Trash Talk

Too much poker putting your partner on tilt? Don’t panic, because poker commentator Grub Smith has the perfect out

So there’s no chance of sex… Well, not unless she sleeps with her mouth open

Some years ago, during the 1986 soccer World Cup finals, The Sun ran a memorable front page headline: ‘MEXICO MEANS NO SEXICO!’ Apparently, all over England women were being left unsatisfied in bed because their partners were staying up late to watch Gary Lineker win the golden boot and Maradona score the famous ‘Hand of God’ goal. (Or the ‘hand of a fat, cheating, f♠♣ing Argentinian c♠♣-bucket’ goal as it was more accurately described by my mate Big Duncan, with whom I was drinking in a pub at the time.)

I mention this because, according to a recent article in a women’s magazine, Internet poker is having a similarly disastrous effect on female sex lives. Blokes are coming home from work, snarfing down their dinner, and then logging on to a gambling website. They may not intend to spend more than half an hour on the cash tables, but as we all know, it’s so easy for time to fly when you’re waiting for decent cards, working out the pot odds before you act, or playing catch-up to recoup early losses. A ‘quick sit-and-go tourney’ can stretch on for hours, and by the time your computer is turned off at 1am, chances are you’ll be too knackered and frustrated by bad beats to feel like making love. Plus, your missus will have dozed off hours ago, so there’s no chance of sex anyway. Well, not unless she sleeps with her mouth open.

Slave labour

The good news, however, is that I believe I’ve found a solution to this problem, with a poker breakthrough that’s every bit as epoch-making as Doyle Brunson’s Super System. The trick is to realise, as soon as possible in your poker career, that you are doomed to lose money, or at least make no more than ten bucks a day, roughly the wage of a child making trainers in an Indonesian sweat factory. And face it, if you’ve been playing for a year and still don’t know that Q-Q is worse against K-K than pocket Sevens are, then this is probably you. But don’t worry, it’s fine. Now you can concentrate on playing poker for a far better reason than money.

And what is that reason? That’s right… pissing off Yanks. My god it’s fun. Just log on to an American-based site like Party, Pacific or Empire and begin the wind-up. Forget your cards and instead make spiky remarks in the chatbox about the play, parentage and sexuality of anyone from the States. They will, of course, be rude right back, but – crucially – you will be BETTER THAN THEM AT IT. Why? Because, just as poker pros read books and study graphs to educate themselves, so you will have done some research of your own.

As a head start, I’ll give you a few facts which always come in handy. Firstly, their diet is so bad that the average 40-year-old American has 5lbs of rotting, undigested meat lodged in the folds of his colon. Secondly, on that Statue of Liberty they’re so proud of, the inscription reads, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses… the wretched refuse of your teeming shore’, which is just another way of saying ‘send me the losers who can’t cut it in Europe’. If they respond by telling you a limey shouldn’t be playing an American game, point out that poker is in fact based on As Nas, a 16th century Persian game. That’s right, Cletus, it comes from Iraq! The place you’re blowing to hell right now. Suck on that, frat boy.

Anger management

Now you might say this is all fine, Grub, but it’s going to cost me money. Well, actually it won’t. Think of it as free therapy. All day long, you get stress at work, on public transport or in traffic, and by the time you get home you have a build-up of rage inside you. Why pay a shrink to help you ‘manage’ this anger when you can pour it joyously, like molten lead from a battlement, over people who live 4,000 miles away? Plus, as cheap players are even easier to enrage than good ones, you can stick to the 50c/$1 table and get a night’s entertainment for under a tenner. Put them on tilt properly and, who knows, you may even win…

But most importantly, your girlfriend will thank you. You will come to bed early with the pumped-up pride of a rapper who’s just won a freestyle contest. She will be awake and happy to see you for a change. She will put down her Cosmo and respond to your advances. And you will, almost certainly, get sexico.

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