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'... if his grandmother was entered in a competition for fat pigs and his commitments made it desirable for him to get her out of the way, he would dope her branmash and acorns without a moment's hesitation.'

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PartyPoker & PartyCasino, RIP. January 2019

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See also Winning, Online Gambling, Gambling First Nations, The Horses and Monte.

More Roll 'n Shuffle, the PokerPulse Gambler's Guide to the Good Life. A discriminating player's guide to the art of gambling.


Summer Lightning


By P.G. Wodehouse

More of the wide and wonderful Empress of Blandings.

STILL MORE of that excellent swine.

'I refuse to allow you to call the Empress a blasted pig! Good heavens!' cried Lord Emsworth passionately. Can none of my family appreciate the fact that she is the most remarkable animal in Great Britain? No pig in the whole annals of the Shropshire Agricultural Show has ever won the silver medal two years in succession. And that, if only people will leave her alone and refrain from incessantly pelting her with tennis balls, is what the Empress is quite certain to do. It is an unheard of feat.'

The Hon. Gallahad frwoned. He shook his head reprovingly. It was all very well, he felt, a stable being optimistic about its nominee, but he was a man who could face facts. In a long and chequered life he had seen so many good things unstuck. Besides, he had his superstitions, and one of them was that counting your chickens in advance brought bad luck.

'Don't you be too cocksure, my boy,' he said gravely. 'I looked in at the Emsworth Arms the other day for a glass of beer, and there was a fellow in there offering three to one on an animal called Pride of Matchingham. Offering it freely. Tall, red-haired fellow with a squint. Slightly bottled.'

'Pride of Matchingham belongs to Sir Gregory Parsloe,' he said, 'and I have no doubt that the man offering such ridiculous odds was his pig-man, Wellbeloved. As you know, the fellow used to be in my employment, but Parsloe lured him away from me by the promise of higher wages.' Lord Emsworth's expression had now become positively ferocious. 'The thought of George Cyril Wellbeloved, that perjured pig-man, always made the iron enter into his soul. 'It was a most abominable thing to do.'

The Hon. Galahad whistled.

'So that's it, is it? Parsloe's pig man going about offering three to one- against the form-book, I take it?'

'Most decidedly. Pride of Matchingham was awarded second prize last year, but it is quite an inferior animal to the Empress.'

'Then you look after that pig of yours, Clarence.' The Hon. Galahad spoke earnestly. 'I see what this means. Parsloe's up to his old games, and intends to queer the Empress somehow.'

'Queer her?'

'Nobble her. Or, if he can't do that, steal her.'

'You don't mean it.'

'I do mean it. The man's as slippery as a greased eel. He would nobble his grandmother if it suited his book. Let me tell you I've known young Parsloe for thirty years and I solemnly state that if his grandmother was entered in a competition for fat pigs and his commitments made it desirable for him to get her out of the way, he would dope her branmash and acorns without a moment's hesitation.'

'God bless my soul!' said Lord Emsworth, deeply impressed.
'Let me tell you a little story about young Parsloe. One or two of us used to meet at the Black Footman in Gossiter Street in the old days - they've pulled it down now - and match our dogs against rats in the room behind the bar. Well, I put my Towser, and admirable beast, up against young Parsloe's Banjo on one occasion for a hundred pounds a side. And when the night came and he was shown the rats, I'm dashed if he didn't just give a long yawn and roll over and go to sleep. I whistled him...called him...Towser, Towser...No good...Fast asleep. And my firm belief has always been that young Parsloe took him aside just before the contest was to start and gave him about six pounds of steak and onions. Couldn't prove anything, of course, but I sniffed the dog's breath and it was like opening the kitchen door of a Soho chophouse on a summer night. That's the sort of man young Parsloe is.'


'Fact. You'll find the story in my book.' (From Chapter 3, The Sensational Theft of a Pig, at pgs. 65-67)

The Good Thief

DVD after the French classic, Bob (Berb) le Flambeur

More of the movie, including Bob's 10 lessons in successful gambling.

More on Leonard's Cohen's hit song, A Thousand Kisses Deep, featured in the movie.

Bob (played by a destroyed Nick Nolte, entering the elegant Casino Riviera with crackaday Anne): We're going to see fake glamor, serious money and a lot of bad plastic surgery. But remember: the dice falls the same for all of them.

Anne: That's lesson number four?

Bob: Five and six.

Oscar and Lucinda

DVD based on the book by Aussie Booker Prize winner Peter Carey

Lucinda (after confessing various bets during a train ride she arranged expressly for the purpose): You have utterly absolved me?

Oscar (a man of the cloth who also enjoys gambling): Where is the sin? We bet. It has all been passed down that there is a God. We bet our life on it. We calculate the odds, the return that we shall sit with the saints in Paradise. Our anxiety about our bet wakes us before dawn in a cold sweat and God sees us suffer. I cannot believe that such a God, whose fundamental requirement of us that we gamble our mortal souls - it's true that we stake everything on the fact of His existence - I cannot believe that such a God can look unkindly on a chap wagering a few quid on the likelihood of a dumb animal crossing the line first unless it might be considered a blaspheme to apply to a common pleasure that which is divine.

Shall we play?

You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense


By Charles Bukowski


HEY, I hollered across the
room to her,
WHY? she


I yelled
back. ...

(-- pgs. 128-130)

seize the day

foul fellow he was always wiping his nose on his sleeve and also farting at regular
intervals, he was
his every third word was a crass
and he grinned through broken yellow
his breath stinking above the
bitterBeerNarrow he continually dug into his crotch
and he always had a
dirty joke
at the ready,
a dunce of the lowest
a most most
he won the state

you could see
him: always a young laughing lady on
each arm
he eats at the finest places
the waiters fighting to get him
at their table
he belches and farts away the
spilling his wineglass
picking up his steak with his
his ladies call him
"original" and "the funniest
man I ever met."
and what they do to him
in bed
is a damned

what we have to keep
remembering, though, is that
50% of the state lottery is given to the
Educational System and
that's important
when you realize that
only one person in
can properly spell

(-- pgs. 247-248)

With Fondest Regards


By Francoise Sagan

More of the book.

STILL MORE of this gambling classic.

I first became acquainted with gambling one June 21st. Born on the first day of summer, I approached the gaming tables with firm resolve on the evening of my twenty-first birthday. I entered the Palm Beach in Cannes with a godfather on either side of me, both of whom were amused to witness my debut on the green baize. They did indeed witness the start of my career, but they were not there to see where it led, for by then I had escaped their surveillance and was racing from casino to casino without them.

(N.B. Contrary to what's been said about me, it's not true that I have lost any 'fortunes' on the green baize, never having had one - strangely enough - at my disposal. I have lost at the tables only what my way of life has left me to play with, a life not of luxury but of dreaming - a dream that meant I should have no material cares and that the only cause for worry and anguish in the faces of those around me should be the pain of love. The kind of protection with which I've always sought to safeguard my immediate present, heedless of days to come, has never left me the smallest fortune to squander in games of chance. And so I've had no difficulty in always playing beyond my means, which is the very essence of gambling. Moreover, I tend to win when I gamble, odd as it may seem, and the owners of the casinos where I've played must laugh bitterly whenever anyone refers to the millions that I'm supposed to have lost at their tables. I wanted to make this parenthetical aside in the event I should be suspected of masochism, and so that gambling not be seen as ome evil companion of mine. Just as my friends have been good friends to me, so too has chance been a good companion, changeable certainly, but both ways). (Opening paragraphs of Games of Chance, pgs. 17-19)

Inventing the Hawk


By Saskatchewan songbird Lorna Crozier


Moving away from winter, he retires
to the coast, westering, mile zero,

land's end. And what of a garden
I ask? Is there room for that?

Yes, but of a different kind
from the ones he remembers,

the sweet peas his mother planted,
her hands pale spiders in the earth,

the cabbage and potatoes, the anemone
of dill, the rows of peas and beans.

On the coast the soil is thin, a linen
napkin over stones. There, he says,

he'll grow different things, some basil, a little thyme. He plants the seeds already

in his mind, no fear of frost,
the summer's long, herbs grow

on stony constellations, air
moves in from the sea with its smells

of eternity. Back where he was born
his mother now would be soaking seeds

in a shallow bowl, snow outside the window.
He'd give anything to be there.

crossing time as if it were
a landscape he had dreamed, a garden

large enough to hold desire. She
spreads the packages of seeds
like a deck of cards on the kitchen table,
a royal flush, a winning hand.

She lets him rearrange the rows,
placing peas by broccoli,
carrots by tomatoes, marigolds
along the border. On the coast

he says the names out loud:
Early Bird. Sweet William. Everlasting.

He can see the sun breaking up the clouds, pools of light

along the window sill, the oilcloth
his mother wipes and wipes,

setting supper plates for people
he'll never see again,

he and she in another time, waiting
for the earth to tilt.

(-- pgs. 117-118)