The juice hit me like a mainline cocktail of speed, nitrous, and pure adrenaline. The double down on a greenchip bet drew paint to the blackjack dealer's eventual 19. $100. I was 21 years old, a neophyte chip-slinger, and out for a night of rowdiness on St. Louis, MO's riverboats.
My friends threw me some high-fives and encouragement to head for the bar. They wanted drinks, and I was buying.
That's when I met Parlay Penis.
I didn't expect him to speak in an English accent or be so pompous.
"Good show, man! Good show. Now, let's parlay it, guvnah."
He was nudging me in the pocket, trying to push the four greens out of my blue jeans.
My friends were screaming for drinks.
"Drinks!" That's how they screamed.
We made it out of the blackjack pit before my Parlay Buddy convinced me that the $100 score just wasn't enough.
"You know, guvnah, that's a hundred dollars you didn't have when you came in. Just think. $200. That's twice as many drinks."
He nudged once more. The four greens fell into my hand and rolled onto a roulette table. They landed on black seconds before the little ball fell into a black slot.
My friends screamed, "More drinks!"
I cheered and shook my buddy's hand. He relented and I headed for the cage.
I was bubbling over. I was high on winning and knowing I could buy drinks the rest of the night for free and I had my little friend to thank.
I shoved my chips into the cage with a smile.
The lady behind the counter looked me over with bemusement. She looked at the small stack of chips, looked at me, and muttered, "What's wrong with you? You never seen $200 before?"
I'll admit, I felt chastened for all of 90 seconds before heading into an evening of debauchery...free debauchery.
** ** **
After a recent post, a commenter asked about the origin of Parlay Penis. For me, that was it.
Parlay Penis (n)--origin: St. Louis, MO President Casino-- The exclusively male urge to defy all reason and continue gambling with winnings when the smart money says to cash out, go have a drink, and let the euphoria wear off.
In the ten or so years since that time, my gaming sensibilities have gotten better. I can handle--so to speak--the Parlay Penis, even when he is wicked-mad-influential. My ever-expanding poker experience has really helped.
But there are moments when I succomb. More often than not, it happens when I'm not playing poker.
A couple of Vegas trips back I racked up a pretty good win at the craps tables before beginning a silly night of drinking. Eight hours later, 5AM found me in a fairly empty Flamingo Casino, throwing chips like a crazy man onto the felt and screaming for seven come eleven. I can't remember how much I lost. All I remember is that Parlay Penis always seems disappear about the time my chips get restacked in front of the dealer.
Now that I play few games other than poker, I don't get to see Parlay Penis much. But there are still some nights he'll poke around after I have a good session.
Last night, I was due up at 6:45am, but I was in the middle of a fairly good online session. By 12:45, I was up 37BB in a $4/$8 game. The table was soft and my Parlay buddy was not. I heard his tell-tale voice over the hum of the air conditioner.
"Good show, son. Good show. Really socked it to'em, didn'tja?"
I grunted and pretended I didn't hear.
"I said, good show, boy! Let's do it. Let's make a run! This low-limit stuff is for nuns and school children. Look, a seat just opened at $15/$30. "
It was at that point I remembered the previous commenter. He asked the origin of the Parlay Penis. I remember that fat lady in the cage on The President in St. Louis and her chagrin. I remembered the sofetning feeling inside the Flamingo at 5am.
I played out my blind, stood up, and went to bed.
The only problem was, I had to sleep on my back.