QLHTing with slot hoki BadBlood

 

There were only two ways you would know I was sitting in a mexican eatery. First, there was a basket of corn chips and salsa sitting next to my monster beer. Second, two slot hoki guys sat behind the bar intently watching Univision on the big screen TV. With those two exceptions, the basement restaurant looked almost exactly like it did when it was an Italian spot a few years ago.

Olympic Boxing had been on TV when I came in. I found myself thinking that any sport broadcast in Spanish sounds like soccer if you’re not watching the screen.

G-Rob was there waiting when I walked in. He’d already downed half his beer before I walked in six minutes late. We figured a big beer from The Cactus would do us well before we venutred across the street to what I’d started thinking of as The Quilt (QLHT–Questionably Legal Hotel Tourney) hosted by fellow poker blogger, BadBlood.

I’d been out of live poker commission for the two weeks since my kid had been born. I’d missed out on four games at The Mark (formerly known as The State Park game), a Greenwood tourney, and a trip to Tunica. I was stoked, rowdy, and a little nervous.

And I had to pee.

In the bathroom, one urinal had been ripped off the wall and there weren’t any paper towels in the dispenser. The restaurant had certainly seen better days. Me? I’m trying to work up my confidence, holding my whang and going over hypothetical hands in my head.

When I came back to the bar, G-Rob was interested in the TV. Moreover, he was interested in the tanned, buxon women gyrating in bikinis.

“This is a good show,” he said. We’d been talking about novelist Christopher Moore. G-Rob’s remark reminded me of something Biff, or better yet, Coyote, would say.

One of the Hispanic guys said, “Caliente.”

I don’t know hy I felt the need to translate, but I looked at G-Rob and said, “Hot.”

He raised his eyebrows as if to say, “Indeed,” and went back to watching. When the announcer’s voice went through a machine gun rattle of words ending with “Caliente!” G-Rob looked suprised.

“Oh, the show is called Caliente?” He though the guy had just been commenting on the women.

My phone rang and I noticed it was BadBlood on the line. He was calling to give us the name of the suite where the tourney would be held.

G-Rob and I finished our beers, said “Gracias” to the guys at the bar, and headed for the door.

“Caliente,” I said.

***

BadBlood had extended the invitation a couple of weeks before. I’d been dying to make it, but was unsure if I could due to baby-producing factors. When I finally got the all-clear, I mentally prepared for a good showing.

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