Playing With Fire On A Green Baize

A young tree

Toby was like a young tree.

Toby hated the phrase soldier, because it’s connotations gave the impression that he took orders from a higher force and in Toby’s eyes there was no one better or more important than him. The only thing close to being more important was his mother and making sure his mother was looked after was his major priority. The problem with his task was the small issue of school and his exams which he promised his mother he was going to do well. 

Toby always kept his promises even though it may be inconvenient. So when Big Al called around for his weekly collection, Toby would always get the money somehow to pay the bully. Big Al was a menace! He was always looking for business and when he got it he made sure he got paid. Unsecured money lending is not pretty, but Big Al would always get his ‘pound of flesh’ if he was not paid. The whole estate was scared of Big Al! It was said that Big Al had the local police in his pocket.

Why Toby’s mom took a loan from Big Al is still a mystery to Toby. Yes they were struggling and they could always survive. Toby was a rising star on the pool and poker scene. He made the local pool team and was starting to win some big games. Also, he had a knack for playing poker. Slowly but surely he was beginning to earn some money taking cash from drunks who wanted to play. He then slipped his mother the money to pay for any bills, and that included Big Al.

Big Al was a beast and borrowing money from him is just asking for trouble. Now he wanted £600 by tomorrow or there would be consequences. Until now Toby was winning but only small stakes he id not feel confident to take on the real big boys, however, this loan needed to be sorted as it was making his mom’s illness worst with the stress of it all.

Toby’s train of thought got interrupted when someone walked into the toilet and went straight to the cubicle to snort cocaine. The tell tale heavy sniffing was a dead give away. Toby pretended to wash his face and hands, while he was looking into the mirror. He needed to get himself ready for the big game against Sharkey a lovable but reckless pool player. He needed to beat Sharkey as £800 would be just right to pay off Big Al and sort out the electricity bill which was still owned.

Toby knew he could win against Sharkey, but the previous night dented his confidence. Toby got into a cash game and his opponent got so lucky it was untrue. If he was not dealing he would have thought the game was fixed.How the hell could I guy call with Ace Eight of suit when he has trip sixes? Yes the board showed 9, 6, 5, but it was clear the player was behind. He needed serious luck and he got it on the river when the 7 came in, giving him the straight!

The mug called and got extremely lucky.  That luck cost Toby £1200! Toby could have got out while he was ahead. He won the money and those playing were hungry for their money back but they knew Toby was good and had a read on all of them. The local Conservative club was easy pickings for Toby, but not last night and this had left Toby severely injured financially. 

The sniffing finished and the toilet was flushed. Why do coke heads flush the toilet after they were sniffing cocaine? Why do they think that we are fooled by this?