The Lost Highroller Episode #4 There Will Be Fish

  • By Matt Yeomans
  • January 20, 2014
  • Comments Off on The Lost Highroller Episode #4 There Will Be Fish


In poker, the old saying goes, “If, after thirty minutes at the table, you can’t tell who is the fish in the game…it’s you.” Well, let me just say that it doesn’t take me any thirty minutes to figure that one out. I know who the fish is the moment my dorsal-fins hit the chair in most games. It’s me! If the other players have a pulse and can pronounce their names without pausing more than once to think about it, then, like most fish, I’m probably in too deep…way over my head.

Hey, someone has to be the big tuna, the king of the carps, the ATM with fins, the all-time worst poker player ever…and I nominate myself, yours truly, Carl Needmore outta Flatpan, Missouri. I’m told that I give-up tells in seven different body-language – including Braille! All my poker life, ethereal phantom rounders, in swirling hoodies and dark sunglasses, have hovered above me – haunting me – throwing throwing nets over my scaly scalp and dangling tasty morsels on hooks in front of my rather large mouth.

I am the world’s foremost calling-station. Heck, I’m from Missouri, the Show-Me-State – and by-golly you gotta show my fanny a hand. I’ve been known to call a frog from a dry well. It’s been said that I am a more active calling-station than the pay phone in a penitentiary. Heck, I’m constantly calling the chip runner. Recently a chip runner took my money and failed to return with any chips. When I went to the desk to complain, the floor person said they just went ahead and distributed my chips evenly among the other players in the room. They told me it would save everyone else a lot of time, and I would save money on the rake such that I actually would come out way ahead on the deal. How could I argue with that?

Part of my problem is my poker background. I live on a small farm in Missouri. Game selection is a little thin around my hometown of Flatpan, so finding a full ring game of primates or better is harder than drawing inside to a set of one eyed ducks. My opportunities for any regular game are limited to farm animals. My home game sucks. The pigs are the worst to play with – even though they are the best no-limit players on the farm. The clever little porkers somehow managed to make fake IDs from cornstalks and melon rinds and they purchased a keg of beer from a local market. Ever tried to play hold’em with a bunch of hooting and hollering future pork chops? They’re either slowing the game down with bathroom breaks or popping and repopping raises, pre-flop, every hand. They’re relentless. My donkey sucks a two-outer on the river every other round; listening to him bray afterwards can be downright painful. The squirrels are always checking the nuts, the cows want to bring their own chips to the game, the woodpeckers are usually all tapped out, and every time I reach for chips to make a call, the crows on the rail cackle and laugh till their eyes water. Anyone who thinks barnyard poker is a duck walk can just bring it to Flatpan. Ever try to check-raise a Viagra stimulated bull or get a good read on a dead armadillo?


You would think that learning poker down on the farm would mean that I am a fairly skilled at H.O.R.S.E. The fact is, that down in Flatpan, we don’t play any H.O.R.S.E… we don’t even play C.O.W. We do play a game called A.S.S. – jacks or better with the jacks played upside down or bottoms up – but I’m the only one here who plays the game really well. We also play a game called C.A.L.F. That’s two hours of Canasta, then two hours of Anaconda (pass two to the left and one to the right) follow that with two hours of Liars-Poker Missouri style (a form of Indian poker with blindfolds and cattle prods) and finally two hours of Fish (or “go fish” for purists). I didn’t finish that well in our last tournament but Hey! – I did spike a runner-runner thousand to one shot to eliminate my parole officer from the tourney.

“I was too late to sign up for the tournament. Including the buffet cost, I saved $132.50 by not entering.”

My last major tournament actually started in the parking lot when I backed the trailer hitch on my flatbed into the tournament director’s new Mercedes-Benz. What made it worse, the son of a gun was inside the car when I did it. He didn’t seem to appreciate my comments about my being “a scratch player” or “It was nice bumping into you.” Gee, talk about rubbing someone the wrong way. I shrugged it off and went and got in line for the tournament. I waited in line for an hour and a half only to find out it was actually the buffet line. The buffet cost $17.50. By the time I finished eating and located the actual sign in table, I was told (by the tournament director himself) that I was too late to sign up for the tournament. Including the buffet cost, I saved $132.50 by not entering. The potato salad at the buffet (it smelled sort of funny) was not too good, and four times on the way home I threw up like seasick jackal. Talk about gut check time. Who says poker’s not a sport? All things considered, it was my best finish to date in a major tournament.

Well, I gotta go do some chores, but Hey, if you’re in the Flatpan area and looking for a little no-limit action – any stakes you like – my pigs are game… as long as you’ll take their markers.

Matt Yeomans

Matt Yeomans

Matt is a humor writer living in Henderson, NV.
Matt Yeomans

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