Cajun wound up with four aces. J.T. gone from a bad beat to outright slaughtered.
“Stick a fork in him!” Trent’s Southern accent joked.
“Oh shit…” David chimed in. He nudged me but I was too disturbed to respond. Too drawn into whatever was going on in seat seven’s world.
Full of rage, J.T. stood up, spilling some of his drink. “Man, fuck y’all!”
The guard took an annoyed step toward us. “Sir!” he yelled.
J.T. turned his irate eyes toward the Cajun. The man still had his hands in his pockets. His eyes still on the board. Still in prayer.
“He comes in here stinking up the place!” J.T. continued. He stumbled toward his nemesis. “And what the Hell’s he doing now!”
Trent glared at J.T. “Man, just leave him alone! Your ass can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be here nohow!”
In his trance, the Cajun stayed in his seat. Still chanting. His hands still hidden deep in those pockets.
Moving quick, the guard took off for the slots. His walkie-talkie at the ready. Eager for back-up.
David faced J.T. “Goddamn, man, chill!”
“Fucking idiot,” I heard Lily grumble.
The alcohol giving him fake toughness, J.T. pushed the man back. “How in the Hell did you win that!”
Startled, the Cajun stumbled up. His eyes in a panic. A disturbing amulet stuck in his sweaty hand.
The table gasped and screamed. Us drunks louder and more terrified than the rest.
The horrifying smell somehow got more sickening.
I sifted in my seat. My ass still in pain from when Nicki Minaj fucked me.
“What the fuck!” J.T. yelled at his rival.
Trembling, the man looked at each of us. Too scared to talk. Still clinging to a baby wolf. A real, dead baby wolf.
Like a furry fetus, its decomposing corpse resembled a crude outline of life. A tiny, crumbling cadaver. The pup’s hollow skin in a post-mortem preservation. Its blue eyes forever open.
And the Cajun had been holding this wolf for a very long time. A good luck charm in which the superstition outweighed the pup’s gruesome touch and nauseating stench.
A necklace of a noose was wrapped around its small neck. Rather than a medallion, the wolf wore a shiny dime. One with a hole drilled in the middle of it...
“It’s my Gris-Gris!” the man yelled in a guttural growl. Possessive, he pulled the wolf in closer. A literal baby in his arms. “You ain’t taking my Gris-Gris!”
Through the tension, no one said a word. No one except J.T..
“Hey, gimme that shit!” J.T. yelled. Pissed, he snatched the corpse out of the Cajun’s desperate grip.
“No!” the man cried. Tears formed in his eyes. “Gimme my Gris-Gris! My Loup Garou!”
“So that’s how your ass has been winning!” J.T. continued. He held the baby wolf out toward the man. “That’s how you been getting all them Goddamn cards!” With savage glee, he flicked the dime. “This is your nastyass good luck charm!”
The Cajun held his pitiful hands out toward J.T. Literally begging him… much to J.T.’s twisted delight. “I need him back!” he cried. “Gimme my Gris-Gris!”
“Give him the damn thing!” Trent shouted at J.T.
“Naw, Hell no!” J.T. replied. He squeezed on to the pup, making the wolf’s eyes even bigger. Further taunting the Cajun. “I need me some luck after this bitch took my chips!”
Weeping, the man motioned toward the corpse. “It’s no good, boy! Dat wolf’s only good luck for me! He’s bad luck for you!”
J.T. cackled. “Bullshit, bitch!”
“Whoever touch it get bad luck!”
Dismissive, J.T. looked toward the clerk. “Hey, get me three-hundred in chips! I’m reloading!”
A flash of silver caught everyone’s eye.
The machete whirled right through J.T.’s neck. A red river spread across his slit throat. For once, J.T. went silent.
He dropped the wolf and grasped at the fatal wound. A fountain of blood poured out his mouth.
The dead pup hit the felt. Its soft thud caused chips to collapse. Bits of its old flesh fragmented upon impact. The decomposing smell somehow hit new highs...
“My Gris-Gris!” the Cajun screamed
J.T. landed in his chair. His body convulsing in a painful rhythm. His death slow and steady. Blood now spewed all across table eight.
David and I exchanged frightened looks.
Disgusted, Trent moved his seat further away. Trying to avoid J.T.’s gore.
“Seat open on eight!” the dealer hollered out of instinct.
“Give us the fucking money!” a Southern drawl demanded.
The dealer went quiet quick. So did the rest of us. The rush of fear spread throughout the game.
All of us stared at the three men standing over us. Each of them wore black suits. Their faces disguised by straw hats and green bandanas.
The leader waved a long machete around. J.T.’s blood adding decorative crimson to the sharp blade. The other two robbers carried pistols. Without hesitation, they scooped up all the hundred dollar bills. The literal blood money.
The Cajun man reached for the wolf. “Lemme get my Loup Garou!”
With a harsh shove, the leader pushed him back in his seat. “Sorry, buddy!”
In tears, the Cajun looked toward the floor. His voice got lower but his words remained constant. Back to chanting.
A hush lingered on table eight. All thanks to J.T. going completely still.
Using his machete, the leader motioned his partners toward the clerk. “Go get the fucking money!”
They did as they were told. In a panic, the clerk opened the registers. “Please! Don’t shoot me!” she cried
The leader snatched the baby wolf. I sensed a wicked smile behind that bandana. “This must be your good luck charm.” He faced the Cajun. Holding up the corpse as if it were a pathetic trophy. “Is this shit how you won all the time?”
“Drop your weapons!” we heard someone shout.
Footsteps stormed behind us.
We turned just in time to see the security guard leading several armed officers inside the poker room.
Without hesitation, a cop fired. And not a warning shot either.
The bullet blew the leader’s brains out. Blood and gray matter sprayed over us. Courtesy of The IP.
“Goddammit!” the dealer shouted.
Screams formed our soundtrack. Several players jumped up.
“Stay where you are!” the guard commanded.
The leader collapsed on to the table. More grue covered the felt. The leader’s dead hands dropped both the machete and amulet.
The cops came rushing forward.
“Don’t move!” an officer screamed. “Sit the fuck down!”
The other players got back in their seats. Together, we formed a gruesome congregation. Each of us covered in blood. J.T.’s corpse seated as if he were ready to play. Table eight a poker game from Hell.
Eager to keep up with the real cops, the security guard descended upon us. He cringed at the smell. “Jesus Christ!” Then the wolf caught his eye.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!” Trent warned him.
“What the Hell’s this...” the guard said. He snatched the dead pup. Dusty flesh and dry blood stuck to his fingertips.
Instantly, several shots rang in the new year and the guard’s brutal death. Bullets obliterated his face into oblivion. In the chilly room, the gunfire left us all coated in another layer of crimson.
The security guard fell to the floor, motionless. Gaping holes leaked blood from his head. The baby wolf still clasped in his tight grip.
David downed his beer. The now-red Corona didn’t bother him at this point...
Behind us, I saw the cops apprehend the other two robbers.
The lingering fear made me shiver. The gang could’ve shot any one of us… but deep down, I knew why they only killed the guard. And why they immediately surrendered afterward.
I looked on at the dead wolf. Its baby blues remained fixated on me. Tempting me to touch. Its mummified body the prettiest corpse in this poker room’s collection.
“Shit, I ain’t touching it!” I heard David say.
Weary, Trent stood up and pushed his seat back. “Fuck it!” Blood dripping off his beard and jacket, he looked toward the nervous clerk. Pointed down at his ridiculous chip stack. Even at the pieces of flesh stuck to them. “I’m cashing out!”
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We’re Having Problems On Table 8

2020 was already getting off to a bad start. Here it was New Year’s Day in Biloxi, Mississippi and I was already down four-hundred for the year. And it was only noon...
Of course, the black-eyed peas didn’t help. No good luck charm could cure my current drought at the Imperial Palace’s poker room.
This was the last day my buddies and I would be out here. Our final day touring Biloxi’s many casinos. Just like years past, The Vegas Of The South hadn’t been kind to me. But I still had fun. Your wacky horror author Rhonnie enjoyed poker after all. Even when I was constantly being battered by bad beats.
There were four of us out here. Me and my Stanwyck, Georgia poker pals. I was the youngest of the bunch. Scrawnier than ever, my combed-over brown hair was still a mess from this wild binge of booze and cards. My green eyes wild with drunken life. The gambling fix just what I needed after a hectic 2019.
Obviously, I missed Ashley… But I suspected she was doing just fine partying with Carty and Erika in Columbus, Georgia. The power trio indulging in their own New Year’s blitz of margaritas and dancing.
My friends J.T., David, and Trent were all with me. From playing nickel/dime house games to $1/3 at the IP, we brought the rowdiness of South Georgia with us to this fine establishment... much to the chagrin of all the dealers and poker players.
A few years older than me, David was a stocky, red-headed Southern boy. The combination of his loud voice and drunk shit talking ensured we’d never keep a low-profile. David always unrestrained unless he was behind bars or in a strait-jacket.
J.T. was similar but more stable. At forty, he’d skirted by authority and drama with the type of good luck he inexplicably had at the casinos. Tall and lanky, J.T. was Hispanic in ethnicity but a crazed country boy at heart. And with him and David together, their fighting and flirting hit a manic overdrive. Trent only dealt with them due to experience... J.T. was his ex-brother-in-law after all.
Trent was the most reserved out of us. Even drunk, he didn’t cut up much. His bushy beard and piercing eyes certainly gave him clout on the felt. Not to mention he was the only one with a real job. With real money to spare. When David, J.T., and I inevitably went broke, the three of us followed Trent around like roadies desperate for a rock star’s sloppy seconds.
New Year’s Day was just a chaotic continuation of our three-day bender. At noon, everyone but Trent was already hammered. The constant “free” beer and vodka our only way of staving off the New Year’s Eve hangovers hunting us down…
This early, the IP’s card room was empty save for one $1/3 table. The usual players probably still out recovering from the previous night’s festivities. Party favors and empty bottles littered the other tables. The room’s 60s soft rock soundtrack well overshadowed by the constant chimes of neighboring slots.
The four of us had table eight together. Under bright lighting, we enjoyed the game with four other Hold Em stragglers. I only recognized Lily a hot regular I’d seen over in Gretna, Florida’s poker room. Someone from our neck of the woods. Wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses and flaunting her stylish short brown hair, she was the only female player here... And already, both David and J.T. had tried her. And already she’d insulted them right back. Not to mention took the last of David’s pathetic chip stack.
Table eight’s other players included the usual low stakes caricatures. The shitregs. A depressed dad with an equally depressing dad bod. The smartass college kid masquerading as a poker pro. And an older farmer still wearing overalls, the type of surreal sight you somehow take for granted in Biloxi. Our dealer was a bitchy man in his mid-40s. The type of rude personality reserved for the casino’s deader shifts.
None of the players were any good. Then again, I couldn’t talk much. My thirty-big-blind buy-in strategy had been continually getting crushed by suckouts. Usually by Trent. Needless to say, he and Lily were the big winners so far… Their colorful chip stacks even contained stray hundred dollar bills. But somehow, J.T.’s drunkass had even more. Obnoxious as ever, the son-of-a-bitch had been running off Fireball cinnamon whiskies since the ball dropped. And here he was with over three grand on the table. A stack of Benjamins clustered amongst his towers.
Now the farmer had just thrown in another hundred dollar bill. J.T. snap called. Farmer showed three of a kind. J.T. hesitated for a moment... either he was too drunk to read the board or slow-rolling his opponent. My guess was both.
Finally, J.T. slung down the winning hand: ten four of diamonds. A flush on the river.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Laughing, J.T. collected his latest pot. Another two hundred for his growing stack. “Nice hand, sir!” he taunted the frowning farmer. “You see that shit, Trent! I played that shit like you!”
Broke and on his tenth Corona, David now sat behind me. A rail I never asked for… but an entertaining one at least.
He leaned in toward me. “Hey, here she comes!”
A red-headed waitress complete with an hourglass figure and flawless face walked toward us. Right into David’s carnal sights. Then again, I couldn’t blame him.
He waved his beer at her. “Hey, I need another one!”
Annoyed, she stopped and jotted down his order.
David grabbed my shoulder. “What are you having!”
“Miller Lite,” I said to her, my calm voice the opposite of David’s rowdy roar.
“Alright, I’ll be right back,” the waitress said.
With drunken confidence, David reached toward her. “Hey, sweetie, what’s your name?”
He just missed her… The waitress was in a hurry.
“None of your business!” she yelled back.
With that, she high-tailed it straight for the table games. Then again, neither of us were complaining to watch her leave… Only the beer was definitely gonna take awhile. Especially once she stopped to take an order from a young bodybuilder. A hunk by the slots. Excited, the redhead leaned in closer. A rare smile on her face. Her thirst obvious…
David turned to me. “Hey, why’s she talking to him like that!”
“Damn, boy, she got you good!” Trent teased.
David shrugged him off. “Man, fuck you, Trent!”
“Language!” our dealer warned us in a pissed-off growl.
Trent collected another pot. “I don’t think she like you anyhow,” he told David.
“She just playing hard to get!” David yelled. The alcohol hitting him hard, David leaned in toward the table. “I bet I can get her before the day’s over with! I’ll get her in my room-”
Like a brick wall, a fat arm blocked David. A pot-bellied security guard glared over him. “Move back, son!”
David threw up his hands. “Alright!”
J.T.’s crude laughter echoed through the room. The rest of the table cracked up in a sadistic chorus. Even the dealer.
Keeping my cool, I pointed David behind me. “Just sit here, man. Drink the beer.”
“Get your brokeass back, David!” J.T. jeered.
“Man, whatever.” David moved his chair behind me. Flashed a glare at the guard. “There? You happy?”
Behind a cold expression, the guard just stared at us. Completely unamused.
I looked over at a corner where the front desk was. Where all the chips and cash were. The clerk just watched us, her dark eyes like lasers. David again the center of attention.
A wave of cold air hit us. My FSU hoodie couldn’t keep me from shivering. And regardless of all the booze, I suspected David’s long-sleeved AC/DC shirt wasn’t helping him much either.
I looked down at my cards. Ten three offsuit. Yet another fold on my fucking big blind.
Then a rotten smell hit me. Well from beyond the grave. The scent more putrid than roadkill.
“Is this one three hold em?” I heard a guttural drawl say.
The entire table looked toward our latest player. Hopefully, our latest fish. The black man certainly looked the part. Dressed in rumpled jeans and a red jacket with rolled-up sleeves, he was in his fifties. His scruffy beard matched by greasy Jheri curls. Years of wildness captured in his arsenal of tattoos and odd jewelry. The skull-and-bones earrings and gold teeth certainly hinted at what was sure to be an eccentric gambler.
The man’s stern gaze locked in on the security guard. “Is it one-three?” he asked in that muddled Cajun accent. With a flourish, he pulled out a bundle of Benjamins. Well over five-hundred dollars.
Immediately, the guard went to work getting those chips. Him and the clerk eager to count the dough.
The Cajun took a seat right beside J.T. Seat number seven.
“Holy shit…” J.T. exclaimed. He flashed David and I a drunken smirk.
But soon, that smile was wiped clean. The wild man didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and he may have been stinking up the place with a corpse’s hygiene, but he was damn sure winning.
Even Trent and Lily’s stacks were going downhill. Left with only fifty bucks on the table, I just enjoyed the show as David kept the beer flowing. Him and I an audience for this black Cajun man’s rampage.
Ashley sent me an obvious drunk text: I love you :)
Grinning, I texted her back: The two of us drunk at noon on New Year’s Day. How cute.
J.T.’s triumphant yell then caught my attention. “Whoo!” He slid out a huge tower into the pot. The arrogance such an obvious tell… “Come get some!” he shouted at the Cajun.
The man deliberated on the river bet.
Like a young gunslinger, J.T. leaned toward him. Trying to get eye-to-eye. “Come on, call me!” he yelled, desperate to antagonize the man.
The dealer forced J.T. back. “Sir, please don’t lean over the table.”
Holding his latest mixed drink, J.T. waved toward his opponent. “I don’t care! I’ll call clock on his ass!”
“Aw-in!” the man stated. He pushed his huge stack out.
Everyone watched, dumbfounded... but fucking entertained. Even if we didn’t quite understand the man’s dialect...
The dealer leaned in toward him. “Uh, sir. Was that an all-in?”
“Aw-in!” the Cajun declared. “I said aw-in!”
Now put on the spot, J.T. trembled in the cold. His weakness well on display. “Goddammit!” he yelled. His good mood long gone, he threw the cards toward the dealer. The confident drunk now hurtling through depression.
“Language, sir,” the dealer reminded him.
“I don’t give a fuck!” J.T. replied.
Now David was the one laughing his ass off…
J.T. motioned toward the Cajun. “How the Hell you keep winning these hands!”
With a smile of gold rather than teeth, the man faced J.T. “Dat’s juss how I play, boy.”
I couldn’t help but crack up. Trent covered his own chuckle.
“Yeah, and you stink like Hell too,” J.T. said.
Cackling, the Cajun stacked up his winnings.
Lily looked over at J.T. “Maybe that’s part of his strategy.”
“Well, I’m about to bust that shit! Fuck his strategy!” J.T. shouted. “And you wanna know why!” He looked down at his latest cards. “Because I’m J.T. Torres! That’s why!” On the warpath, he took out his phone. “I’m about to get in my zone, Rhonnie!”
I cringed. Simultaneously amused and embarrassed.
Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” blasted off J.T.’s phone. Over the IP’s soundtrack. Over Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” J.T. glared at the whole table. “I ain’t playing now! Who wants some of this!”
“It’s one three, boy,” Trent quipped.
Growing more and more aggravated, the dealer confronted J.T. “Sir, you can’t play music,” he said in an exasperated tone.
The security guard approached us. “No phones on the table!” he barked at J.T.
J.T. cut off the music. “Alright, that’s fine!” Without hesitation, he waved at his stack. “Fuck it, I’m all-in!”
“Sir-” the dealer began.
“I caw!” the Cajun cried. With everyone else out, he flipped over his cards. Pocket aces. The fucking bullets.
A dramatic intensity dominated the table. Only the ominous beat of “Bad Moon Rising” could be heard. The man’s rotten stench like cigarette smoke in the arena’s atmosphere. This heavyweight match we all anticipated now looking to be a quick knockout.
“Oh shit!” Trent joked to J.T. “You done fucked up!”
The twisting knife sent J.T. further into his downward spiral. Anger built inside him. He threw up his pocket kings. “Goddammit!” he said. “How much does he have?”
“He’s got you,” remarked the dealer in a not-so-subtle jab.
The Cajun chuckled. “I got you covered, boy!”
And he damn sure did. J.T.’s fifteen-hundred dollar stack was in a world of pain.
“Fuck!” J.T. yelled.
I then noticed the man jam both his hands inside those hoodie pockets. Burrowing them in deep.
“What the fuck!” I heard J.T. say to me. “What the fuck else could I do, Rhonnie! I had fucking kings!”
I watched the Cajun’s lips move... but his voice didn’t carry. He was mumbling… All while his eyes stayed glued to the center of the table. To where the cards would fall.
An unsettling realization hit me. The guy was praying… Mumbling some sort of chant.
“Luckyass bitch!” J.T. yelled.
With indifferent efficiency, the dealer laid the board out quick. The Cajun wound up with four aces. J.T. gone from a bad beat to outright slaughtered.
“Stick a fork in him!” Trent’s Southern accent joked.
“Oh shit…” David chimed in. He nudged me but I was too disturbed to respond. Too drawn into whatever was going on in seat seven’s world.
Full of rage, J.T. stood up, spilling some of his drink. “Man, fuck y’all!”
The guard took an annoyed step toward us. “Sir!” he yelled.
J.T. turned his irate eyes toward the Cajun. The man still had his hands in his pockets. His eyes still on the board. Still in prayer.
“He comes in here stinking up the place!” J.T. continued. He stumbled toward his nemesis. “And what the Hell’s he doing now!”
Trent glared at J.T. “Man, just leave him alone! Your ass can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be here nohow!”
In his trance, the Cajun stayed in his seat. Still chanting. His hands still hidden deep in those pockets.
Moving quick, the guard took off for the slots. His walkie-talkie at the ready. Eager for back-up.
David faced J.T. “Goddamn, man, chill!”
“Fucking idiot,” I heard Lily grumble.
The alcohol giving him fake toughness, J.T. pushed the man back. “How in the Hell did you win that!”
Startled, the Cajun stumbled up. His eyes in a panic. A disturbing amulet stuck in his sweaty hand.
The table gasped and screamed. Us drunks louder and more terrified than the rest.
The horrifying smell somehow got more sickening.
“What the fuck!” J.T. yelled at his rival.
Trembling, the man looked at each of us. Too scared to talk. Still clinging to a baby wolf. A real, dead baby wolf.
Like a furry fetus, its decomposing corpse resembled a crude outline of life. A tiny, crumbling cadaver. The pup’s hollow skin in a post-mortem preservation. Its blue eyes forever open.
And the Cajun had been holding this wolf for a very long time. A good luck charm in which the superstition outweighed the pup’s gruesome touch and nauseating stench.
A necklace of a noose was wrapped around its small neck. Rather than a medallion, the wolf wore a shiny dime. One with a hole drilled in the middle of it...
“It’s my Gris-Gris!” the man yelled in a guttural growl. Possessive, he pulled the wolf in closer. A literal baby in his arms. “You ain’t taking my Gris-Gris!”
Through the tension, no one said a word. No one except J.T..
“Hey, gimme that shit!” J.T. yelled. Pissed, he snatched the corpse out of the Cajun’s desperate grip.
“No!” the man cried. Tears formed in his eyes. “Gimme my Gris-Gris! My Loup Garou!”
“So that’s how your ass has been winning!” J.T. continued. He held the baby wolf out toward the man. “That’s how you been getting all them Goddamn cards!” With savage glee, he flicked the dime. “This is your nastyass good luck charm!”
The Cajun held his pitiful hands out toward J.T. Literally begging him… much to J.T.’s twisted delight. “I need him back!” he cried. “Gimme my Gris-Gris!”
“Give him the damn thing!” Trent shouted at J.T.
“Naw, Hell no!” J.T. replied. He squeezed on to the pup, making the wolf’s eyes even bigger. Further taunting the Cajun. “I need me some luck after this bitch took my chips!”
Weeping, the man motioned toward the corpse. “It’s no good, boy! Dat wolf’s only good luck for me! He’s bad luck for you!”
J.T. cackled. “Bullshit, bitch!”
“Whoever touch it get bad luck!”
Dismissive, J.T. looked toward the clerk. “Hey, get me three-hundred in chips! I’m reloading!”
A flash of silver caught everyone’s eye.
The machete whirled right through J.T.’s neck. A red river spread across his slit throat. For once, J.T. went silent.
He dropped the wolf and grasped at the fatal wound. A fountain of blood poured out his mouth.
The dead pup hit the felt. Its soft thud caused chips to collapse. Bits of its old flesh fragmented upon impact. The decomposing smell somehow hit new highs...
“My Gris-Gris!” the Cajun screamed
J.T. landed in his chair. His body convulsing in a painful rhythm. His death slow and steady. Blood now spewed all across table eight.
David and I exchanged frightened looks.
Disgusted, Trent moved his seat further away. Trying to avoid J.T.’s gore.
“Seat open on eight!” the dealer hollered out of instinct.
“Give us the fucking money!” a Southern drawl demanded.
The dealer went quiet quick. So did the rest of us. The rush of fear spread throughout the game.
All of us stared at the three men standing over us. Each of them wore black suits. Their faces disguised by straw hats and green bandanas.
The leader waved a long machete around. J.T.’s blood adding decorative crimson to the sharp blade. The other two robbers carried pistols. Without hesitation, they scooped up all the hundred dollar bills. The literal blood money.
The Cajun man reached for the wolf. “Lemme get my Loup Garou!”
With a harsh shove, the leader pushed him back in his seat. “Sorry, buddy!”
In tears, the Cajun looked toward the floor. His voice got lower but his words remained constant. Back to chanting.
A hush lingered on table eight. All thanks to J.T. going completely still.
Using his machete, the leader motioned his partners toward the clerk. “Go get the fucking money!”
They did as they were told. In a panic, the clerk opened the registers. “Please! Don’t shoot me!” she cried
The leader snatched the baby wolf. I sensed a wicked smile behind that bandana. “This must be your good luck charm.” He faced the Cajun. Holding up the corpse as if it were a pathetic trophy. “Is this shit how you won all the time?”
“Drop your weapons!” we heard someone shout.
Footsteps stormed behind us.
We turned just in time to see the security guard leading several armed officers inside the poker room.
Without hesitation, a cop fired. And not a warning shot either.
The bullet blew the leader’s brains out. Blood and gray matter sprayed over us. Courtesy of The IP.
“Goddammit!” the dealer shouted.
Screams formed our soundtrack. Several players jumped up.
“Stay where you are!” the guard commanded.
The leader collapsed on to the table. More grue covered the felt. The leader’s dead hands dropped both the machete and amulet.
The cops came rushing forward.
“Don’t move!” an officer screamed. “Sit the fuck down!”
The other players got back in their seats. Together, we formed a gruesome congregation. Each of us covered in blood. J.T.’s corpse seated as if he were ready to play. Table eight a poker game from Hell.
Eager to keep up with the real cops, the security guard descended upon us. He cringed at the smell. “Jesus Christ!” Then the wolf caught his eye.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!” Trent warned him.
“What the Hell’s this...” the guard said. He snatched the dead pup. Dusty flesh and dry blood stuck to his fingertips.
Instantly, several shots rang in the new year and the guard’s brutal death. Bullets obliterated his face into oblivion. In the chilly room, the gunfire left us all coated in another layer of crimson.
The security guard fell to the floor, motionless. Gaping holes leaked blood from his head. The baby wolf still clasped in his tight grip.
David downed his beer. The now-red Corona didn’t bother him at this point...
Behind us, I saw the cops apprehend the other two robbers.
The lingering fear made me shiver. The gang could’ve shot any one of us… but deep down, I knew why they only killed the guard. And why they immediately surrendered afterward.
I looked on at the dead wolf. Its baby blues remained fixated on me. Tempting me to touch. Its mummified body the prettiest corpse in this poker room’s collection.
“Shit, I ain’t touching it!” I heard David say.
Weary, Trent stood up and pushed his seat back. “Fuck it!” Blood dripping off his beard and jacket, he looked toward the nervous clerk. Pointed down at his ridiculous chip stack. Even at the pieces of flesh stuck to them. “I’m cashing out!”
14
submitted by rhonnie14 to DarkTales [link] [comments]

We’re Having Problems On Table 8

2020 was already getting off to a bad start. Here it was New Year’s Day in Biloxi, Mississippi and I was already down four-hundred for the year. And it was only noon...
Of course, the black-eyed peas didn’t help. No good luck charm could cure my current drought at the Imperial Palace’s poker room.
This was the last day my buddies and I would be out here. Our final day touring Biloxi’s many casinos. Just like years past, The Vegas Of The South hadn’t been kind to me. But I still had fun. Your wacky horror author Rhonnie enjoyed poker after all. Even when I was constantly being battered by bad beats.
There were four of us out here. Me and my Stanwyck, Georgia poker pals. I was the youngest of the bunch. Scrawnier than ever, my combed-over brown hair was still a mess from this wild binge of booze and cards. My green eyes wild with drunken life. The gambling fix just what I needed after a hectic 2019.
Obviously, I missed Ashley… But I suspected she was doing just fine partying with Carty and Erika in Columbus, Georgia. The power trio indulging in their own New Year’s blitz of margaritas and dancing.
My friends J.T., David, and Trent were all with me. From playing nickel/dime house games to $1/3 at the IP, we brought the rowdiness of South Georgia with us to this fine establishment... much to the chagrin of all the dealers and poker players.
A few years older than me, David was a stocky, red-headed Southern boy. The combination of his loud voice and drunk shit talking ensured we’d never keep a low-profile. David always unrestrained unless he was behind bars or in a strait-jacket.
J.T. was similar but more stable. At forty, he’d skirted by authority and drama with the type of good luck he inexplicably had at the casinos. Tall and lanky, J.T. was Hispanic in ethnicity but a crazed country boy at heart. And with him and David together, their fighting and flirting hit a manic overdrive. Trent only dealt with them due to experience... J.T. was his ex-brother-in-law after all.
Trent was the most reserved out of us. Even drunk, he didn’t cut up much. His bushy beard and piercing eyes certainly gave him clout on the felt. Not to mention he was the only one with a real job. With real money to spare. When David, J.T., and I inevitably went broke, the three of us followed Trent around like roadies desperate for a rock star’s sloppy seconds.
New Year’s Day was just a chaotic continuation of our three-day bender. At noon, everyone but Trent was already hammered. The constant “free” beer and vodka our only way of staving off the New Year’s Eve hangovers hunting us down…
This early, the IP’s card room was empty save for one $1/3 table. The usual players probably still out recovering from the previous night’s festivities. Party favors and empty bottles littered the other tables. The room’s 60s soft rock soundtrack well overshadowed by the constant chimes of neighboring slots.
The four of us had table eight together. Under bright lighting, we enjoyed the game with four other Hold Em stragglers. I only recognized Lily a hot regular I’d seen over in Gretna, Florida’s poker room. Someone from our neck of the woods. Wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses and flaunting her stylish short brown hair, she was the only female player here... And already, both David and J.T. had tried her. And already she’d insulted them right back. Not to mention took the last of David’s pathetic chip stack.
Table eight’s other players included the usual low stakes caricatures. The shitregs. A depressed dad with an equally depressing dad bod. The smartass college kid masquerading as a poker pro. And an older farmer still wearing overalls, the type of surreal sight you somehow take for granted in Biloxi. Our dealer was a bitchy man in his mid-40s. The type of rude personality reserved for the casino’s deader shifts.
None of the players were any good. Then again, I couldn’t talk much. My thirty-big-blind buy-in strategy had been continually getting crushed by suckouts. Usually by Trent. Needless to say, he and Lily were the big winners so far… Their colorful chip stacks even contained stray hundred dollar bills. But somehow, J.T.’s drunkass had even more. Obnoxious as ever, the son-of-a-bitch had been running off Fireball cinnamon whiskies since the ball dropped. And here he was with over three grand on the table. A stack of Benjamins clustered amongst his towers.
Now the farmer had just thrown in another hundred dollar bill. J.T. snap called. Farmer showed three of a kind. J.T. hesitated for a moment... either he was too drunk to read the board or slow-rolling his opponent. My guess was both.
Finally, J.T. slung down the winning hand: ten four of diamonds. A flush on the river.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Laughing, J.T. collected his latest pot. Another two hundred for his growing stack. “Nice hand, sir!” he taunted the frowning farmer. “You see that shit, Trent! I played that shit like you!”
Broke and on his tenth Corona, David now sat behind me. A rail I never asked for… but an entertaining one at least.
He leaned in toward me. “Hey, here she comes!”
A red-headed waitress complete with an hourglass figure and flawless face walked toward us. Right into David’s carnal sights. Then again, I couldn’t blame him.
He waved his beer at her. “Hey, I need another one!”
Annoyed, she stopped and jotted down his order.
David grabbed my shoulder. “What are you having!”
“Miller Lite,” I said to her, my calm voice the opposite of David’s rowdy roar.
“Alright, I’ll be right back,” the waitress said.
With drunken confidence, David reached toward her. “Hey, sweetie, what’s your name?”
He just missed her… The waitress was in a hurry.
“None of your business!” she yelled back.
With that, she high-tailed it straight for the table games. Then again, neither of us were complaining to watch her leave… Only the beer was definitely gonna take awhile. Especially once she stopped to take an order from a young bodybuilder. A hunk by the slots. Excited, the redhead leaned in closer. A rare smile on her face. Her thirst obvious…
David turned to me. “Hey, why’s she talking to him like that!”
“Damn, boy, she got you good!” Trent teased.
David shrugged him off. “Man, fuck you, Trent!”
“Language!” our dealer warned us in a pissed-off growl.
Trent collected another pot. “I don’t think she like you anyhow,” he told David.
“She just playing hard to get!” David yelled. The alcohol hitting him hard, David leaned in toward the table. “I bet I can get her before the day’s over with! I’ll get her in my room-”
Like a brick wall, a fat arm blocked David. A pot-bellied security guard glared over him. “Move back, son!”
David threw up his hands. “Alright!”
J.T.’s crude laughter echoed through the room. The rest of the table cracked up in a sadistic chorus. Even the dealer.
Keeping my cool, I pointed David behind me. “Just sit here, man. Drink the beer.”
“Get your brokeass back, David!” J.T. jeered.
“Man, whatever.” David moved his chair behind me. Flashed a glare at the guard. “There? You happy?”
Behind a cold expression, the guard just stared at us. Completely unamused.
I looked over at a corner where the front desk was. Where all the chips and cash were. The clerk just watched us, her dark eyes like lasers. David again the center of attention.
A wave of cold air hit us. My FSU hoodie couldn’t keep me from shivering. And regardless of all the booze, I suspected David’s long-sleeved AC/DC shirt wasn’t helping him much either.
I looked down at my cards. Ten three offsuit. Yet another fold on my fucking big blind.
Then a rotten smell hit me. Well from beyond the grave. The scent more putrid than roadkill.
“Is this one three hold em?” I heard a guttural drawl say.
The entire table looked toward our latest player. Hopefully, our latest fish. The black man certainly looked the part. Dressed in rumpled jeans and a red jacket with rolled-up sleeves, he was in his fifties. His scruffy beard matched by greasy Jheri curls. Years of wildness captured in his arsenal of tattoos and odd jewelry. The skull-and-bones earrings and gold teeth certainly hinted at what was sure to be an eccentric gambler.
The man’s stern gaze locked in on the security guard. “Is it one-three?” he asked in that muddled Cajun accent. With a flourish, he pulled out a bundle of Benjamins. Well over five-hundred dollars.
Immediately, the guard went to work getting those chips. Him and the clerk eager to count the dough.
The Cajun took a seat right beside J.T. Seat number seven.
“Holy shit…” J.T. exclaimed. He flashed David and I a drunken smirk.
But soon, that smile was wiped clean. The wild man didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and he may have been stinking up the place with a corpse’s hygiene, but he was damn sure winning.
Even Trent and Lily’s stacks were going downhill. Left with only fifty bucks on the table, I just enjoyed the show as David kept the beer flowing. Him and I an audience for this black Cajun man’s rampage.
Ashley sent me an obvious drunk text: I love you :)
Grinning, I texted her back: The two of us drunk at noon on New Year’s Day. How cute.
J.T.’s triumphant yell then caught my attention. “Whoo!” He slid out a huge tower into the pot. The arrogance such an obvious tell… “Come get some!” he shouted at the Cajun.
The man deliberated on the river bet.
Like a young gunslinger, J.T. leaned toward him. Trying to get eye-to-eye. “Come on, call me!” he yelled, desperate to antagonize the man.
The dealer forced J.T. back. “Sir, please don’t lean over the table.”
Holding his latest mixed drink, J.T. waved toward his opponent. “I don’t care! I’ll call clock on his ass!”
“Aw-in!” the man stated. He pushed his huge stack out.
Everyone watched, dumbfounded... but fucking entertained. Even if we didn’t quite understand the man’s dialect...
The dealer leaned in toward him. “Uh, sir. Was that an all-in?”
“Aw-in!” the Cajun declared. “I said aw-in!”
Now put on the spot, J.T. trembled in the cold. His weakness well on display. “Goddammit!” he yelled. His good mood long gone, he threw the cards toward the dealer. The confident drunk now hurtling through depression.
“Language, sir,” the dealer reminded him.
“I don’t give a fuck!” J.T. replied.
Now David was the one laughing his ass off…
J.T. motioned toward the Cajun. “How the Hell you keep winning these hands!”
With a smile of gold rather than teeth, the man faced J.T. “Dat’s juss how I play, boy.”
I couldn’t help but crack up. Trent covered his own chuckle.
“Yeah, and you stink like Hell too,” J.T. said.
Cackling, the Cajun stacked up his winnings.
Lily looked over at J.T. “Maybe that’s part of his strategy.”
“Well, I’m about to bust that shit! Fuck his strategy!” J.T. shouted. “And you wanna know why!” He looked down at his latest cards. “Because I’m J.T. Torres! That’s why!” On the warpath, he took out his phone. “I’m about to get in my zone, Rhonnie!”
I cringed. Simultaneously amused and embarrassed.
Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” blasted off J.T.’s phone. Over the IP’s soundtrack. Over Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” J.T. glared at the whole table. “I ain’t playing now! Who wants some of this!”
“It’s one three, boy,” Trent quipped.
Growing more and more aggravated, the dealer confronted J.T. “Sir, you can’t play music,” he said in an exasperated tone.
The security guard approached us. “No phones on the table!” he barked at J.T.
J.T. cut off the music. “Alright, that’s fine!” Without hesitation, he waved at his stack. “Fuck it, I’m all-in!”
“Sir-” the dealer began.
“I caw!” the Cajun cried. With everyone else out, he flipped over his cards. Pocket aces. The fucking bullets.
A dramatic intensity dominated the table. Only the ominous beat of “Bad Moon Rising” could be heard. The man’s rotten stench like cigarette smoke in the arena’s atmosphere. This heavyweight match we all anticipated now looking to be a quick knockout.
“Oh shit!” Trent joked to J.T. “You done fucked up!”
The twisting knife sent J.T. further into his downward spiral. Anger built inside him. He threw up his pocket kings. “Goddammit!” he said. “How much does he have?”
“He’s got you,” remarked the dealer in a not-so-subtle jab.
The Cajun chuckled. “I got you covered, boy!”
And he damn sure did. J.T.’s fifteen-hundred dollar stack was in a world of pain.
“Fuck!” J.T. yelled.
I then noticed the man jam both his hands inside those hoodie pockets. Burrowing them in deep.
“What the fuck!” I heard J.T. say to me. “What the fuck else could I do, Rhonnie! I had fucking kings!”
I watched the Cajun’s lips move... but his voice didn’t carry. He was mumbling… All while his eyes stayed glued to the center of the table. To where the cards would fall.
An unsettling realization hit me. The guy was praying… Mumbling some sort of chant.
“Luckyass bitch!” J.T. yelled.
With indifferent efficiency, the dealer laid the board out quick. The Cajun wound up with four aces. J.T. gone from a bad beat to outright slaughtered.
“Stick a fork in him!” Trent’s Southern accent joked.
“Oh shit…” David chimed in. He nudged me but I was too disturbed to respond. Too drawn into whatever was going on in seat seven’s world.
Full of rage, J.T. stood up, spilling some of his drink. “Man, fuck y’all!”
The guard took an annoyed step toward us. “Sir!” he yelled.
J.T. turned his irate eyes toward the Cajun. The man still had his hands in his pockets. His eyes still on the board. Still in prayer.
“He comes in here stinking up the place!” J.T. continued. He stumbled toward his nemesis. “And what the Hell’s he doing now!”
Trent glared at J.T. “Man, just leave him alone! Your ass can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be here nohow!”
In his trance, the Cajun stayed in his seat. Still chanting. His hands still hidden deep in those pockets.
Moving quick, the guard took off for the slots. His walkie-talkie at the ready. Eager for back-up.
David faced J.T. “Goddamn, man, chill!”
“Fucking idiot,” I heard Lily grumble.
The alcohol giving him fake toughness, J.T. pushed the man back. “How in the Hell did you win that!”
Startled, the Cajun stumbled up. His eyes in a panic. A disturbing amulet stuck in his sweaty hand.
The table gasped and screamed. Us drunks louder and more terrified than the rest.
The horrifying smell somehow got more sickening.
“What the fuck!” J.T. yelled at his rival.
Trembling, the man looked at each of us. Too scared to talk. Still clinging to a baby wolf. A real, dead baby wolf.
Like a furry fetus, its decomposing corpse resembled a crude outline of life. A tiny, crumbling cadaver. The pup’s hollow skin in a post-mortem preservation. Its blue eyes forever open.
And the Cajun had been holding this wolf for a very long time. A good luck charm in which the superstition outweighed the pup’s gruesome touch and nauseating stench.
A necklace of a noose was wrapped around its small neck. Rather than a medallion, the wolf wore a shiny dime. One with a hole drilled in the middle of it...
“It’s my Gris-Gris!” the man yelled in a guttural growl. Possessive, he pulled the wolf in closer. A literal baby in his arms. “You ain’t taking my Gris-Gris!”
Through the tension, no one said a word. No one except J.T..
“Hey, gimme that shit!” J.T. yelled. Pissed, he snatched the corpse out of the Cajun’s desperate grip.
“No!” the man cried. Tears formed in his eyes. “Gimme my Gris-Gris! My Loup Garou!”
“So that’s how your ass has been winning!” J.T. continued. He held the baby wolf out toward the man. “That’s how you been getting all them Goddamn cards!” With savage glee, he flicked the dime. “This is your nastyass good luck charm!”
The Cajun held his pitiful hands out toward J.T. Literally begging him… much to J.T.’s twisted delight. “I need him back!” he cried. “Gimme my Gris-Gris!”
“Give him the damn thing!” Trent shouted at J.T.
“Naw, Hell no!” J.T. replied. He squeezed on to the pup, making the wolf’s eyes even bigger. Further taunting the Cajun. “I need me some luck after this bitch took my chips!”
Weeping, the man motioned toward the corpse. “It’s no good, boy! Dat wolf’s only good luck for me! He’s bad luck for you!”
J.T. cackled. “Bullshit, bitch!”
“Whoever touch it get bad luck!”
Dismissive, J.T. looked toward the clerk. “Hey, get me three-hundred in chips! I’m reloading!”
A flash of silver caught everyone’s eye.
The machete whirled right through J.T.’s neck. A red river spread across his slit throat. For once, J.T. went silent.
He dropped the wolf and grasped at the fatal wound. A fountain of blood poured out his mouth.
The dead pup hit the felt. Its soft thud caused chips to collapse. Bits of its old flesh fragmented upon impact. The decomposing smell somehow hit new highs...
“My Gris-Gris!” the Cajun screamed
J.T. landed in his chair. His body convulsing in a painful rhythm. His death slow and steady. Blood now spewed all across table eight.
David and I exchanged frightened looks.
Disgusted, Trent moved his seat further away. Trying to avoid J.T.’s gore.
“Seat open on eight!” the dealer hollered out of instinct.
“Give us the fucking money!” a Southern drawl demanded.
The dealer went quiet quick. So did the rest of us. The rush of fear spread throughout the game.
All of us stared at the three men standing over us. Each of them wore black suits. Their faces disguised by straw hats and green bandanas.
The leader waved a long machete around. J.T.’s blood adding decorative crimson to the sharp blade. The other two robbers carried pistols. Without hesitation, they scooped up all the hundred dollar bills. The literal blood money.
The Cajun man reached for the wolf. “Lemme get my Loup Garou!”
With a harsh shove, the leader pushed him back in his seat. “Sorry, buddy!”
In tears, the Cajun looked toward the floor. His voice got lower but his words remained constant. Back to chanting.
A hush lingered on table eight. All thanks to J.T. going completely still.
Using his machete, the leader motioned his partners toward the clerk. “Go get the fucking money!”
They did as they were told. In a panic, the clerk opened the registers. “Please! Don’t shoot me!” she cried
The leader snatched the baby wolf. I sensed a wicked smile behind that bandana. “This must be your good luck charm.” He faced the Cajun. Holding up the corpse as if it were a pathetic trophy. “Is this shit how you won all the time?”
“Drop your weapons!” we heard someone shout.
Footsteps stormed behind us.
We turned just in time to see the security guard leading several armed officers inside the poker room.
Without hesitation, a cop fired. And not a warning shot either.
The bullet blew the leader’s brains out. Blood and gray matter sprayed over us. Courtesy of The IP.
“Goddammit!” the dealer shouted.
Screams formed our soundtrack. Several players jumped up.
“Stay where you are!” the guard commanded.
The leader collapsed on to the table. More grue covered the felt. The leader’s dead hands dropped both the machete and amulet.
The cops came rushing forward.
“Don’t move!” an officer screamed. “Sit the fuck down!”
The other players got back in their seats. Together, we formed a gruesome congregation. Each of us covered in blood. J.T.’s corpse seated as if he were ready to play. Table eight a poker game from Hell.
Eager to keep up with the real cops, the security guard descended upon us. He cringed at the smell. “Jesus Christ!” Then the wolf caught his eye.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!” Trent warned him.
“What the Hell’s this...” the guard said. He snatched the dead pup. Dusty flesh and dry blood stuck to his fingertips.
Instantly, several shots rang in the new year and the guard’s brutal death. Bullets obliterated his face into oblivion. In the chilly room, the gunfire left us all coated in another layer of crimson.
The security guard fell to the floor, motionless. Gaping holes leaked blood from his head. The baby wolf still clasped in his tight grip.
David downed his beer. The now-red Corona didn’t bother him at this point...
Behind us, I saw the cops apprehend the other two robbers.
The lingering fear made me shiver. The gang could’ve shot any one of us… but deep down, I knew why they only killed the guard. And why they immediately surrendered afterward.
I looked on at the dead wolf. Its baby blues remained fixated on me. Tempting me to touch. Its mummified body the prettiest corpse in this poker room’s collection.
“Shit, I ain’t touching it!” I heard David say.
Weary, Trent stood up and pushed his seat back. “Fuck it!” Blood dripping off his beard and jacket, he looked toward the nervous clerk. Pointed down at his ridiculous chip stack. Even at the pieces of flesh stuck to them. “I’m cashing out!”
14
submitted by rhonnie14 to Odd_directions [link] [comments]

Some Good Luck Charms Are Stronger Than Others

2020 was already getting off to a bad start. Here it was New Year’s Day in Biloxi, Mississippi and I was already down four-hundred for the year. And it was only noon...
Of course, the black-eyed peas didn’t help. No good luck charm could cure my current drought at the Imperial Palace’s poker room.
This was the last day my buddies and I would be out here. Our final day touring Biloxi’s many casinos. Just like years past, The Vegas Of The South hadn’t been kind to me. But I still had fun. Your wacky horror author Rhonnie enjoyed poker after all. Even when I was constantly being battered by bad beats.
There were four of us out here. Me and my Stanwyck, Georgia poker pals. I was the youngest of the bunch. Scrawnier than ever, my combed-over brown hair was still a mess from this wild binge of booze and cards. My green eyes wild with drunken life. The gambling fix just what I needed after a hectic 2019.
My friends J.T., David, and Trent were all with me. From playing nickel/dime house games to $1/3 at the IP, we brought the rowdiness of South Georgia with us to this fine establishment... much to the chagrin of all the dealers and poker players.
A few years older than me, David was a stocky, red-headed Southern boy. The combination of his loud voice and drunk shit talking ensured we’d never keep a low-profile. David always unrestrained unless he was behind bars or in a strait-jacket.
J.T. was similar but more stable. At forty, he’d skirted by authority and drama with the type of good luck he inexplicably had at the casinos. Tall and lanky, J.T. was Hispanic in ethnicity but a crazed country boy at heart. And with him and David together, their fighting and flirting hit a manic overdrive. Trent only dealt with them due to experience... J.T. was his ex-brother-in-law after all.
Trent was the most reserved out of us. Even drunk, he didn’t cut up much. His bushy beard and piercing eyes certainly gave him clout on the felt. Not to mention he was the only one with a real job. With real money to spare. When David, J.T., and I inevitably went broke, the three of us followed Trent around like roadies desperate for a rock star’s sloppy seconds.
New Year’s Day was just a chaotic continuation of our three-day bender. At noon, everyone but Trent was already hammered. The constant “free” beer and vodka our only way of staving off the New Year’s Eve hangovers hunting us down…
This early, the IP’s card room was empty save for one $1/3 table. The four of us had table eight together. Under bright lighting, we enjoyed the game with four other Hold Em stragglers. I only recognized Lily a hot regular I’d seen over in Gretna, Florida’s poker room. Someone from our neck of the woods. Wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses and flaunting her stylish short brown hair, she was the only female player here... And already, both David and J.T. had tried her. And already she’d insulted them right back. Not to mention took the last of David’s pathetic chip stack.
Table eight’s other players included the usual low stakes caricatures. The shitregs. A depressed dad with an equally depressing dad bod. The smartass college kid masquerading as a poker pro. And an older farmer still wearing overalls, the type of surreal sight you somehow take for granted in Biloxi. Our dealer was a bitchy man in his mid-40s. The type of rude personality reserved for the casino’s deader shifts.
None of the players were any good. Then again, I couldn’t talk much. My thirty-big-blind buy-in strategy had been continually getting crushed by suckouts. Usually by Trent. Needless to say, he and Lily were the big winners so far… Their colorful chip stacks even contained stray hundred dollar bills. But somehow, J.T.’s drunkass had even more. Obnoxious as ever, the son-of-a-bitch had been running off Fireball cinnamon whiskies since the ball dropped. And here he was with over three grand on the table. A stack of Benjamins clustered amongst his towers.
Now the farmer had just thrown in another hundred dollar bill. J.T. snap called. Farmer showed three of a kind. J.T. hesitated for a moment... either he was too drunk to read the board or slow-rolling his opponent. My guess was both.
Finally, J.T. slung down the winning hand: ten four of diamonds. A flush on the river.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Laughing, J.T. collected his latest pot. Another two hundred for his growing stack. “Nice hand, sir!” he taunted the frowning farmer. “You see that shit, Trent! I played that shit like you!”
Broke and on his tenth Corona, David now sat behind me. A rail I never asked for… but an entertaining one at least.
I looked over at a corner where the front desk was. Where all the chips and cash were. The clerk just watched us, her dark eyes like lasers. The pot-bellied security guard on standby. David again the center of attention.
A wave of cold air hit us. My FSU hoodie couldn’t keep me from shivering. And regardless of all the booze, I suspected David’s long-sleeved AC/DC shirt wasn’t helping him much either.
I looked down at my cards. Ten three offsuit. Yet another fold on my fucking big blind.
Then a rotten smell hit me. Well from beyond the grave. The scent more putrid than roadkill.
“Is this one three hold em?” I heard a guttural drawl say.
The entire table looked toward our latest player. Hopefully, our latest fish. The black man certainly looked the part. Dressed in rumpled jeans and a red jacket with rolled-up sleeves, he was in his fifties. His scruffy beard matched by greasy Jheri curls. Years of wildness captured in his arsenal of tattoos and odd jewelry. The skull-and-bones earrings and gold teeth certainly hinted at what was sure to be an eccentric gambler.
The man’s stern gaze locked in on the security guard. “Is it one-three?” he asked in that muddled Cajun accent. With a flourish, he pulled out a bundle of Benjamins. Well over five-hundred dollars.
Immediately, the guard went to work getting those chips. Him and the clerk eager to count the dough.
The Cajun took a seat right beside J.T. Seat number seven.
“Holy shit…” J.T. exclaimed. He flashed David and I a drunken smirk.
But soon, that smile was wiped clean. The wild man didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and he may have been stinking up the place with a corpse’s hygiene, but he was damn sure winning.
Even Trent and Lily’s stacks were going downhill. Left with only fifty bucks on the table, I just enjoyed the show as David kept the beer flowing. Him and I an audience for this black Cajun man’s rampage.
Ashley sent me an obvious drunk text: I love you :)
Grinning, I texted her back: The two of us drunk at noon on New Year’s Day. How cute.
J.T.’s triumphant yell then caught my attention. “Whoo!” He slid out a huge tower into the pot. The arrogance such an obvious tell… “Come get some!” he shouted at the Cajun.
The man deliberated on the river bet.
Like a young gunslinger, J.T. leaned toward him. Trying to get eye-to-eye. “Come on, call me!” he yelled, desperate to antagonize the man.
The dealer forced J.T. back. “Sir, please don’t lean over the table.”
Holding his latest mixed drink, J.T. waved toward his opponent. “I don’t care! I’ll call clock on his ass!”
“Aw-in!” the man stated. He pushed his huge stack out.
Everyone watched, dumbfounded... but fucking entertained. Even if we didn’t quite understand the man’s dialect...
The dealer leaned in toward him. “Uh, sir. Was that an all-in?”
“Aw-in!” the Cajun declared. “I said aw-in!”
Now put on the spot, J.T. trembled in the cold. His weakness well on display. “Goddammit!” he yelled. His good mood long gone, he threw the cards toward the dealer. The confident drunk now hurtling through depression.
“Language, sir,” the dealer reminded him.
“I don’t give a fuck!” J.T. replied.
Now David was the one laughing his ass off…
J.T. motioned toward the Cajun. “How the Hell you keep winning these hands!”
With a smile of gold rather than teeth, the man faced J.T. “Dat’s juss how I play, boy.”
I couldn’t help but crack up. Trent covered his own chuckle.
“Yeah, and you stink like Hell too,” J.T. said.
Cackling, the Cajun stacked up his winnings.
Lily looked over at J.T. “Maybe that’s part of his strategy.”
“Well, I’m about to bust that shit! Fuck his strategy!” J.T. shouted. “And you wanna know why!” He looked down at his latest cards. “Because I’m J.T. Torres! That’s why!” On the warpath, he took out his phone. “I’m about to get in my zone, Rhonnie!”
I cringed. Simultaneously amused and embarrassed.
Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” blasted off J.T.’s phone. Over the IP’s soundtrack. Over Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” J.T. glared at the whole table. “I ain’t playing now! Who wants some of this!”
“It’s one three, boy,” Trent quipped.
Growing more and more aggravated, the dealer confronted J.T. “Sir, you can’t play music,” he said in an exasperated tone.
The security guard approached us. “No phones on the table!” he barked at J.T.
J.T. cut off the music. “Alright, that’s fine!” Without hesitation, he waved at his stack. “Fuck it, I’m all-in!”
“Sir-” the dealer began.
“I caw!” the Cajun cried. With everyone else out, he flipped over his cards. Pocket aces. The fucking bullets.
A dramatic intensity dominated the table. Only the ominous beat of “Bad Moon Rising” could be heard. The man’s rotten stench like cigarette smoke in the arena’s atmosphere. This heavyweight match we all anticipated now looking to be a quick knockout.
“Oh shit!” Trent joked to J.T. “You done fucked up!”
The twisting knife sent J.T. further into his downward spiral. Anger built inside him. He threw up his pocket kings. “Goddammit!” he said. “How much does he have?”
“He’s got you,” remarked the dealer in a not-so-subtle jab.
The Cajun chuckled. “I got you covered, boy!”
And he damn sure did. J.T.’s fifteen-hundred dollar stack was in a world of pain.
“Fuck!” J.T. yelled.
I then noticed the man jam both his hands inside those hoodie pockets. Burrowing them in deep.
“What the fuck!” I heard J.T. say to me. “What the fuck else could I do, Rhonnie! I had fucking kings!”
I watched the Cajun’s lips move... but his voice didn’t carry. He was mumbling… All while his eyes stayed glued to the center of the table. To where the cards would fall.
An unsettling realization hit me. The guy was praying… Mumbling some sort of chant.
“Luckyass bitch!” J.T. yelled.
With indifferent efficiency, the dealer laid the board out quick. The Cajun wound up with four aces. J.T. gone from a bad beat to outright slaughtered.
“Stick a fork in him!” Trent’s Southern accent joked.
“Oh shit…” David chimed in. He nudged me but I was too disturbed to respond. Too drawn into whatever was going on in seat seven’s world.
Full of rage, J.T. stood up, spilling some of his drink. “Man, fuck y’all!”
The guard took an annoyed step toward us. “Sir!” he yelled.
J.T. turned his irate eyes toward the Cajun. The man still had his hands in his pockets. His eyes still on the board. Still in prayer.
“He comes in here stinking up the place!” J.T. continued. He stumbled toward his nemesis. “And what the Hell’s he doing now!”
Trent glared at J.T. “Man, just leave him alone! Your ass can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be here nohow!”
In his trance, the Cajun stayed in his seat. Still chanting. His hands still hidden deep in those pockets.
Moving quick, the guard took off for the slots. His walkie-talkie at the ready. Eager for back-up.
David faced J.T. “Goddamn, man, chill!”
“Fucking idiot,” I heard Lily grumble.
The alcohol giving him fake toughness, J.T. pushed the man back. “How in the Hell did you win that!”
Startled, the Cajun stumbled up. His eyes in a panic. A disturbing amulet stuck in his sweaty hand.
The table gasped and screamed. Us drunks louder and more terrified than the rest.
The horrifying smell somehow got more sickening.
“What the fuck!” J.T. yelled at his rival.
Trembling, the man looked at each of us. Too scared to talk. Still clinging to a baby wolf. A real, dead baby wolf.
Like a furry fetus, its decomposing corpse resembled a crude outline of life. A tiny, crumbling cadaver. The pup’s hollow skin in a post-mortem preservation. Its blue eyes forever open.
And the Cajun had been holding this wolf for a very long time. A good luck charm in which the superstition outweighed the pup’s gruesome touch and nauseating stench.
A necklace of a noose was wrapped around its small neck. Rather than a medallion, the wolf wore a shiny dime. One with a hole drilled in the middle of it...
“It’s my Gris-Gris!” the man yelled in a guttural growl. Possessive, he pulled the wolf in closer. A literal baby in his arms. “You ain’t taking my Gris-Gris!”
Through the tension, no one said a word. No one except J.T..
“Hey, gimme that shit!” J.T. yelled. Pissed, he snatched the corpse out of the Cajun’s desperate grip.
“No!” the man cried. Tears formed in his eyes. “Gimme my Gris-Gris! My Loup Garou!”
“So that’s how your ass has been winning!” J.T. continued. He held the baby wolf out toward the man. “That’s how you been getting all them Goddamn cards!” With savage glee, he flicked the dime. “This is your nastyass good luck charm!”
The Cajun held his pitiful hands out toward J.T. Literally begging him… much to J.T.’s twisted delight. “I need him back!” he cried. “Gimme my Gris-Gris!”
“Give him the damn thing!” Trent shouted at J.T.
“Naw, Hell no!” J.T. replied. He squeezed on to the pup, making the wolf’s eyes even bigger. Further taunting the Cajun. “I need me some luck after this bitch took my chips!”
Weeping, the man motioned toward the corpse. “It’s no good, boy! Dat wolf’s only good luck for me! He’s bad luck for you!”
J.T. cackled. “Bullshit, bitch!”
“Whoever touch it get bad luck!”
Dismissive, J.T. looked toward the clerk. “Hey, get me three-hundred in chips! I’m reloading!”
A flash of silver caught everyone’s eye.
The machete whirled right through J.T.’s neck. A red river spread across his slit throat. For once, J.T. went silent.
He dropped the wolf and grasped at the fatal wound. A fountain of blood poured out his mouth.
The dead pup hit the felt. Its soft thud caused chips to collapse. Bits of its old flesh fragmented upon impact. The decomposing smell somehow hit new highs...
“My Gris-Gris!” the Cajun screamed
J.T. landed in his chair. His body convulsing in a painful rhythm. His death slow and steady. Blood now spewed all across table eight.
David and I exchanged frightened looks.
Disgusted, Trent moved his seat further away. Trying to avoid J.T.’s gore.
“Seat open on eight!” the dealer hollered out of instinct.
“Give us the fucking money!” a Southern drawl demanded.
The dealer went quiet quick. So did the rest of us. The rush of fear spread throughout the game.
All of us stared at the three men standing over us. Each of them wore black suits. Their faces disguised by straw hats and green bandanas.
The leader waved a long machete around. J.T.’s blood adding decorative crimson to the sharp blade. The other two robbers carried pistols. Without hesitation, they scooped up all the hundred dollar bills. The literal blood money.
The Cajun man reached for the wolf. “Lemme get my Loup Garou!”
With a harsh shove, the leader pushed him back in his seat. “Sorry, buddy!”
In tears, the Cajun looked toward the floor. His voice got lower but his words remained constant. Back to chanting.
A hush lingered on table eight. All thanks to J.T. going completely still.
Using his machete, the leader motioned his partners toward the clerk. “Go get the fucking money!”
They did as they were told. In a panic, the clerk opened the registers. “Please! Don’t shoot me!” she cried
The leader snatched the baby wolf. I sensed a wicked smile behind that bandana. “This must be your good luck charm.” He faced the Cajun. Holding up the corpse as if it were a pathetic trophy. “Is this shit how you won all the time?”
“Drop your weapons!” we heard someone shout.
Footsteps stormed behind us.
We turned just in time to see the security guard leading several armed officers inside the poker room.
Without hesitation, a cop fired. And not a warning shot either.
The bullet blew the leader’s brains out. Blood and gray matter sprayed over us. Courtesy of The IP.
“Goddammit!” the dealer shouted.
Screams formed our soundtrack. Several players jumped up.
“Stay where you are!” the guard commanded.
The leader collapsed on to the table. More grue covered the felt. The leader’s dead hands dropped both the machete and amulet.
The cops came rushing forward.
“Don’t move!” an officer screamed. “Sit the fuck down!”
The other players got back in their seats. Together, we formed a gruesome congregation. Each of us covered in blood. J.T.’s corpse seated as if he were ready to play. Table eight a poker game from Hell.
Eager to keep up with the real cops, the security guard descended upon us. He cringed at the smell. “Jesus Christ!” Then the wolf caught his eye.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!” Trent warned him.
“What the Hell’s this...” the guard said. He snatched the dead pup. Dusty flesh and dry blood stuck to his fingertips.
Instantly, several shots rang in the new year and the guard’s brutal death. Bullets obliterated his face into oblivion. In the chilly room, the gunfire left us all coated in another layer of crimson.
The security guard fell to the floor, motionless. Gaping holes leaked blood from his head. The baby wolf still clasped in his tight grip.
David downed his beer. The now-red Corona didn’t bother him at this point...
Behind us, I saw the cops apprehend the other two robbers.
The lingering fear made me shiver. The gang could’ve shot any one of us… but deep down, I knew why they only killed the guard. And why they immediately surrendered afterward.
I looked on at the dead wolf. Its baby blues remained fixated on me. Tempting me to touch. Its mummified body the prettiest corpse in this poker room’s collection.
“Shit, I ain’t touching it!” I heard David say.
Weary, Trent stood up and pushed his seat back. “Fuck it!” Blood dripping off his beard and jacket, he looked toward the nervous clerk. Pointed down at his ridiculous chip stack. Even at the pieces of flesh stuck to them. “I’m cashing out!”
14
submitted by rhonnie14 to nosleep [link] [comments]

List of Las Vegas Casinos that Never Opened

List of Las Vegas casinos that never opened
Over the years there have been several casinos and resorts planned for the Las Vegas Valley that never opened. The stages of planning may have been just an announcement or groundbreaking.[1][2][3]
Asia Resort and Casino
Where the Palazzo Casino and Resort currently stands (adjacent to the Venetian Hotel and Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center), an Asian themed casino was proposed but was rejected for the present Palazzo project.[4]
Alon Las Vegas
A proposed luxury hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip on the former site of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, announced in 2015.[5] The project was put in doubt after Crown Resorts announced in late 2016 it was suspending its involvement in the development.[6] Crown announced in December 2016 that it was halting the project and seeking to sell its investment. The remaining partner Andrew Pascal announced he was seeking other partners to proceed with the project. However in May 2017, the land went up for sale.[7] The land was later purchased by Steve Wynn.
Beau Rivage
Steve Wynn, who had purchased and demolished the Dunes hotel-casino, had originally planned to build a modern hotel in the middle of a man-made lake. He later built the Bellagio with a man-made lake in the front of the hotel.[citation needed] The name was later used by Wynn for a resort built in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Caribbean Casino
In 1988, a sign for a proposed casino was erected on a fenced vacant lot on Flamingo Road. Standing near the sign was a scale model galleon. For several years, that was all that stood on the property. The empty lot was the source of many jokes by the locals until the ship, which was later damaged by a fire started by a homeless person, was torn down in the 1990s and the lot became the site of the Tuscany Suites and Casino co-owned by Charles Heers, who has owned the property since the 1960s.[8]
Carnival
In 1990, the Radisson group proposed a 3,376-room hotel next to the Dunes, with a casino shaped like a Hershey's Kiss.[9]
Cascada
A proposed resort that was to have been built on the site of El Rancho Vegas. The parcel is now partially taken by the Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Las Vegas Festival Grounds.[4]
City by the Bay Resort and Casino
A San Francisco-themed resort was proposed for the site of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino. The project was rejected in favor of the Swiss-themed Montreux, which was also eventually cancelled.[4]
Countryland USA
A country music-themed resort was planned for construction of the site of the former El Rancho Hotel and Casino. For some years, the El Rancho sign stood with the words "Coming Soon - Future Home of Countryland USA."[10][11]
Craig Ranch Station
Main article: Craig Ranch Station A Mediterranean-themed hotel-casino for North Las Vegas, proposed by Station Casinos in March 2000.[12] The project faced opposition from nearby residents,[13][14][15] which led to the proposed location being changed to a vacant property on the nearby Craig Ranch Golf Course.[16] Residential opposition to the new location led to the project being rejected by the Nevada Gaming Policy Committee in March 2001. Station Casinos still had the option to develop the project on the initial site,[17][18] but the project was cancelled entirely in July 2001, following a weak financial quarter for the company.[19]
Crown Las Vegas
Main article: Crown Las Vegas Formerly known as Las Vegas Tower, the Crown Las Vegas was to have been a supertall skyscraper built on the former site of a Wet 'n Wild water park. In March 2008, the project was canceled and the property was put up for sale.[20]
Desert Kingdom
In 1993, ITT Sheraton purchased the Desert Inn casino, and had announced plans to develop the large parking lot into a Balinese themed resort to complement the Desert Inn. The project was never developed and the site is now the location of Wynn Las Vegas.[4]
DeVille Casino
After building the Landmark Hotel and Casino on Convention Center Drive and selling it to Howard Hughes, developer Frank Carroll built the DeVille Casino across the street from the Landmark at 900 Convention Center Drive in 1969. Chips were made for the casino (and are sought-after collectibles), but the casino never opened.[21] The building was renovated in 1992 as a race book parlor named Sport of Kings which closed after nine months.[22] It became the location of The Beach nightclub, which was demolished in 2007 to make room for a planned 600-unit tower[23] that was never built.[24] The land sits currently empty.
Echelon Place
Main article: Echelon Place An announced project by Boyd Gaming planned to have a hotel built on the property of the former Stardust Resort & Casino. Construction was suspended on August 1, 2008 due to the Great Recession. In March 2013, Boyd Gaming sold the proposed site for $350 million to the Genting Group, which is redeveloping the project as the Asian-themed Resorts World Las Vegas.
Fontainebleau Las Vegas
Main article: The Drew Las Vegas Located on the Las Vegas Strip and originally known as Fontainebleau Las Vegas. Construction began in 2007, and the resort was to include a casino, 2,871 hotel rooms, and 1,018 condominium units.[25] Construction on the $2.9 billion project ceased in 2009, the year of its planned opening. Investment firms Witkoff Group and New Valley LLC purchased the unfinished resort in 2017.[26] In 2018, Witkoff and Marriott International announced a partnership to open the renamed project as The Drew Las Vegas in 2020. The resort will include a casino and three hotels totaling nearly 4,000 rooms, with the condominium aspect removed from the project.[27]
Harley-Davidson Hotel and Casino
A resort themed after the motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson was proposed, complete with hotel towers shaped like gigantic exhaust pipes, but was never built.[4]
Jockey Club Casino
The Jockey Club is a condominium and timeshare resort at 3700 Las Vegas Boulevard South. It was planned to have a casino, and chips were made for its use, but the casino was never opened.[28]
Kactus Kate's
By April 1994, Gold Coast Hotel and Casino owner Michael Gaughan was interested in building a hotel-casino in North Las Vegas,[29] at the northeast corner of North Rancho Drive and Carey Avenue. In January 1995, the city planning commission approved the rezoning of the land for use as a hotel-casino. The resort, to be named Kactus Kate's, would be built by Gold Coast Hotel/Casino Limited. The hotel would include 450 rooms, and the casino would be 105,000 sq ft (9,800 m2),[30] later decreased to 102,000 sq ft (9,500 m2).[31] The resort would be located directly north of the nearby Fiesta and Texas Station resorts.[31]
In December 1998, Coast Resorts, Inc. received approval from the planning commission for a use-permit relating to the undeveloped property. In November 2000, the planning commission unanimously approved a two-year extension on the permit, giving the company more time to decide whether it would build Kactus Kate's. Because of a 1999 Senate bill that placed restrictions on casinos in neighborhoods, Coast Resorts had a deadline of 2002 to build the casino. The hotel would measure over 100 feet (30 m) high, and Coast Resorts was required to notify the Federal Aviation Administration of its final plans, due to the site being located less than 1,000 feet (300 m) from a runway at the North Las Vegas Airport.[32] In January 2001, Station Casinos purchased the 29-acre (12 ha) site for $9 million. Coast Resorts president Harlan Braaten said, "As we saw the competitive nature of that area intensify, in terms of the size of competing facilities, we just felt we would have to build something much bigger than we had intended to compete with Texas Station and Santa Fe Station. It was just going to be a very expensive project, and we didn't feel the returns would be that good." Station Casinos planned to sell the property as a non-gaming site.[31]
Las Vegas Plaza
Main article: Las Vegas Plaza Not to be confused with the Plaza Hotel & Casino.
This was to have been modeled after the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The project was announced shortly before the demolition of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, where the new hotel would be built. Las Vegas Plaza was cancelled in 2011 due to the Great Recession.
London Resort and Casino
This announced project was to have been themed around the city of London, and featuring replicas of the city's landmarks. The project was to be built on land across from the Luxor Hotel and Casino. A second London-themed resort was to be built on the former land of the El Rancho Hotel and Casino. Neither project ever began construction.[4]
London, Las Vegas
This was a proposed three-phase project using London as its design inspiration. When completed, the 38.5-acre (15.5 ha) property would have featured 1,300 hotel rooms, a casino, a 500-foot-tall (152.4 m) observation wheel named Skyvue (partially constructed), and 550,000 square feet (51,097 square meters) of restaurants and shops — all of which would be architectural replicas of various British landmarks and neighborhoods.[33] The project was to be constructed on land across from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, where — as of November 2019 — the partially-constructed Skyvue still stands. The wheel was to be "Phase I of London, Las Vegas".
Montreux Resort
This Swiss-themed resort was to have been built on the property of the former New Frontier Hotel and Casino, but was ultimately cancelled.[34]
Moon Resort and Casino
Proposed by Canadian developer Michael Henderson, this is a planned 10,000-room, 250-acre (1.0 km2) lunar-themed casino resort.[35] Gaming experts doubt it will ever be built in Las Vegas, simply because the space planned for it is too large for the Las Vegas Strip.[4]
NevStar 2000
Further information: Craig Ranch Station § NevStar 2000 Proposed by NevStar Gaming in 1998, the NevStar 2000 entertainment complex in North Las Vegas would have included a hotel and casino,[36] but the project faced opposition from nearby residents who did not want a casino in the area.[37][38] The project was cancelled when NevStar Gaming filed for bankruptcy in December 1999.[12]
North Coast/Boyd Gaming project
In May 2003, Coast Casinos had plans for the North Coast hotel-casino, to be built at the southwest corner of Centennial Parkway and Lamb Boulevard in North Las Vegas. The project would be built on approximately 40 acres (16 ha) of vacant land, surrounded by other land that was also undeveloped. At the time, the North Las Vegas Planning Commission was scheduled to review requests for zoning changes and approvals for the project. The project was not scheduled to be built for at least another four years, after completion of a highway interchange at Lamb Boulevard and the nearby Interstate 15, as well as the completion of an overpass over nearby railroad tracks. Bill Curran, an attorney for the land owner, said, "We're going through the zoning changes now so everybody knows what's going to be out there." The North Coast would include a casino, a 10-story hotel with 398 rooms, a bowling alley, movie theaters, and a parking garage.[39] In June 2003, the Planning Commission voted 6 to 1 to approve preliminary applications necessary to begin work on the North Coast.[40][41]
Boyd Gaming, the owner of Coast Casinos, announced in February 2006 that it would purchase the 40-acre site for $35 million.[42] Jackie Gaughan and Kenny Epstein were the owners at the time.[43] Boyd Gaming had not decided on whether the new project would be a Coast property or if it would be similar to the company's Sam's Town hotel-casino. At the time, no timetable was set for building the project.[42] In March 2007, the project was put on hold. At the time, Boyd Gaming had been securing construction permits for the project but decided to first review growth in the area. Construction had been scheduled to begin in mid-2007.[44] In August 2013, Boyd Gaming sold the undeveloped property for $5.15 million.[43]
Palace of the Sea Resort and Casino
This was to have been built on the former Wet 'n Wild waterpark site. Conceptual drawings included yacht-shaped towers that housed suites, a casino resembling the Sydney Opera House and a 600-foot (180 m) tall Ferris wheel-type attraction dubbed a "Sky Wheel". It never left the planning stages.[4]
Paramount Las Vegas
A casino and hotel and condo resort with more than 1,800 units that was planned by Royal Palms Las Vegas, a subsidiary of Royal Palms Communities.[45][46] The project was to replace the Klondike Hotel and Casino at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip,[47][45] beside the Las Vegas welcome sign.[48] The resort was approved in October 2006,[45] but an investor pulled out of the project in August 2007, and the land was put up for sale in May 2008.[46]
Pharoah's Kingdom
Pharoah's Kingdom was planned as a $1.2 billion gaming, hotel and theme park complex to be built on 710 acres (290 ha) at Pebble Road and Las Vegas Boulevard, five miles south of the Las Vegas Strip.[49][1] Construction was approved in October 1988,[49] with Silano Development Group as the developer.[50]
The project would have an Egyptian theme, including two 12-story pyramids made of crystal, with each containing 300 suites. The hotel would have a total of 5,000 rooms,[50] making it the largest in the world.[51] The 230,000 sq ft (21,000 m2) casino would include 100 table games and 3,000 slot machines, while an RV park, mini-golf, a bowling alley, and a video game arcade would be located beside the casino area.[52] Three of the project's various pyramid structures would house the 50-acre (20 ha) family theme park. Other features would include sphinxes, man-made beaches, waterways resembling the Nile river, an underwater restaurant, a 24-hour child-care facility, a 100-tenant shopping promenade, and a repertory-style theater that would be overseen by actor Jack Klugman.[52] Additionally, the resort would feature an 18-hole PGA Championship golf course,[52] and a monorail located within the theme park.[50] The project would have one mile of frontage along Las Vegas Boulevard.[52]
Frank Gambella, president of the project, stated that financing was in place, with groundbreaking planned for March or April 1989. Gambella said the project would be financed by several entities, with the money coming from a Nevada corporation, suggesting the entities would be grouped together as an umbrella corporation. Gambella stated that the project could be opened by Labor Day 1990. The resort was expected to employ 8,000 people. Following the completion of the resort, Gambella said a complex of 750 condominiums would be built on the land along with 900 retirement-care apartments.[52]
The project was cancelled shortly after it was announced, as authorities became suspicious of developer Anthony Silano's fundraising efforts for the project. It was discovered that Silano and his associates hacked into the Switzerland bank accounts of Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos following his death in 1989. Silano pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges. Another Egyptian-themed resort, Luxor Las Vegas, would open on the south Las Vegas Strip in 1993.[1]
Planet Hollywood Resort (original plans)
Not to be confused with the current Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.
Originally planned to open in the late 1990s on the site of the Desert Inn, it was to be one of the largest hotels in Las Vegas. Because of the bankruptcy of Planet Hollywood Restaurants, the hotel was never built. However, in the 2000s, a group of investors bought the new Aladdin Hotel and Casino and remodeled it with a modern Hollywood theme.[4]
Playboy Hotel and Casino
A proposed casino resort themed after Playboy magazine was rejected in favor of a nightclub and suites built at the top two floors of the new Palms tower.[4] The planned location for the Playboy Hotel and Casino, on the Las Vegas Strip, was later used for the Cosmopolitan resort.[53]
Santa Fe Valley
Main article: Santa Fe Valley Santa Fe Gaming, which owned the Santa Fe hotel-casino in northwest Las Vegas, had plans for a second Santa Fe property in 1996.[54] The Santa Fe Valley would be built on a 40-acre (16 ha) lot[55] in Henderson, Nevada, adjacent to the Galleria at Sunset mall. The start of construction was delayed several times because of poor financial quarters for Santa Fe Gaming,[54] and because of the company not yet receiving financing for the project.[56] Site preparation started in July 1998, with an opening date scheduled for December 1999,[57] but construction never began. In 1999, the property was sold to Station Casinos,[58][59] which sold the land a year later for use as a shopping center.[60]
Shenandoah Hotel and Casino
A project by Wayne Newton. Although the hotel operated for a short time at 120 E. Flamingo Road, the management was unable to get a gaming license. After years of floundering it was sold to a Canadian company and became Bourbon Street Hotel and Casino.
Silver City proposals
By January 2000, Luke Brugnara was planning to build a San Francisco-themed resort on the site of the closed Silver City Casino.[61] Brugnara intended to give Silver City a multimillion-dollar renovation, with plans to have a fully operational hotel-casino by 2002.[62] In March 2001, Brugnara's request for a gaming license was rejected.[63] In May 2002, it was announced that Brugnara had sold the casino while retaining six acres located behind the building.[64] In 2003, Brugnara was planning to build a 24-story, 304-room hotel and casino resort on a portion of the Silver City property. The resort, to be named "Tycoon", was to be designed by Lee Linton, with an expected cost of approximately $100 million.[65]
Starship Orion
International Thoroughbred Breeders (ITB) announced plans to demolish the El Rancho and construct Starship Orion, a $1 billion hotel, casino, entertainment and retail complex with an outer space theme, covering 5.4 million square feet (501,676 square meters). The resort was to include seven separately owned casinos, each approximately 30,000 square feet (2,787 square meters).[66][67] Each potential casino owner was to contribute up to $100 million to own and operate a casino within the complex.[68] The complex would have included 300,000 square feet (27,871 square meters) of retail space, as well as 2,400 hotel rooms and a 65-story hotel tower. ITB hoped to begin construction later in 1996, with a planned opening date of April 1998.[67]
Sunrise
This was to have been located at 4575 Boulder Highway. Property developer Michael Mona Jr. built the hotel-casino and stated that he was going to break tradition by starting a "casino without a theme". He failed to get an unrestricted gaming license when suspicions arose concerning his associations with alleged organized crime figures. Chips were made for the casino, but were never used.[69] The building was opened as Arizona Charlie's Boulder.
Titanic
In 1999, Bob Stupak was planning a 400-foot-high (122 m) resort themed after the RMS Titanic, to be built on a 10-acre (4 hectares) property he owned near downtown Las Vegas. The resort would have included 1,200 rooms, 800 of which were to be used for timeshares to help finance the project. That year, planning commissioners rejected Stupak's request to change the zoning to allow for a hotel.[70] The project was later planned for the former site of the El Rancho Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip, but was rejected by the Las Vegas City Council.[4]
W Las Vegas
Main article: W Las Vegas W Las Vegas was proposed in August 2005, as a $1.7 billion joint project between Starwood and Edge Resorts, with a scheduled opening in 2008. The project would include a 75,000 sq ft (7,000 m2) casino and approximately 3,000 hotel, condo hotel, and residential units.[71][72] The project was cancelled in May 2007, after Starwood pulled out of the deal.[73]
Wally's Wagon Wheel
Wally's Wagon Wheel was to be developed by Walter Weiss through his company, Magna Leisure Partnership.[74][75] The project was proposed for 2200 South Boulder Highway in Henderson,[76][77] between Wagon Wheel Drive and Roberts Road,[78] near Henderson's Old Vegas western theme park. Manga Leisure Partnership purchased the 15.5-acre property in late February 1988. Weiss, at that time, had tentative plans for a western-themed, 112-room property known then as the Wagon Wheel Hotel and Casino. The Wagon Wheel was expected to cost $15 million, and financing had yet to be obtained for the project, which Weiss expected to open in early 1990.[74] The project, which would include a 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2) casino, was to be built in two phases.[79]
By October 1991, Wally's Wagon Wheel remained unbuilt due to difficulty obtaining financing.[80][76] That month, the Henderson Planning Commission voted to give Weiss more time to make progress on the project. At that time, the project was to include 204 hotel rooms and would be built on 13.30 acres (5.38 ha). Weiss noted that the nearby successful Sam's Town hotel-casino opened with 204 rooms, and he believed his project would be successful if he opened with the same amount of rooms for good luck.[76] By the end of 1992, Weiss had still not acquired financing for Wally's Wagon Wheel. At the time, the project was the largest of five casinos being planned for Henderson. The three-story project was to include 200 rooms, two restaurants, a theater lounge for country and western entertainment, and a large bingo room. Weiss stated that groundbreaking was scheduled for May 1993, with an expected opening in June 1994. The hotel-casino would employ approximately 600 people upon opening.[81]
Weiss met with nearby residents to discuss the project, and he had the original design changed to include a larger buffer zone between homes and the hotel-casino. In November 1994, the Henderson Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of Weiss' requested zone change as part of the redesign. The project, at that time, was to include a one-story casino and a four-story hotel with 400 rooms.[82][83] In December 1994, the Henderson City Council rejected Weiss' plans for a 200-foot (61 m) buffer.[84]
In July 1997, the unbuilt project received its sixth extension from the Henderson Planning Commission for a use permit and architectural review.[85] In August 1997, the Henderson City Council approved the sixth extension, but denied Weiss' appeal for a one-year extension, instead giving him six months to make progress on the project.[77] Up to that time, $1.7 million had been invested in the project by Magna Leisure Partnership.[86] As of 1998, the project was expected to cost $80 million and employ at least 1,200 people, and the proposed site had increased to 19 acres (7 ha). At that time, Weiss stated that he was close to obtaining financing for the project from a casino operator.[87] The project was never built.
Wild Wild West
Not to be confused with Wild Wild West Gambling Hall & Hotel. As of 1993, Station Casinos owned a 27-acre (11 ha) site on Boulder Highway with the potential to be developed as a casino. The site was located across the street from Sam's Town hotel-casino.[88] In January 1998, Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. announced plans to purchase Station Casinos, which had intended to sell the land prior to the announcement.[89] By March 1998, Station Casinos was planning to develop a hotel-casino complex on the land, which was occupied by a vacant strip mall. The complex would be known as Wild Wild West, with local residents as the target clientele.[90][89]
Crescent's purchase of Station Casinos failed in August 1998, and Station Casinos subsequently slowed its plans to build the project.[91] By the end of the year, the project had received approval from the Clark County Planning Commission for a 273,000 sq ft (25,400 m2) casino and a 504-room hotel.[92] No timetable for construction was announced,[92][93] and Station Casinos had already decided by that point not to start any new projects prior to 2000.[92] Station Casinos sold the undeveloped land for $11.2 million to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in April 2004.[94]
World Port
In 2000, Howard Bulloch, David Gaffin, and their partner Tom Gonzales transferred ownership of the Glass Pool Inn property to their group, known as New World, with plans for a megaresort.[95] New World purchased several other nearby motels to accumulate a 77-acre (31 ha) parcel located on the Las Vegas Strip and east of the Mandalay Bay.[96] In January 2001, plans were announced for World Port Resorts, a megaresort consisting of hotel-casinos, a convention center and a fine arts facility. The project was to be built on the 77-acre (31 ha property, a portion of which was occupied by the Glass Pool Inn.[96]
World Trade Center
To have been located at 925 East Desert Inn Road. Leonard Shoen, co-founder of U-Haul truck rental, purchased the property of what had been the Chaparral Hotel & Casino in 1996, renovating it into the World Trade Center Hotel. A gaming license was applied for, but when it was discovered that two of Shoen's closest partners were convicted felons, the application was denied in 1998. He withdrew his application, and died in a car crash in 1999 that was ruled a suicide. Cards and gaming chips were produced for the World Trade Center Casino, but were never used.[97] The property has since been demolished and is now a parking lot, part of the Las Vegas Convention Center Annex.
World Wrestling Federation
A casino resort themed after the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) was proposed for a property near the Interstate 15 freeway across from Mandalay Bay. The project never went past the proposal stage.[4] The land where it would have stood is now Allegiant Stadium.
WWF also proposed to open the project on the property once used by the Clarion Hotel and Casino, which was demolished in 2015 to become a parking lot.
Xanadu
In February 1976, the Clark County Commission approved the 23-story Xanadu resort, to be built on the Las Vegas Strip at the corner of South Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue. The resort would include approximately 1,700 hotel rooms and a casino, as well as convention facilities, a showroom, dining, and indoor tennis courts. The resort was to be developed by Tandy McGinnis – of Bowling Green, Kentucky – and his Xanadu Corporation, and would be built on 48.6 acres (19.7 ha) owned by Howard Downes, a resident of Coral Gables, Florida.[98][99][100] The Xanadu would feature a pyramid design, and was expected to cost $150 million.[100] It would have been the first themed mega-resort. Much information and many artifacts of the project are housed at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas library. The Excalibur Hotel and Casino ultimately opened on the property in 1990.[101]
See also
Category:Defunct casinos in the Las Vegas Valley List of Atlantic City casinos that never opened
submitted by Gourmet_Salad to OneWordBan [link] [comments]

We’re Having Problems On Table 8

2020 was already getting off to a bad start. Here it was New Year’s Day in Biloxi, Mississippi and I was already down four-hundred for the year. And it was only noon...
Of course, the black-eyed peas didn’t help. No good luck charm could cure my current drought at the Imperial Palace’s poker room.
This was the last day my buddies and I would be out here. Our final day touring Biloxi’s many casinos. Just like years past, The Vegas Of The South hadn’t been kind to me. But I still had fun. Your wacky horror author Rhonnie enjoyed poker after all. Even when I was constantly being battered by bad beats.
There were four of us out here. Me and my Stanwyck, Georgia poker pals. I was the youngest of the bunch. Scrawnier than ever, my combed-over brown hair was still a mess from this wild binge of booze and cards. My green eyes wild with drunken life. The gambling fix just what I needed after a hectic 2019.
Obviously, I missed Ashley… But I suspected she was doing just fine partying with Carty and Erika in Columbus, Georgia. The power trio indulging in their own New Year’s blitz of margaritas and dancing.
My friends J.T., David, and Trent were all with me. From playing nickel/dime house games to $1/3 at the IP, we brought the rowdiness of South Georgia with us to this fine establishment... much to the chagrin of all the dealers and poker players.
A few years older than me, David was a stocky, red-headed Southern boy. The combination of his loud voice and drunk shit talking ensured we’d never keep a low-profile. David always unrestrained unless he was behind bars or in a strait-jacket.
J.T. was similar but more stable. At forty, he’d skirted by authority and drama with the type of good luck he inexplicably had at the casinos. Tall and lanky, J.T. was Hispanic in ethnicity but a crazed country boy at heart. And with him and David together, their fighting and flirting hit a manic overdrive. Trent only dealt with them due to experience... J.T. was his ex-brother-in-law after all.
Trent was the most reserved out of us. Even drunk, he didn’t cut up much. His bushy beard and piercing eyes certainly gave him clout on the felt. Not to mention he was the only one with a real job. With real money to spare. When David, J.T., and I inevitably went broke, the three of us followed Trent around like roadies desperate for a rock star’s sloppy seconds.
New Year’s Day was just a chaotic continuation of our three-day bender. At noon, everyone but Trent was already hammered. The constant “free” beer and vodka our only way of staving off the New Year’s Eve hangovers hunting us down…
This early, the IP’s card room was empty save for one $1/3 table. The usual players probably still out recovering from the previous night’s festivities. Party favors and empty bottles littered the other tables. The room’s 60s soft rock soundtrack well overshadowed by the constant chimes of neighboring slots.
The four of us had table eight together. Under bright lighting, we enjoyed the game with four other Hold Em stragglers. I only recognized Lily a hot regular I’d seen over in Gretna, Florida’s poker room. Someone from our neck of the woods. Wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses and flaunting her stylish short brown hair, she was the only female player here... And already, both David and J.T. had tried her. And already she’d insulted them right back. Not to mention took the last of David’s pathetic chip stack.
Table eight’s other players included the usual low stakes caricatures. The shitregs. A depressed dad with an equally depressing dad bod. The smartass college kid masquerading as a poker pro. And an older farmer still wearing overalls, the type of surreal sight you somehow take for granted in Biloxi. Our dealer was a bitchy man in his mid-40s. The type of rude personality reserved for the casino’s deader shifts.
None of the players were any good. Then again, I couldn’t talk much. My thirty-big-blind buy-in strategy had been continually getting crushed by suckouts. Usually by Trent. Needless to say, he and Lily were the big winners so far… Their colorful chip stacks even contained stray hundred dollar bills. But somehow, J.T.’s drunkass had even more. Obnoxious as ever, the son-of-a-bitch had been running off Fireball cinnamon whiskies since the ball dropped. And here he was with over three grand on the table. A stack of Benjamins clustered amongst his towers.
Now the farmer had just thrown in another hundred dollar bill. J.T. snap called. Farmer showed three of a kind. J.T. hesitated for a moment... either he was too drunk to read the board or slow-rolling his opponent. My guess was both.
Finally, J.T. slung down the winning hand: ten four of diamonds. A flush on the river.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Laughing, J.T. collected his latest pot. Another two hundred for his growing stack. “Nice hand, sir!” he taunted the frowning farmer. “You see that shit, Trent! I played that shit like you!”
Broke and on his tenth Corona, David now sat behind me. A rail I never asked for… but an entertaining one at least.
He leaned in toward me. “Hey, here she comes!”
A red-headed waitress complete with an hourglass figure and flawless face walked toward us. Right into David’s carnal sights. Then again, I couldn’t blame him.
He waved his beer at her. “Hey, I need another one!”
Annoyed, she stopped and jotted down his order.
David grabbed my shoulder. “What are you having!”
“Miller Lite,” I said to her, my calm voice the opposite of David’s rowdy roar.
“Alright, I’ll be right back,” the waitress said.
With drunken confidence, David reached toward her. “Hey, sweetie, what’s your name?”
He just missed her… The waitress was in a hurry.
“None of your business!” she yelled back.
With that, she high-tailed it straight for the table games. Then again, neither of us were complaining to watch her leave… Only the beer was definitely gonna take awhile. Especially once she stopped to take an order from a young bodybuilder. A hunk by the slots. Excited, the redhead leaned in closer. A rare smile on her face. Her thirst obvious…
David turned to me. “Hey, why’s she talking to him like that!”
“Damn, boy, she got you good!” Trent teased.
David shrugged him off. “Man, fuck you, Trent!”
“Language!” our dealer warned us in a pissed-off growl.
Trent collected another pot. “I don’t think she like you anyhow,” he told David.
“She just playing hard to get!” David yelled. The alcohol hitting him hard, David leaned in toward the table. “I bet I can get her before the day’s over with! I’ll get her in my room-”
Like a brick wall, a fat arm blocked David. A pot-bellied security guard glared over him. “Move back, son!”
David threw up his hands. “Alright!”
J.T.’s crude laughter echoed through the room. The rest of the table cracked up in a sadistic chorus. Even the dealer.
Keeping my cool, I pointed David behind me. “Just sit here, man. Drink the beer.”
“Get your brokeass back, David!” J.T. jeered.
“Man, whatever.” David moved his chair behind me. Flashed a glare at the guard. “There? You happy?”
Behind a cold expression, the guard just stared at us. Completely unamused.
I looked over at a corner where the front desk was. Where all the chips and cash were. The clerk just watched us, her dark eyes like lasers. David again the center of attention.
A wave of cold air hit us. My FSU hoodie couldn’t keep me from shivering. And regardless of all the booze, I suspected David’s long-sleeved AC/DC shirt wasn’t helping him much either.
I looked down at my cards. Ten three offsuit. Yet another fold on my fucking big blind.
Then a rotten smell hit me. Well from beyond the grave. The scent more putrid than roadkill.
“Is this one three hold em?” I heard a guttural drawl say.
The entire table looked toward our latest player. Hopefully, our latest fish. The black man certainly looked the part. Dressed in rumpled jeans and a red jacket with rolled-up sleeves, he was in his fifties. His scruffy beard matched by greasy Jheri curls. Years of wildness captured in his arsenal of tattoos and odd jewelry. The skull-and-bones earrings and gold teeth certainly hinted at what was sure to be an eccentric gambler.
The man’s stern gaze locked in on the security guard. “Is it one-three?” he asked in that muddled Cajun accent. With a flourish, he pulled out a bundle of Benjamins. Well over five-hundred dollars.
Immediately, the guard went to work getting those chips. Him and the clerk eager to count the dough.
The Cajun took a seat right beside J.T. Seat number seven.
“Holy shit…” J.T. exclaimed. He flashed David and I a drunken smirk.
But soon, that smile was wiped clean. The wild man didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and he may have been stinking up the place with a corpse’s hygiene, but he was damn sure winning.
Even Trent and Lily’s stacks were going downhill. Left with only fifty bucks on the table, I just enjoyed the show as David kept the beer flowing. Him and I an audience for this black Cajun man’s rampage.
Ashley sent me an obvious drunk text: I love you :)
Grinning, I texted her back: The two of us drunk at noon on New Year’s Day. How cute.
J.T.’s triumphant yell then caught my attention. “Whoo!” He slid out a huge tower into the pot. The arrogance such an obvious tell… “Come get some!” he shouted at the Cajun.
The man deliberated on the river bet.
Like a young gunslinger, J.T. leaned toward him. Trying to get eye-to-eye. “Come on, call me!” he yelled, desperate to antagonize the man.
The dealer forced J.T. back. “Sir, please don’t lean over the table.”
Holding his latest mixed drink, J.T. waved toward his opponent. “I don’t care! I’ll call clock on his ass!”
“Aw-in!” the man stated. He pushed his huge stack out.
Everyone watched, dumbfounded... but fucking entertained. Even if we didn’t quite understand the man’s dialect...
The dealer leaned in toward him. “Uh, sir. Was that an all-in?”
“Aw-in!” the Cajun declared. “I said aw-in!”
Now put on the spot, J.T. trembled in the cold. His weakness well on display. “Goddammit!” he yelled. His good mood long gone, he threw the cards toward the dealer. The confident drunk now hurtling through depression.
“Language, sir,” the dealer reminded him.
“I don’t give a fuck!” J.T. replied.
Now David was the one laughing his ass off…
J.T. motioned toward the Cajun. “How the Hell you keep winning these hands!”
With a smile of gold rather than teeth, the man faced J.T. “Dat’s juss how I play, boy.”
I couldn’t help but crack up. Trent covered his own chuckle.
“Yeah, and you stink like Hell too,” J.T. said.
Cackling, the Cajun stacked up his winnings.
Lily looked over at J.T. “Maybe that’s part of his strategy.”
“Well, I’m about to bust that shit! Fuck his strategy!” J.T. shouted. “And you wanna know why!” He looked down at his latest cards. “Because I’m J.T. Torres! That’s why!” On the warpath, he took out his phone. “I’m about to get in my zone, Rhonnie!”
I cringed. Simultaneously amused and embarrassed.
Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” blasted off J.T.’s phone. Over the IP’s soundtrack. Over Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” J.T. glared at the whole table. “I ain’t playing now! Who wants some of this!”
“It’s one three, boy,” Trent quipped.
Growing more and more aggravated, the dealer confronted J.T. “Sir, you can’t play music,” he said in an exasperated tone.
The security guard approached us. “No phones on the table!” he barked at J.T.
J.T. cut off the music. “Alright, that’s fine!” Without hesitation, he waved at his stack. “Fuck it, I’m all-in!”
“Sir-” the dealer began.
“I caw!” the Cajun cried. With everyone else out, he flipped over his cards. Pocket aces. The fucking bullets.
A dramatic intensity dominated the table. Only the ominous beat of “Bad Moon Rising” could be heard. The man’s rotten stench like cigarette smoke in the arena’s atmosphere. This heavyweight match we all anticipated now looking to be a quick knockout.
“Oh shit!” Trent joked to J.T. “You done fucked up!”
The twisting knife sent J.T. further into his downward spiral. Anger built inside him. He threw up his pocket kings. “Goddammit!” he said. “How much does he have?”
“He’s got you,” remarked the dealer in a not-so-subtle jab.
The Cajun chuckled. “I got you covered, boy!”
And he damn sure did. J.T.’s fifteen-hundred dollar stack was in a world of pain.
“Fuck!” J.T. yelled.
I then noticed the man jam both his hands inside those hoodie pockets. Burrowing them in deep.
“What the fuck!” I heard J.T. say to me. “What the fuck else could I do, Rhonnie! I had fucking kings!”
I watched the Cajun’s lips move... but his voice didn’t carry. He was mumbling… All while his eyes stayed glued to the center of the table. To where the cards would fall.
An unsettling realization hit me. The guy was praying… Mumbling some sort of chant.
“Luckyass bitch!” J.T. yelled.
With indifferent efficiency, the dealer laid the board out quick. The Cajun wound up with four aces. J.T. gone from a bad beat to outright slaughtered.
“Stick a fork in him!” Trent’s Southern accent joked.
“Oh shit…” David chimed in. He nudged me but I was too disturbed to respond. Too drawn into whatever was going on in seat seven’s world.
Full of rage, J.T. stood up, spilling some of his drink. “Man, fuck y’all!”
The guard took an annoyed step toward us. “Sir!” he yelled.
J.T. turned his irate eyes toward the Cajun. The man still had his hands in his pockets. His eyes still on the board. Still in prayer.
“He comes in here stinking up the place!” J.T. continued. He stumbled toward his nemesis. “And what the Hell’s he doing now!”
Trent glared at J.T. “Man, just leave him alone! Your ass can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be here nohow!”
In his trance, the Cajun stayed in his seat. Still chanting. His hands still hidden deep in those pockets.
Moving quick, the guard took off for the slots. His walkie-talkie at the ready. Eager for back-up.
David faced J.T. “Goddamn, man, chill!”
“Fucking idiot,” I heard Lily grumble.
The alcohol giving him fake toughness, J.T. pushed the man back. “How in the Hell did you win that!”
Startled, the Cajun stumbled up. His eyes in a panic. A disturbing amulet stuck in his sweaty hand.
The table gasped and screamed. Us drunks louder and more terrified than the rest.
The horrifying smell somehow got more sickening.
“What the fuck!” J.T. yelled at his rival.
Trembling, the man looked at each of us. Too scared to talk. Still clinging to a baby wolf. A real, dead baby wolf.
Like a furry fetus, its decomposing corpse resembled a crude outline of life. A tiny, crumbling cadaver. The pup’s hollow skin in a post-mortem preservation. Its blue eyes forever open.
And the Cajun had been holding this wolf for a very long time. A good luck charm in which the superstition outweighed the pup’s gruesome touch and nauseating stench.
A necklace of a noose was wrapped around its small neck. Rather than a medallion, the wolf wore a shiny dime. One with a hole drilled in the middle of it...
“It’s my Gris-Gris!” the man yelled in a guttural growl. Possessive, he pulled the wolf in closer. A literal baby in his arms. “You ain’t taking my Gris-Gris!”
Through the tension, no one said a word. No one except J.T..
“Hey, gimme that shit!” J.T. yelled. Pissed, he snatched the corpse out of the Cajun’s desperate grip.
“No!” the man cried. Tears formed in his eyes. “Gimme my Gris-Gris! My Loup Garou!”
“So that’s how your ass has been winning!” J.T. continued. He held the baby wolf out toward the man. “That’s how you been getting all them Goddamn cards!” With savage glee, he flicked the dime. “This is your nastyass good luck charm!”
The Cajun held his pitiful hands out toward J.T. Literally begging him… much to J.T.’s twisted delight. “I need him back!” he cried. “Gimme my Gris-Gris!”
“Give him the damn thing!” Trent shouted at J.T.
“Naw, Hell no!” J.T. replied. He squeezed on to the pup, making the wolf’s eyes even bigger. Further taunting the Cajun. “I need me some luck after this bitch took my chips!”
Weeping, the man motioned toward the corpse. “It’s no good, boy! Dat wolf’s only good luck for me! He’s bad luck for you!”
J.T. cackled. “Bullshit, bitch!”
“Whoever touch it get bad luck!”
Dismissive, J.T. looked toward the clerk. “Hey, get me three-hundred in chips! I’m reloading!”
A flash of silver caught everyone’s eye.
The machete whirled right through J.T.’s neck. A red river spread across his slit throat. For once, J.T. went silent.
He dropped the wolf and grasped at the fatal wound. A fountain of blood poured out his mouth.
The dead pup hit the felt. Its soft thud caused chips to collapse. Bits of its old flesh fragmented upon impact. The decomposing smell somehow hit new highs...
“My Gris-Gris!” the Cajun screamed
J.T. landed in his chair. His body convulsing in a painful rhythm. His death slow and steady. Blood now spewed all across table eight.
David and I exchanged frightened looks.
Disgusted, Trent moved his seat further away. Trying to avoid J.T.’s gore.
“Seat open on eight!” the dealer hollered out of instinct.
“Give us the fucking money!” a Southern drawl demanded.
The dealer went quiet quick. So did the rest of us. The rush of fear spread throughout the game.
All of us stared at the three men standing over us. Each of them wore black suits. Their faces disguised by straw hats and green bandanas.
The leader waved a long machete around. J.T.’s blood adding decorative crimson to the sharp blade. The other two robbers carried pistols. Without hesitation, they scooped up all the hundred dollar bills. The literal blood money.
The Cajun man reached for the wolf. “Lemme get my Loup Garou!”
With a harsh shove, the leader pushed him back in his seat. “Sorry, buddy!”
In tears, the Cajun looked toward the floor. His voice got lower but his words remained constant. Back to chanting.
A hush lingered on table eight. All thanks to J.T. going completely still.
Using his machete, the leader motioned his partners toward the clerk. “Go get the fucking money!”
They did as they were told. In a panic, the clerk opened the registers. “Please! Don’t shoot me!” she cried
The leader snatched the baby wolf. I sensed a wicked smile behind that bandana. “This must be your good luck charm.” He faced the Cajun. Holding up the corpse as if it were a pathetic trophy. “Is this shit how you won all the time?”
“Drop your weapons!” we heard someone shout.
Footsteps stormed behind us.
We turned just in time to see the security guard leading several armed officers inside the poker room.
Without hesitation, a cop fired. And not a warning shot either.
The bullet blew the leader’s brains out. Blood and gray matter sprayed over us. Courtesy of The IP.
“Goddammit!” the dealer shouted.
Screams formed our soundtrack. Several players jumped up.
“Stay where you are!” the guard commanded.
The leader collapsed on to the table. More grue covered the felt. The leader’s dead hands dropped both the machete and amulet.
The cops came rushing forward.
“Don’t move!” an officer screamed. “Sit the fuck down!”
The other players got back in their seats. Together, we formed a gruesome congregation. Each of us covered in blood. J.T.’s corpse seated as if he were ready to play. Table eight a poker game from Hell.
Eager to keep up with the real cops, the security guard descended upon us. He cringed at the smell. “Jesus Christ!” Then the wolf caught his eye.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!” Trent warned him.
“What the Hell’s this...” the guard said. He snatched the dead pup. Dusty flesh and dry blood stuck to his fingertips.
Instantly, several shots rang in the new year and the guard’s brutal death. Bullets obliterated his face into oblivion. In the chilly room, the gunfire left us all coated in another layer of crimson.
The security guard fell to the floor, motionless. Gaping holes leaked blood from his head. The baby wolf still clasped in his tight grip.
David downed his beer. The now-red Corona didn’t bother him at this point...
Behind us, I saw the cops apprehend the other two robbers.
The lingering fear made me shiver. The gang could’ve shot any one of us… but deep down, I knew why they only killed the guard. And why they immediately surrendered afterward.
I looked on at the dead wolf. Its baby blues remained fixated on me. Tempting me to touch. Its mummified body the prettiest corpse in this poker room’s collection.
“Shit, I ain’t touching it!” I heard David say.
Weary, Trent stood up and pushed his seat back. “Fuck it!” Blood dripping off his beard and jacket, he looked toward the nervous clerk. Pointed down at his ridiculous chip stack. Even at the pieces of flesh stuck to them. “I’m cashing out!”
14
submitted by rhonnie14 to Wholesomenosleep [link] [comments]

Player Down!

2020 was already getting off to a bad start. Here it was New Year’s Day in Biloxi, Mississippi and I was already down four-hundred for the year. And it was only noon...
Of course, the black-eyed peas didn’t help. No good luck charm could cure my current drought at the Imperial Palace’s poker room.
This was the last day my buddies and I would be out here. Our final day touring Biloxi’s many casinos. Just like years past, The Vegas Of The South hadn’t been kind to me. But I still had fun. Your wacky horror author Rhonnie enjoyed poker after all. Even when I was constantly being battered by bad beats.
There were four of us out here. Me and my Stanwyck, Georgia poker pals. I was the youngest of the bunch. Scrawnier than ever, my combed-over brown hair was still a mess from this wild binge of booze and cards. My green eyes wild with drunken life. The gambling fix just what I needed after a hectic 2019.
Obviously, I missed Ashley… But I suspected she was doing just fine partying with Carty and Erika in Columbus, Georgia. The power trio indulging in their own New Year’s blitz of margaritas and dancing.
My friends J.T., David, and Trent were all with me. From playing nickel/dime house games to $1/3 at the IP, we brought the rowdiness of South Georgia with us to this fine establishment... much to the chagrin of all the dealers and poker players.
A few years older than me, David was a stocky, red-headed Southern boy. The combination of his loud voice and drunk shit talking ensured we’d never keep a low-profile. David always unrestrained unless he was behind bars or in a strait-jacket.
J.T. was similar but more stable. At forty, he’d skirted by authority and drama with the type of good luck he inexplicably had at the casinos. Tall and lanky, J.T. was Hispanic in ethnicity but a crazed country boy at heart. And with him and David together, their fighting and flirting hit a manic overdrive. Trent only dealt with them due to experience... J.T. was his ex-brother-in-law after all.
Trent was the most reserved out of us. Even drunk, he didn’t cut up much. His bushy beard and piercing eyes certainly gave him clout on the felt. Not to mention he was the only one with a real job. With real money to spare. When David, J.T., and I inevitably went broke, the three of us followed Trent around like roadies desperate for a rock star’s sloppy seconds.
New Year’s Day was just a chaotic continuation of our three-day bender. At noon, everyone but Trent was already hammered. The constant “free” beer and vodka our only way of staving off the New Year’s Eve hangovers hunting us down…
This early, the IP’s card room was empty save for one $1/3 table. The usual players probably still out recovering from the previous night’s festivities. Party favors and empty bottles littered the other tables. The room’s 60s soft rock soundtrack well overshadowed by the constant chimes of neighboring slots.
The four of us had table eight together. Under bright lighting, we enjoyed the game with four other Hold Em stragglers. I only recognized Lily a hot regular I’d seen over in Gretna, Florida’s poker room. Someone from our neck of the woods. Wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses and flaunting her stylish short brown hair, she was the only female player here... And already, both David and J.T. had tried her. And already she’d insulted them right back. Not to mention took the last of David’s pathetic chip stack.
Table eight’s other players included the usual low stakes caricatures. The shitregs. A depressed dad with an equally depressing dad bod. The smartass college kid masquerading as a poker pro. And an older farmer still wearing overalls, the type of surreal sight you somehow take for granted in Biloxi. Our dealer was a bitchy man in his mid-40s. The type of rude personality reserved for the casino’s deader shifts.
None of the players were any good. Then again, I couldn’t talk much. My thirty-big-blind buy-in strategy had been continually getting crushed by suckouts. Usually by Trent. Needless to say, he and Lily were the big winners so far… Their colorful chip stacks even contained stray hundred dollar bills. But somehow, J.T.’s drunkass had even more. Obnoxious as ever, the son-of-a-bitch had been running off Fireball cinnamon whiskies since the ball dropped. And here he was with over three grand on the table. A stack of Benjamins clustered amongst his towers.
Now the farmer had just thrown in another hundred dollar bill. J.T. snap called. Farmer showed three of a kind. J.T. hesitated for a moment... either he was too drunk to read the board or slow-rolling his opponent. My guess was both.
Finally, J.T. slung down the winning hand: ten four of diamonds. A flush on the river.
I rolled my eyes in disbelief.
Laughing, J.T. collected his latest pot. Another two hundred for his growing stack. “Nice hand, sir!” he taunted the frowning farmer. “You see that shit, Trent! I played that shit like you!”
Broke and on his tenth Corona, David now sat behind me. A rail I never asked for… but an entertaining one at least.
He leaned in toward me. “Hey, here she comes!”
A red-headed waitress complete with an hourglass figure and flawless face walked toward us. Right into David’s carnal sights. Then again, I couldn’t blame him.
He waved his beer at her. “Hey, I need another one!”
Annoyed, she stopped and jotted down his order.
David grabbed my shoulder. “What are you having!”
“Miller Lite,” I said to her, my calm voice the opposite of David’s rowdy roar.
“Alright, I’ll be right back,” the waitress said.
With drunken confidence, David reached toward her. “Hey, sweetie, what’s your name?”
He just missed her… The waitress was in a hurry.
“None of your business!” she yelled back.
With that, she high-tailed it straight for the table games. Then again, neither of us were complaining to watch her leave… Only the beer was definitely gonna take awhile. Especially once she stopped to take an order from a young bodybuilder. A hunk by the slots. Excited, the redhead leaned in closer. A rare smile on her face. Her thirst obvious…
David turned to me. “Hey, why’s she talking to him like that!”
“Damn, boy, she got you good!” Trent teased.
David shrugged him off. “Man, fuck you, Trent!”
“Language!” our dealer warned us in a pissed-off growl.
Trent collected another pot. “I don’t think she like you anyhow,” he told David.
“She just playing hard to get!” David yelled. The alcohol hitting him hard, David leaned in toward the table. “I bet I can get her before the day’s over with! I’ll get her in my room-”
Like a brick wall, a fat arm blocked David. A pot-bellied security guard glared over him. “Move back, son!”
David threw up his hands. “Alright!”
J.T.’s crude laughter echoed through the room. The rest of the table cracked up in a sadistic chorus. Even the dealer.
Keeping my cool, I pointed David behind me. “Just sit here, man. Drink the beer.”
“Get your brokeass back, David!” J.T. jeered.
“Man, whatever.” David moved his chair behind me. Flashed a glare at the guard. “There? You happy?”
Behind a cold expression, the guard just stared at us. Completely unamused.
I looked over at a corner where the front desk was. Where all the chips and cash were. The clerk just watched us, her dark eyes like lasers. David again the center of attention.
A wave of cold air hit us. My FSU hoodie couldn’t keep me from shivering. And regardless of all the booze, I suspected David’s long-sleeved AC/DC shirt wasn’t helping him much either.
I looked down at my cards. Ten three offsuit. Yet another fold on my fucking big blind.
Then a rotten smell hit me. Well from beyond the grave. The scent more putrid than roadkill.
“Is this one three hold em?” I heard a guttural drawl say.
The entire table looked toward our latest player. Hopefully, our latest fish. The black man certainly looked the part. Dressed in rumpled jeans and a red jacket with rolled-up sleeves, he was in his fifties. His scruffy beard matched by greasy Jheri curls. Years of wildness captured in his arsenal of tattoos and odd jewelry. The skull-and-bones earrings and gold teeth certainly hinted at what was sure to be an eccentric gambler.
The man’s stern gaze locked in on the security guard. “Is it one-three?” he asked in that muddled Cajun accent. With a flourish, he pulled out a bundle of Benjamins. Well over five-hundred dollars.
Immediately, the guard went to work getting those chips. Him and the clerk eager to count the dough.
The Cajun took a seat right beside J.T. Seat number seven.
“Holy shit…” J.T. exclaimed. He flashed David and I a drunken smirk.
But soon, that smile was wiped clean. The wild man didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and he may have been stinking up the place with a corpse’s hygiene, but he was damn sure winning.
Even Trent and Lily’s stacks were going downhill. Left with only fifty bucks on the table, I just enjoyed the show as David kept the beer flowing. Him and I an audience for this black Cajun man’s rampage.
Ashley sent me an obvious drunk text: I love you :)
Grinning, I texted her back: The two of us drunk at noon on New Year’s Day. How cute.
J.T.’s triumphant yell then caught my attention. “Whoo!” He slid out a huge tower into the pot. The arrogance such an obvious tell… “Come get some!” he shouted at the Cajun.
The man deliberated on the river bet.
Like a young gunslinger, J.T. leaned toward him. Trying to get eye-to-eye. “Come on, call me!” he yelled, desperate to antagonize the man.
The dealer forced J.T. back. “Sir, please don’t lean over the table.”
Holding his latest mixed drink, J.T. waved toward his opponent. “I don’t care! I’ll call clock on his ass!”
“Aw-in!” the man stated. He pushed his huge stack out.
Everyone watched, dumbfounded... but fucking entertained. Even if we didn’t quite understand the man’s dialect...
The dealer leaned in toward him. “Uh, sir. Was that an all-in?”
“Aw-in!” the Cajun declared. “I said aw-in!”
Now put on the spot, J.T. trembled in the cold. His weakness well on display. “Goddammit!” he yelled. His good mood long gone, he threw the cards toward the dealer. The confident drunk now hurtling through depression.
“Language, sir,” the dealer reminded him.
“I don’t give a fuck!” J.T. replied.
Now David was the one laughing his ass off…
J.T. motioned toward the Cajun. “How the Hell you keep winning these hands!”
With a smile of gold rather than teeth, the man faced J.T. “Dat’s juss how I play, boy.”
I couldn’t help but crack up. Trent covered his own chuckle.
“Yeah, and you stink like Hell too,” J.T. said.
Cackling, the Cajun stacked up his winnings.
Lily looked over at J.T. “Maybe that’s part of his strategy.”
“Well, I’m about to bust that shit! Fuck his strategy!” J.T. shouted. “And you wanna know why!” He looked down at his latest cards. “Because I’m J.T. Torres! That’s why!” On the warpath, he took out his phone. “I’m about to get in my zone, Rhonnie!”
I cringed. Simultaneously amused and embarrassed.
Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane” blasted off J.T.’s phone. Over the IP’s soundtrack. Over Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.” J.T. glared at the whole table. “I ain’t playing now! Who wants some of this!”
“It’s one three, boy,” Trent quipped.
Growing more and more aggravated, the dealer confronted J.T. “Sir, you can’t play music,” he said in an exasperated tone.
The security guard approached us. “No phones on the table!” he barked at J.T.
J.T. cut off the music. “Alright, that’s fine!” Without hesitation, he waved at his stack. “Fuck it, I’m all-in!”
“Sir-” the dealer began.
“I caw!” the Cajun cried. With everyone else out, he flipped over his cards. Pocket aces. The fucking bullets.
A dramatic intensity dominated the table. Only the ominous beat of “Bad Moon Rising” could be heard. The man’s rotten stench like cigarette smoke in the arena’s atmosphere. This heavyweight match we all anticipated now looking to be a quick knockout.
“Oh shit!” Trent joked to J.T. “You done fucked up!”
The twisting knife sent J.T. further into his downward spiral. Anger built inside him. He threw up his pocket kings. “Goddammit!” he said. “How much does he have?”
“He’s got you,” remarked the dealer in a not-so-subtle jab.
The Cajun chuckled. “I got you covered, boy!”
And he damn sure did. J.T.’s fifteen-hundred dollar stack was in a world of pain.
“Fuck!” J.T. yelled.
I then noticed the man jam both his hands inside those hoodie pockets. Burrowing them in deep.
“What the fuck!” I heard J.T. say to me. “What the fuck else could I do, Rhonnie! I had fucking kings!”
I watched the Cajun’s lips move... but his voice didn’t carry. He was mumbling… All while his eyes stayed glued to the center of the table. To where the cards would fall.
An unsettling realization hit me. The guy was praying… Mumbling some sort of chant.
“Luckyass bitch!” J.T. yelled.
With indifferent efficiency, the dealer laid the board out quick. The Cajun wound up with four aces. J.T. gone from a bad beat to outright slaughtered.
“Stick a fork in him!” Trent’s Southern accent joked.
“Oh shit…” David chimed in. He nudged me but I was too disturbed to respond. Too drawn into whatever was going on in seat seven’s world.
Full of rage, J.T. stood up, spilling some of his drink. “Man, fuck y’all!”
The guard took an annoyed step toward us. “Sir!” he yelled.
J.T. turned his irate eyes toward the Cajun. The man still had his hands in his pockets. His eyes still on the board. Still in prayer.
“He comes in here stinking up the place!” J.T. continued. He stumbled toward his nemesis. “And what the Hell’s he doing now!”
Trent glared at J.T. “Man, just leave him alone! Your ass can’t afford to play, you shouldn’t be here nohow!”
In his trance, the Cajun stayed in his seat. Still chanting. His hands still hidden deep in those pockets.
Moving quick, the guard took off for the slots. His walkie-talkie at the ready. Eager for back-up.
David faced J.T. “Goddamn, man, chill!”
“Fucking idiot,” I heard Lily grumble.
The alcohol giving him fake toughness, J.T. pushed the man back. “How in the Hell did you win that!”
Startled, the Cajun stumbled up. His eyes in a panic. A disturbing amulet stuck in his sweaty hand.
The table gasped and screamed. Us drunks louder and more terrified than the rest.
The horrifying smell somehow got more sickening.
“What the fuck!” J.T. yelled at his rival.
Trembling, the man looked at each of us. Too scared to talk. Still clinging to a baby wolf. A real, dead baby wolf.
Like a furry fetus, its decomposing corpse resembled a crude outline of life. A tiny, crumbling cadaver. The pup’s hollow skin in a post-mortem preservation. Its blue eyes forever open.
And the Cajun had been holding this wolf for a very long time. A good luck charm in which the superstition outweighed the pup’s gruesome touch and nauseating stench.
A necklace of a noose was wrapped around its small neck. Rather than a medallion, the wolf wore a shiny dime. One with a hole drilled in the middle of it...
“It’s my Gris-Gris!” the man yelled in a guttural growl. Possessive, he pulled the wolf in closer. A literal baby in his arms. “You ain’t taking my Gris-Gris!”
Through the tension, no one said a word. No one except J.T..
“Hey, gimme that shit!” J.T. yelled. Pissed, he snatched the corpse out of the Cajun’s desperate grip.
“No!” the man cried. Tears formed in his eyes. “Gimme my Gris-Gris! My Loup Garou!”
“So that’s how your ass has been winning!” J.T. continued. He held the baby wolf out toward the man. “That’s how you been getting all them Goddamn cards!” With savage glee, he flicked the dime. “This is your nastyass good luck charm!”
The Cajun held his pitiful hands out toward J.T. Literally begging him… much to J.T.’s twisted delight. “I need him back!” he cried. “Gimme my Gris-Gris!”
“Give him the damn thing!” Trent shouted at J.T.
“Naw, Hell no!” J.T. replied. He squeezed on to the pup, making the wolf’s eyes even bigger. Further taunting the Cajun. “I need me some luck after this bitch took my chips!”
Weeping, the man motioned toward the corpse. “It’s no good, boy! Dat wolf’s only good luck for me! He’s bad luck for you!”
J.T. cackled. “Bullshit, bitch!”
“Whoever touch it get bad luck!”
Dismissive, J.T. looked toward the clerk. “Hey, get me three-hundred in chips! I’m reloading!”
A flash of silver caught everyone’s eye.
The machete whirled right through J.T.’s neck. A red river spread across his slit throat. For once, J.T. went silent.
He dropped the wolf and grasped at the fatal wound. A fountain of blood poured out his mouth.
The dead pup hit the felt. Its soft thud caused chips to collapse. Bits of its old flesh fragmented upon impact. The decomposing smell somehow hit new highs...
“My Gris-Gris!” the Cajun screamed
J.T. landed in his chair. His body convulsing in a painful rhythm. His death slow and steady. Blood now spewed all across table eight.
David and I exchanged frightened looks.
Disgusted, Trent moved his seat further away. Trying to avoid J.T.’s gore.
“Seat open on eight!” the dealer hollered out of instinct.
“Give us the fucking money!” a Southern drawl demanded.
The dealer went quiet quick. So did the rest of us. The rush of fear spread throughout the game.
All of us stared at the three men standing over us. Each of them wore black suits. Their faces disguised by straw hats and green bandanas.
The leader waved a long machete around. J.T.’s blood adding decorative crimson to the sharp blade. The other two robbers carried pistols. Without hesitation, they scooped up all the hundred dollar bills. The literal blood money.
The Cajun man reached for the wolf. “Lemme get my Loup Garou!”
With a harsh shove, the leader pushed him back in his seat. “Sorry, buddy!”
In tears, the Cajun looked toward the floor. His voice got lower but his words remained constant. Back to chanting.
A hush lingered on table eight. All thanks to J.T. going completely still.
Using his machete, the leader motioned his partners toward the clerk. “Go get the fucking money!”
They did as they were told. In a panic, the clerk opened the registers. “Please! Don’t shoot me!” she cried
The leader snatched the baby wolf. I sensed a wicked smile behind that bandana. “This must be your good luck charm.” He faced the Cajun. Holding up the corpse as if it were a pathetic trophy. “Is this shit how you won all the time?”
“Drop your weapons!” we heard someone shout.
Footsteps stormed behind us.
We turned just in time to see the security guard leading several armed officers inside the poker room.
Without hesitation, a cop fired. And not a warning shot either.
The bullet blew the leader’s brains out. Blood and gray matter sprayed over us. Courtesy of The IP.
“Goddammit!” the dealer shouted.
Screams formed our soundtrack. Several players jumped up.
“Stay where you are!” the guard commanded.
The leader collapsed on to the table. More grue covered the felt. The leader’s dead hands dropped both the machete and amulet.
The cops came rushing forward.
“Don’t move!” an officer screamed. “Sit the fuck down!”
The other players got back in their seats. Together, we formed a gruesome congregation. Each of us covered in blood. J.T.’s corpse seated as if he were ready to play. Table eight a poker game from Hell.
Eager to keep up with the real cops, the security guard descended upon us. He cringed at the smell. “Jesus Christ!” Then the wolf caught his eye.
“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!” Trent warned him.
“What the Hell’s this...” the guard said. He snatched the dead pup. Dusty flesh and dry blood stuck to his fingertips.
Instantly, several shots rang in the new year and the guard’s brutal death. Bullets obliterated his face into oblivion. In the chilly room, the gunfire left us all coated in another layer of crimson.
The security guard fell to the floor, motionless. Gaping holes leaked blood from his head. The baby wolf still clasped in his tight grip.
David downed his beer. The now-red Corona didn’t bother him at this point...
Behind us, I saw the cops apprehend the other two robbers.
The lingering fear made me shiver. The gang could’ve shot any one of us… but deep down, I knew why they only killed the guard. And why they immediately surrendered afterward.
I looked on at the dead wolf. Its baby blues remained fixated on me. Tempting me to touch. Its mummified body the prettiest corpse in this poker room’s collection.
“Shit, I ain’t touching it!” I heard David say.
Weary, Trent stood up and pushed his seat back. “Fuck it!” Blood dripping off his beard and jacket, he looked toward the nervous clerk. Pointed down at his ridiculous chip stack. Even at the pieces of flesh stuck to them. “I’m cashing out!”
14
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Palace Casino Resort in Biloxi liegt im Unterhaltungsviertel und in Strandnähe. Die natürliche Schönheit der Region können Sie hier erleben: Biloxi Beach und Strand von Gulfport. Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center dagegen spricht vor allem kulturell interessierte Besucher an. Ebenfalls einen Besuch wert sind diese beiden Highlights: Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum und ... There are 59 casinos within 100 miles of Palace Casino Resort. Map Index: Distance (miles) Casino : Palace Casino Resort find on map. 154 East Howard Avenue, Biloxi, Mississippi 0.0: Palace Casino Resort find on map. 154 East Howard Avenue, Biloxi, Mississippi. 0.3: Golden Nugget - Biloxi find on map. 151 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, Mississippi. 0.4: Harrah's Gulf Coast find on map. 280 Beach ... Palace Casino Resort is dedicated to creating the best casino experience on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We take pride in our casino, our employees, our venues, and in our guests. Our awards show this dedication. [email protected] 1-800-PALACE-9. Directions / Map. Resort Experience at a local price! 158 Howard Ave, Biloxi MS 39530. Hotel. Packages; Rooms & Suites; Resort Amenities ... We welcome you to Biloxi's first entirely smoke-free casino resort. Save money by booking directly and avoid paying resort fees! Home; Hotel ; Casino; Promotions; Dining; Spa; Golf; News; Blog; Directions / Map; Email List; Book A Room. Book A Room. Blog; Contact Us; 1-800-PALACE-9; Home; Hotel; Casino; Promotions; PALACE CASINO LOGO; Dining; Spa; Golf; Book A Room; Our Award-Winning ... The Palace Casino in Biloxi, MS may actually charge you $8 extra for a pound and a half of snow crabs, but I can GUARANTEE the first bite of that crab you take, you are going to say, it was worth every bit of my $8 I paid. They have a fantastic variety of great foods to choose from. As a guest, I really wanted to observe the changes they have made since the pandemic. They have made exceptional ... Biloxi, 5.0 miles to Palace Casino Resort. 7.2 (1153 reviews) Excellent location Very good service. Deals. Priceline. Free cancellation Free breakfast. $75. View Deal. Booking.com. $75. Our lowest price. $75 Priceline. Share via link. Close. Add to favorites. Add to favorites. 1 / 30 More photos. Hampton Inn Biloxi, MS. Hotel. Biloxi, 2.7 miles to Palace Casino Resort. 9.1 Excellent (1739 ... Palace Casino Resort. Good to Know: Palace Casino Resort · Palace Casino Resort is the only non-smoking hotel, resort, and casino complex in Biloxi, Mississippi. · The bay is just a walking distance from Palace Casino Resort Biloxi. · Five restaurants and a full-service spa facility are found at Palace Casino Resort Mississipi. Stay at this 4-star golf hotel in Biloxi. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 5 restaurants. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in our reviews. Popular attractions Hard Rock Casino Biloxi and Beau Rivage Casino are located nearby. Discover genuine guest reviews for Palace Casino Resort along with the latest prices and availability – book now. Palace Casino Resort Biloxi Track Share. 1 of 1. 158 Howard Ave Biloxi, MS 39530. Map Pre-paid Parking. Neighborhood: East Biloxi. MORE INFO ABOUT Palace Casino Resort Links: Venue details at reverbnation.com! Official Website. This venue is locked - Claim this venue profile on eventful: Manage your venue info, images and keep your venue's schedule up to date on Eventful. Get Started Now ... On July 2, the Mississippi Gaming Commission issued an order requiring face coverings to be worn by all persons in the state’s casino properties. In compliance with this order, the IP Casino Resort Spa will require face coverings to be worn by all customers starting Friday, July 3, at 8 p.m. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

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Biloxi Do NOT play at this casino!!! mississippi gambling ...

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