There have been plenty of hilarious tales that originated around the poker table, and Reddit is home to most of them, but the fondest yet weirdest memory for me, at least, was a couple of years ago at a casino in Portland. It wasn't a highfaluting place but it certainly wasn't a dive either. You wouldn't find a tuxedo in there, but equally, everyone owned their own shoes. Anyway, I was seated around a table with a friend of mine from college and four other guys, an hour or so into a game. Nobody was really pulling away from the others just yet and you could tell a couple of the guys were getting itchy feet, wishing they'd picked a table with some real beginners. We ignored the shuffles and sideways glances and carried on playing and my friend took a big win.

It was around this point that a guy walked into the casino in what might not have been his own shoes. He wasn't stumbling exactly, but he looked like he may have partaken in a beverage or two. He went and changed up some money for chips and then carried on to the casino floor. Everyone at the table was immediately eyes down, praying he wasn’t going to join, but it was too late and he was making his way directly towards us. There were three possible tables that he could've gone to, each of them with fewer players, but he strode right up to ours. He rolled his sleeves up, pulled a stool out, and sat down. My friend glanced over at me and offered a subtle eye roll. Just our luck.

Now that he'd settled in, he clicked at the dealer and asked for a drink. I'm not sure if he realized how ordering drinks worked, or if he just didn't care. Either way, the dealer, to his credit, calmly summoned a waitress and relayed his order to her. He dealt the cards and we began playing. When his drink arrived—a vodka and orange, as ordered—he took a sip but didn't look pleased about it. He asked the dealer if he'd poured him a double, and the dealer totally ignored him and continued with play.

The borrowed shoes guy seemed to have gotten over it, downing his vodka and orange then staring, almost transfixed, at his hand. He pulled out three hundred dollars worth of chips, slammed them on the table and calmly said “flush.” He showed his cards and he really had nothing. At that point, everyone around the table was totally confused and convinced that the guy must be crazy. I started to wish I'd been playing poker online real money instead of sitting opposite this lunatic. At least with a computer screen between us, I could pretend to ignore him. Anyway, the dealer continued to deal the turn card, then the river card, and wouldn't you know it, borrowed shoes man has hit the runner. The odds of it are ridiculous; absolutely nobody would have bet in his position, let alone three hundred dollars. Instead of jumping for joy though, this guy looked around the table at all our dropped jaws and said, “So, have I won then?”


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