Monday morning blues?     Down to your shoes?     You should go on a cruise.     Drink some booze.     Play some poker.     Try not to lose.     (In fact, this is precisely what I intend to do this coming Saturday!)  AND SINCE WE ARE ON THE SUBJECT OF POKER……

Those of you who read Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, or belong to Gambler’s Anonymous, know that yesterday was the CENTRAL TEXAS WATERLOO POKER INVITATIONAL CELEBRITY PRO/AM POKER TOURNAMENT & BEER GUZZLING FESTIVAL.   My friends, this was quite a tournament.  Many of the world’s (all right, Austin’s) best poker players showed up, loaded for bear, as my grand-pappy used to say.  As I have previously stated, this was by “invitation only,” which means that you had to qualify for the tournament by having a certain number of points in your over-all rating.

I am VERY proud to tell you that after reviewing the player’s board, I spotted the names of EVERY graduate of the C.P.A.   (Cobra Poker Academy.)    That’s right, dear ones, the names were up in lights, posted for all the world to see…..   Barbara Talbott  (The Dragon Slayer)….. Max Talbott  (The Maxi-nator)…..  Susan Marquess  (The Legal Eagle)….. and Patricia Yanoff…..  (The Corpus Christi Crusher)   My goodness, the place was filled with poker greats!   (Incredibly, even two famous local pros showed up…..  Sharon (Sharp-shooter) Francia and Sharon Barth, also known in Las Vegas as “Bad Barth.”   As usual, the Sharons played outstanding poker.   Unfortunately, only two academy players could make the actual tournament, and one of them, (an attractive woman) got knocked out early……   By going “all in” with a full house and losing to….. FOUR FOURS!    (OH, THE PAIN OF IT ALL!)

HOWEVER……   (Now we come to my favorite part of the blog)    Yours truly, The Mighty Cobra, had his fangs on full display throughout the tournament of champions…. and as you have probably guessed by now…..I slithered my way into the FINAL TABLE, which was covered, covered I say, in cash and potato chips!  Well, as fate would have it, I played brilliantly, cheated seldom, and managed to outlast a tremendous group of talented players…. making it to the FINAL TWO PLAYERS GOING HEAD TO HEAD!!

(Just for the record, our heads were not touching.)   Head to head is a poker phrase.  We were actually sitting across from each other.

Anyway, we played mano a mano for several hours!  (Actually, twenty minutes, but the hours thing sounds better)   In truth, it was not mana a mano, but mano a womano.  (I was battling the enchanting Miss Elsa for the title.)   Well, amazingly, we finally got too tired to see the cards, so we decided to split the pot evenly.  (We both walked away with a HUGE amount of money and stale potato chips.)   However, since points is points, I must, for the sake of accuracy tell you that we played one final hand to see who would get what points.   (Here is where the story becomes a Greek Tragedy)   I’ve got a king and a nine of spades, and Miss Elsa has a jack and a ten.  So what happens?  Not one, but two damn jacks show up!   Needless to say, I was singing “Hit The Road Jack,” but to no avail.  However, my SECOND PLACE finish was to be celebrated, as this was the largest turnout of the poker season and attracted well over 100 top players.

In case you are feeling sorry for me, I should tell you that I consoled myself with an elaborate Indian feast at Tarka after the tournament.  The food was, as always, fantastic!  If you haven’t been to the West Anderson location, you don’t know what you’re missing.  All I can say is Yum-Yum.  If you go, mention my poker name, The Cobra, and you will get free napkins.

Well, my dear blog followers, I hope I have provided a pleasant start for your week.  Be happy that you are not up in New York.  My brother told me it was ten degrees below zero last week!

How cold did it get, you ask?  My brother saw a chicken crossing the street with a capon!    (cape on?)

Love to all……


Doc Yanoff


Dearest Lovers of All Things Literary…..

On this very day, October 3rd, 1945, Elvis Presley entered a talent contest at the annual Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show.  (The states were poor even then, so they had to combine the sponsorship!)  Anyway, one of Presley’s TEACHERS arranged for him to enter the contest after she heard him sing in class.  (Her name, just for “the record” was Mrs. Oleta Grimes.)  Elvis sang while standing on a chair and without any accompaniment.  (For those of you who went to school in New York that means without music.)  The Once and Future King sang a tender old hymn called “Old Shep.”

The poor lad won 5th prize!  (and got spanked by his mother for going on a dangerous ride!)

Well, that was NOT the case last night!  The FAKES refer to the poor folks who thought they could play poker with The Queen of Cork.  (Called thus because of her love of rose wine and also because she is VERY Irish…  think freckles!)    The SNAKES refer to yours truly, well known in poker circles (and among squares) as THE COBRA!    And finally, PATTY-CAKES is the nickname (yeah, she has several) of the woman who destroyed all of the competition at the huge and vicious My Place Poker Palace last night….. the one and only cutthroat chick, formerly known as the Corpus Christi Crusher…. Patricia Eileen McCloskey!  (nee Yanoff)

Don’t ask me how (because it’s too painful to remember) but the above poker machine ousted the mighty Cobra and several hundred others saps to place SECOND in the tournament.

She almost won the whole darn thing, but lost to a full house (the place was crowded) on the river!  (Actually, we were playing inside, not on the river, but you know what I mean.)  Yes, sir, that woman is “one of a kind” when it comes to games of chance.  And me?  Well, I played extremely good (what else is new?) but alas, my pocket queens were trumped by Big Slick on the flop.  (In keeping with THE PRESLEY PLOT theme I took my defeat well, but I insisted on singing two verses of “Don’t Be Cruel.”)

My utter grief and humiliation was short-lived… I ran into some friends in the parking lot and they asked me if they could purchase a couple of books.  (By sheer coincidence, I had several boxes, I mean, copies in my pickup truck.)  Consequently, I sold two books, autographed them, and went on my merry way… back to Merrywing Circle.  Well, I didn’t win the dang tournament or increase my standing, but I am now the best-selling author of the Jester Center Parking Lot.  (Hey, it’s all good!)

Today is sunny and pleasant down here in Austin, Texas.  I am on my way to spend some quality time with my grand-dog!  I hope you have a wonderful day, too.

(Baker, my grand-dog says hello!)

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff, F.P.L.   (Former Poker Legend.)