the Chips Fall
By David King
Photos by John Whipple
new poker culture has become a daily lifestyle for hundreds,
if not thousands, of Capital Region college students
4 AM in Verona, N.Y. A laundry truck growls to life on the
empty docks of Turning Stone casino and then cuts its way
through a shield of fog. A man sits just inside, past the
sliding doors, next to two signs that say “Greeter” and “Valet.”
This man is neither. Sitting slumped halfway over on a garbage
can, with a day’s worth of stubble, his head inches from a
large-screen TV that flashes a football rerun, he moans, “Bad
night, no ride.”
Tony occasionally bothers with silly things like school and
employment during the day, Chris spends his days in online
poker rooms playing with other people’s money.
Chip: If students from UAlbany are stereotyped as partyers
and loudmouth braggarts looking to drink and to throw around
money and attitude, students from RPI, by contrast, are known
for being know-it-alls, book readers, odds quoters.
elderly women hover over a slot machine. “We’re looking for
the early-bird special,” one jokes to the other. Carpet cleaners
and vacuums hum around the closed-for-cleaning, 24-hour Emerald
restaurant. They’re louder than any tired voice inside the
casino. Except, that is, for those in the poker room.
Tony Ramasami, a 20-year-old Schenectady Community College
student, stands waiting for his chips. “The second you double
up, you’re off that table,” says his friend and traveling
I’m a smooth poker rounder!” Tony says with his hands in the
air, apparently joking. “I’m not happy unless I leave broke
or I got thousands.”
Chris’ face sours. It was only three hours ago that Chris
agreed to let Tony borrow the standard $100 buy-in so they
could both drive down to Turning Stone from Schenectady to
play poker at 2 AM. Chris wouldn’t be so concerned if Tony
hadn’t spent the last two weeks digging out of nearly a thousand
dollars in poker debt to other friends.
Tony gathers up his chips and sits down at one of the three
buzzing tables. The dealer at this table’s called Bully. He’s
got a round face, wide shoulders, short hair and a name that
would make some people think twice about casual conversation.
“Been dealing for nine months,” he says in a soft, almost
embarrassed voice to an inquisitive player on his right. There
is talk at the table that another one of the dealers on tonight
once worked in Vegas. There is a small debate as to whether
that makes him a better dealer. There’s excitement that maybe
this small poker room in upstate New York may have a little
Tony smiles and looks at Chris, who is watching from an empty
table across the room. Tony mouths the words “smooth poker
Take a walk on any college campus today and you will most
likely pass a group of students speaking an indecipherable
language. “He was playing like a rabbit, so I knew that if
I bet ahead of the flop I could steal the blinds even though
I was holding Batman. So he folds out, and he flips over and
he’s holding ladies.” This is the language of poker, and it
is only part of the new poker culture that is consuming the
free and not-so-free time of college students all over the
nation. The new poker culture is not exclusively about the
game; it’s about a style, a mentality and a language that
is evolving not only through the mass media, but in cliques
of poker players around the world.
The game of poker itself seems to have developed in a very
similar way. Although there is no true consensus on the origin
of poker, many historians point to the 16th-century Persian
card game of As Nas. The game was played with a 25-card deck
with five suits. As the game gained popularity in Europe,
it came to be called “poque” or “pochen.”
In this country, poker took hold in New Orleans in the 1800s
and spread from there onto riverboats and into saloons, and
soon the professional gambler was born. In popular consciousness,
poker is still often regarded as a favorite of cowboys, scoundrels
The most popular form of poker currently, No-Limit Texas Holdem,
is played by first determining the dealer. All players are
dealt two cards. They can combine those two cards with “community
cards” that everyone can see. The first two players to the
dealer’s left are known as the small and the big blind. They
are required to bet before the first three community cards
are turned over—this is called the “flop.” There’s another
round of betting, another community card, a third round of
betting, the “river”—the final community card—and a final
round of betting before all the players still in the pot reveal
Today, poker is experiencing a boom. There are 665 poker books
listed on BarnesandNoble.com, with titles like Poker for
Dummies and Play Poker Like the Pros. Wal-Mart
now has poker supplies prominently on display, and gaming
stores that used to focus on decorative chess sets now stock
washable poker cards, special clay chips and poker tables.
Tri-City Luggage on Central Avenue in Colonie started carrying
poker supplies after seeing poker accessories as the hot product
during an August gift show, according to store representative
Doris Midwin. “We see multiple generations of people coming
in for supplies,” she says. Major brand names from Coca-Cola
to Playboy now market poker tin gift sets. Partypoker.com
has recently become a publicly traded company.
And it’s booming among the college set. You can almost always
find a game in the basements of the University at Albany residence
halls, says Jason Mezrahi, recent UAlbany grad and CEO of
AlbanyXchange.com. “You can hear the clank of poker chips
and the sound of the buzzer going off during games of party
poker when you walk through campus at night,” he says.
been seeing more kids staying in at night and playing poker,”
adds Mezrahi’s business partner, Ben Cross. “The kids who
still go out get in a game of poker beforehand instead of
Mezrahi and Cross, who run an eBay-like site that allows local
students to buy, trade and sell items from used textbooks
to furniture, recently organized the first in what may be
a series of college poker tournaments at the Oneida Nation’s
Turning Stone Casino. Mezrahi negotiated with Turning Stone
to lower the usual $100 tournament buy-in to something more
accessible to college students, allowing them to offer a $60
package that included transportation, a dinner voucher, and
$25 dollars in chips. The 152-person poker tournament offered
$1,124 dollars to the first-place finisher.
What is it exactly that draws college students and college-age
kids to poker? Mezrahi and Cross both see it as “a competitive
edge that drives people.”
used to make fun of kids who sat around and played cards all
the time, [but] I play all the time now. Kids who aren’t necessarily
physical or athletic are also competitive, and poker offers
them a way to compete,” says Cross.
Cross also sees it as bucking the trend of people becoming
disconnected from each other: “People are so used to being
in front of the TV or on the Internet that seeing something
this social, with large groups of people doing something together
socially, is contrary to these times.”
Mezrahi adds, “Poker transcends generations for me. I play
card games with my family at family gatherings. We’ll go from
old-fashioned card games to Texas Holdem, and we’re all playing
At the same time, Cross and Mezrahi acknowledge some of poker’s
dubious traits. “Albany is the number-one party school in
America,” says Cross, “and maybe some of the impulsive behavior
crosses over to poker.” Some students tell of playing 9 PM
to 5 AM every night.
It does seem to be the real-life extremes that have players
hooked. “It’s like 98 percent of Americans are middle- to
lower-class, and the most of the wealth is in that 2 percent
and we’re all in that 98 percent, but were all happy ’cause
everyone thinks they are gonna be in that 2 percent, and poker
gives them another reason to think that,” says UAlbany English
major and poker player James Whittet.
The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates that 6
to 12 percent of 18- to 20-year-olds are addicted to some
form of gambling. But beyond that, says Jim Maney of the council’s
New York chapter, they have little information on the new
poker craze. “If this was six years ago, no one would be writing
this article. Poker has swept on so fast it’s taking people
time to react. . . . The studies just aren’t there to tell
us how many people are playing now,” he says.
Also, “there is nothing out there showing the negative effects
of the game,” says Maney. “If this had to do with drugs, if
15-year-olds were all trying heroin for the first time, we
would all be freaking out,” he says. Maney points to a sorority
on a local campus that until this year had done its fund-raising
by baking cookies. This year, the sorority will hold a poker
While poker’s popuL-arity has exploded, the game still retains
a stigma of being semi-legal. Both the New York state attorney
general’s office and the state Racing and Gaming board declined
to comment and placed responsibility for control of poker
on the other. But in commenting about a recent poker game
planned to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Greater
Rochester and then postponed for legal reasons, Paul Larabee,
a representative of the attorney general’s office, said, “a
third party cannot benefit from a card game or a wager-making
opportunity.” So while friendly home games are perfectly legal,
when hosts start taking money out of the pot and away from
players, they are breaking the law.
games aren’t held only in bright, clean casino poker rooms
or the warm coziness of local campus dormitory basements.
Games have been cropping up in the least expected places all
over the region. Local players often reminisce about the large
tournaments held in a Troy bowling alley that featured close
to a thousand dollars in prizes and boasted hundreds of players
until it was shut down earlier this year due to a problem
with the establishment’s liquor license. And there’s the Saturday-night
game at the pizza place in Latham.
Then there are the more underground games: the game hosted
by a lawyer that usually seats 50 to 70 people, and the game
in Scotia held in an office building where players must be
approved of and buzzed in. Those are the sort of games that
usually create a buzz among local players. Rumors abound about
who is holding them and complaints are common about their
hosts colluding to dominate the game or scraping money off
the top to reduce the prize (which would also make them illegal,
according to the attorney general’s offfice). There’s plenty
of talk about games that get so high-stakes that the hosts
are willing to allow players to operate on credit.
Some of the players who frequent these games don’t appreciate
the rise in interest from college students. “College kids
come to games, loud-mouthed and rude, looking to win big like
on TV. There are certain people who just cannot afford the
stakes and who should not play,” says an anonymous local businessman
who runs weekend games. “Seven-card and five-card poker are
games of skill. You must read your opponent and build a hand.
Holdem has drawn so many people in because it is about luck.”
College kids in the area have a reputation with veterans and
more established players as ruiners of a good thing. They
are known for talking about games they shouldn’t talk about,
for attracting the wrong element to games that the regulars
would like to see kept secret, and for playing with money
they did not earn or that is not their own.
DiBenedetto, director of poker for Turning Stone casino, points
to games like these when trying to promote playing at the
casino as safer. Casino representatives insist that the rake
from poker rooms simply pays for the dealers and that “it’s
the only game where the player does not play against the house,
but instead against other players.”
After comparing the poker-playing clientele of the Turning
Stone casino at 4 AM to the patrons of the rest of the casino,
it’s easy to see that poker’s rejuvenation also brings young
blood, fresh faces, and excitement to a business that can’t
always overcome the stereotype of the bag lady with a cup
full of coins, slowly wasting her savings away at the slot
machine. “Poker is part of mainstream America now,” says DiBenedetto.
“It’s beneficial to have poker to get new people into the
casino, to get them to see the other things we have to offer.”
Tony, age 20, and Chris at 24 both look surprisingly old compared
to the rest of the crowd in the poker room at Turning Stone.
This isn’t the late-night poker room stereotype of old men
smoking cigars, displaying gray chest hair and cracking dirty
jokes. This is the new face of poker. DiBenedetto, who has
been with Turning Stone for 11 years, says the phenomenal
growth of interest in poker “runs across age groups” and claims
that the media simply like to focus on the younger players.
Mezrahi sees it differently: “Sure, there has certainly been
an increase in poker across the board, but let’s say if there’s
a 20-percent increase in middle-age players then there is
certainly a 50-percent increase in teens to 20-somethings.”
This morning, each table has only about one participant who
could pass for over 40, and maybe one more who could pass
for over 25. The rest of the players are baby-faced youths
who can barely pass for 18 (the minimum age for Turning Stone).
There are no plumes of white hair here, no suits, none of
the wide-brimmed caps or suspenders that dot the casino landscape
during the prime hours of the weekend. Instead, they come
dressed in Abercrombie and Fitch, white T-shirts, baseball
caps and sweat pants. They sit one hand covering their cards,
the other performing some sort of nervous tic—flicking chips,
twisting a straw, tapping an inaudible beat. The winners sit
staring straight ahead through their dark sunglasses. The
losers sit heads down with bright red cheeks and nervous,
darting eyes that their sunglasses cannot cover up.
The glasses may be the only real distinguishing feature in
the poker room. Some are big, black and wide, covering up
more than half the face. Most look like they were “borrowed”
from Dad’s coat pocket. Oversized aviators under a red hoodie
and snowboarding goggles under a blue Yanks cap. This is how
you distinguish the players.
There is some debate as to when poker’s recent rise in popularity
began. While some newer players will point to the more recent
poker shows on Bravo or the Travel Channel, the more experienced
players almost all see the 2003 World Series of Poker on
ESPN as the real jumping-off point. It was there that the
accountant known as Chris Moneymaker, who qualified for the
series in a $40 online qualifier, won the whole thing: more
than a million dollars. Moneymaker’s win made a lot of people
think that their dreams were closer to reality. “Poker started
to be on TV 24/7 around that time,” says Chris, “and it didn’t
take long for people to naturally follow along.”
Poker Tour and Bravo’s Celebrity Poker Showdown
broadcast the styles, trends and nervous tics straight into
the players’ minds. “It’s on TV all the time. The networks
ran with it, and we have used what they have done,” says Turning
Stone’s DiBenedetto. ESPN has done so well with poker TV that
it has invested in the miniseries Tilt, staring Michael
Madsen as Michael Everest, who is nicknamed Matador for his
ability to lure young gamblers to their demise. “I would watch
Tilt if it was on for another four seasons, and I know
it’s a bad show,” says Whittet.
In real life it’s more likely Ben Affleck, the 2004 California
Poker Champion-cum-actor, who lures the young gamblers in;
and his running buddy Matt Damon keeps them there with the
growing cult popularity of his 1998 flick Rounders.
The slang from Rounders drips from players’ mouths
tonight at the poker tables, as each young player tries to
come off as a grizzled veteran. “We usually grind out the
night till 11 and then we get a room,” says a young man who
looks barely over 11, doing his best Matt Damon impression.
To grind out is an almost self-deprecating term that means
to sit at a poker table all night, playing it safe and making
small money whenever possible.
all is grinding?” Tony says, with a concerned look. “Ya’ll
are in trouble. Ya’ll dealing with a crazy rounder!” A rounder
is someone who knows all of poker’s ins and outs and makes
a living playing the game. It means the absolute opposite
of a sucker. Chris groans, and looks even more concerned.
“What’s the matter, Chris? You bored? Thought you was gonna
play the slot machines,” says Tony, still staring at the dealer
as he flips over the flop.
I think I’m gonna buy in,” says Chris. For the first time
that night Tony looks concerned.
It’s not the flop that has Tony concerned, as it has delivered
him two pair: queens and eights. What’s worrying him is that
Chris has decided to join in. If there is anyone near a rounder
in the room it’s Chris. While Tony occasionally bothers with
silly things like school and employment during the day, Chris
spends his days in online poker rooms playing with other people’s
money. “I got a poker sugar daddy—some aerospace engineer
in California,” beams Chris. “He likes the way I play. He
tells me, anything under a million we split 60/40 in his favor,
but a million and over in winnings and we are 50/50. He’s
a confident guy.”
There are hundreds of Capital Region students who are, like
Chris, always ready for a quick game of online poker. Sites
like poker stars.com and partypoker.com always have a seat
open for someone who claims to be 18 and holds a credit card.
A number of college students gauge how well they did at poker
on any given day by the number of classes they missed because
they were in an online game.
Chris generally has one to two games a week at his house,
games that attract college players and recent graduates from
around the area. The games are usually $20 buy-ins with unlimited
re-buys, meaning games can quickly become high-stakes.
It’s 10:30 PM on a Friday night at Chris’ downstairs apartment
on a dead-end, cobblestone street in Schenectady. The regular
poker guys, Tony, Pat and Randy, have spent the last few hours
huddled around a small kitchen table covered by a poker table
top, playing heads up.
has been on his cell phone with his friend Sanchez, a computer-science
major at RPI. Tony and Pat look up expectantly. They know
each other’s play style too well; they want to play against
new blood tonight.
If students from UAlbany are stereotyped as partyers and loudmouth
braggarts looking to drink and to throw around money and attitude,
students from RPI, by contrast, are known for being know-it-alls,
book readers, odds quoters. The kind of guys who don’t think
twice about telling a biker that the odds were against him
and he was stupid for playing a hand.
they’ll be here in half an hour,” Chris announces to the room
like he’s throwing a dog a chew toy. Tony’s and Pat’s game
finishes with the usual shouts of “You’re so lucky!” and “Nice
suck out!” and then there’s a knock on the window.
it!” shouts Chris, swelling with frustration. “Why can’t this
kid just ring the doorbell? This isn’t some kind of James
Bond shit!” After a series of deadbolts and chains are released,
a flood of bitter winter air sweeps through the apartment,
followed by Mike Sanchez and an army of RPI students, eyes
darting left and right, hands in their coat and hoodie pockets,
I know we ain’t playing on thiisss table!” says Leon,
the first RPI student into the kitchen. Chris and Pat, who
had been busy arranging chairs and setting up chips around
the table, look up in disbelief.
can play on this or you can just not play,” says Chris, all
puffed up and indignant.
I’m just saying, yo, this shit is tiny! Ain’t no one gonna
fit on this,” shoots back the RPI student, who remembered
to wear his white Abercrombie and Fitch shirt but not a winter
jacket. Chris and Pat simply ignore him. The rest of the new
blood, who vary in size and chattiness, but not dress, mill
around slowly, uncomfortably pulling chairs, stools and finally
boxes up to the tiny table.
put your $20 buy-in on the table. Let’s get this going!” Chris
orders. Players scrounge in their pockets, looking back and
forth at each other nervously. Chris stares demandingly at
the three kids crammed together in the doorway between the
kitchen and the living room. “Your friends can’t just stand
there,” he says. “This is a poker game and I got a landlord
and neighbors and I can’t have all of you up in here if you
aren’t playing!” The group of three, all with buzz cuts and
Gap jackets, look at each other in frustration and disgust.
The biggest one replies: “Yo, we just came to watch. Wanna
know where this place is for next time.” Chris turns his stare
toward Sanchez. Sanchez looks back defensively. “Hey, man,
I thought everyone was coming to play. I wouldn’t have brought
you here if I thought you were just gonna watch.”
you’ve got money to lose, put it on the table,” says Chris.
“If not, I don’t wanna have to ask you to leave, but I guess
I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.”
right,” the big guy says, “We will go get some food and come
back when we’re ready to play.”
sounds good,” says Chris. “All except the coming-back part.”
The three stragglers shuffle out the front door, mumbling
as their discontent meets with the below-zero temperature.
Pat locks the door behind them as Chris announces, “You can
cash your chips out at 2 AM and not before.”
Then the poker game begins. The sound of cards sailing across
the table is barely audible over Leon’s cocky table talk and
Sanchez’s recitation of poker theory. The game ends in the
wee hours of the morning, as the sun breaks through the closed
blinds of Chris’s kitchen. Out of the 12 sitting at the table,
Chris, Pat and Leon are the only ones holding any chips. Chris
later insists that Leon was cheating, dealing from the bottom
of the deck and setting people up with hands to lure them
into pots they could not win.
Chris does not make all of his money playing poker, but if
he wanted to he probably could. “If I play for around four
hours a day during a week I make around $400 to $600 a week,”
he explains. “On weeks where I play about eight hours a day
in live games and online, and I play like I’m supposed to
play, with some bad days and weeks and some insane ones, I
make anywhere between $1,000 to $1,500 a week. That is playing
no-gambling poker, playing it extremely safe. Like not getting
involved in a large pot unless I’m carrying pocket aces.”
It would be easy to mistake Chris for a grinder at first,
as he seems to play it ultra-safe, but Chris plays the numbers.
There isn’t any emotion in Chris’s playing. Nothing gets him
excited, not a good hand, not an aggressive opponent. Chris
is busy calculating. He’s been playing for only about half
a year, but he caught on quick.
Tony, on the other hand, picked up the game three months ago.
At first Tony was cautious and only played for small money.
It wasn’t until a trip to Turning Stone with friends, when
he met a college student who told him, “I spend all my time
here grinding it out,” that Tony began considering playing
poker for a living. Tony was excited about the game. He was
excited about hands. Chris is always glad to tell the story
of how Tony got four of a kind and announced to the table
excitedly, “Quadruples!” His childish breach of etiquette
was met with a mocking echo of “Quadruples!” from
the rest of the players at the table. Tony plays fast and
nervous and for the thrill. Chris points out the numerous
times Tony will fold straights that are on the board because
he simply isn’t thinking enough and has let his emotion take
Tony took up poker the way a lot of college kids do lately.
All his friends were playing and if he wanted something to
do he had to learn. After he won a couple of pots, it took
Tony only a week to be in debt hundreds of dollars to all
of his poker friends.
Tony adopted the mantra, “I go home broke, or I go home rich.”
So despite his best playing, luck would eventually always
send him home without a penny.
finding himself on the losing end, Tony developed his second
mantra: “There is no luck, only coincidence.”
Tony hadn’t been reading the Tao; he was desperate. After
nightlong sessions at Turning Stone or at his friends’ houses,
he would trudge in to his shift-manager position at a fast-food
joint, half awake, barely able to earn the money he already
owed for the previous night’s losses. It wasn’t long before
his manager cut his salary and demoted him for poor attitude
and performance. Feeling the weight of debt he owed and seeing
the prospect of earning more money, he walked out of his job.
Am I playing against Usher here?” the lone old man at the
table barks to Tony as Tony pushes half his chips into the
middle of the table for the third time in a row.
buddy, why don’t you find out?” Tony quips back, goading.
The kid with aviator glasses and an Old Navy T-shirt to Tony’s
immediate left folds and sinks his head. The kid to his left
with Terminator shades and a green hoodie shakes his
head in disgust and throws his cards to the middle of the
I’m all in,” Chris states firmly, full of confidence.
You sure?” Tony asks nervously, still smiling. “You don’t
wanna mess with chip leada, do you?”
Chris gives Tony a crooked glance signaling that he can sense
Tony’s weakness. A hush falls over the table as the guy to
Chris’s left with a Metallica T-shirt, wide-rimmed glasses
and a goatee lets out a frustrated groan. “Fuck it. I’m a
take the ride with you,” he sputters, pushing all his chips
into the middle of the pot.
why not?” the guy to his left says, following suit.
Bully the dealer smiles, feeling the excitement.
Finally, the old grizzled veteran with two days of gray stubble,
a faded Yankees cap and a jagged brow whistles, and then says,
“Yeah, you don’t got what you need,” and pushes all his chips
Tony raises himself up out of his chair, half sitting, half
Chris stares at the money in the center of the pot, determined.
The old man flashes his hand to the dealer and says, “Not
much gonna beat this.” The rest of the table nervously checks
back and forth between their hands, the flop and the impending
The river comes and Tony has a straight flush. He stands one
leg straight, one leg behind him, balancing on the chair with
his hand covering his mouth. “I got ya kid,” the old man says,
throwing his two pair onto the table. The Metallica-shirt
kid groans again. The kid next to him throws his hand to the
middle without revealing what he was betting with.
Tony pulls off his shades, dramatically wipes his brow and
then pats the old man on the back. “I got this one, mate!”
he announces like a hiphop Crocodile Dundee. He then carefully,
lovingly lays his jack and queen of clubs down on the table
and pets them before he lets them go.
Chris stares forward at the river card, the last card turned.
Everyone at the table stares at Chris, waiting to see if he
can produce something any more impressive. “You lost, mate!”
Tony blurts out. “You ain’t got it! I’m a smooth rounder!
Hahahahaha!” Chris lets his cards drop from his hands. Like
two birds not strong enough to make the migration, they fall
to the table.
The dealer pushes the pot toward Tony, but Tony does not need
any encouragement, as he is already there scooping them up,
hoarding them into a neat little castle of reds and whites.
Chris leans back in his chair and gives Tony a demanding stare.
“OK. You more than doubled up. Get off the table,” he orders
Tony, who is still busy counting his take.
there chips coming off the table?” inquires the dealer. Chris
rolls his eyes and gives the dealer a helpless look. “No.
We are pulling him off the table. He needs to be stopped.”
Chris buys in one more time, looks at his hand, which is pocket
jacks, and pushes his new chips all in before the first community
cards are turned. Tony, who has already folded his hand, pushes
away from the table and brings his chips up to the cashier.
So stuuupid!” Chris shouts as the old man who had checked
earlier reveals his pocket kings. Chris has just lost another
$50 dollars, while Tony, who he had assumed would lose everything,
is busy cashing out $300 over his original buy-in.
Tony walks over and puts his hand on Chris’s shoulder, saying
“Eh, mate, bad beats!” in a conciliatory tone.
stupid. It was sooo stupid!” Chris says over and over again
like one of Tony’s mantras. “He was so lucky!”
is no luck, mate!” Tony replies. “Only coincidence! I’m gonna
go try to get coincidental on blackjack with my winnings right
You better let me hold at least a hundred over what you owe
me so you don’t go broke,” Chris demands as Tony slowly hands
him two hundred-dollar bills.
Chris pulls his boiling frustration and defeat out of the
casino, past the now-snoring man sitting on the garbage can
with his head against the television. The warmth of the rising
sun greets Chris as he covers his eyes and sits down on a
bench. Rays of light tear through the fading, cold, winter
fog. In a few hours buses will start arriving, the slot machines
will begin to fill, bingo halls will come to life with the
shouts of the lucky. A new crew of fresh-faced players will
move into the poker room as cocktail waitresses offer departing,
defeated players coffee, orange juice, Coke.
And Tony will wake Chris from his slumber on the bench to
shout, “Yo, coincidence was on my side! I doubled up again!”