Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


November 17, 2013

Keith Kappes: How to not become a professional gambler: 11/18/13

MOREHEAD — I don’t recall exactly when I decided I wanted to become a professional poker player.

I was trying to be a college student and work full-time but couldn’t shake the notion of being a “card sharp.”

I once used the other term, “card shark,”but I was corrected by an old-time gambler who pointed out that a “sharp” is a skilled card player while a “shark” is a cheat.

To my surprise, a bartender friend told me that the hotel in that Ohio town regularly hosted high stakes poker games and he would introduce me to the man in charge.

The hotel manager had converted a guest room into a poker parlor, as he called it.

Gambling was illegal almost everywhere in those days. The poker game at the hotel was a “house game” operated by the hotel instead of a “floating game” that moved around.

I managed to come up with $100 for my first foray into high stakes poker. However, I didn’t get to play that night because the game required a minimum “stake” of $500.

As I left the room, one of the players suggested I come back the next night when the stakes would be smaller.

I returned with $200, thanks to a cash advance on my first bank card which fortuitously had arrived in the mail.

Beginner’s luck was with me and I left with $150 in winnings.

I started for the bar to tell my buddy about my good fortune. As I stepped off the elevator, one of the players from the game asked me to go outside.

He said he knew that I was a big winner and he wanted a chance to get some of his money back to buy food for his family.

He proposed a game of straight poker with each receiving five cards on the hood of his car.

I was pleased that he agreed to let me deal the cards after he cut the deck. Feeling even luckier, I bet $100 and he called and raised another $100.

Knowing I had a full house, I raised with my last $150.

He called and, to my dismay, turned over four queens and walked away with all of my money.

No longer young and dumb, I know today that he put in a stacked deck when he cut the cards. I was just the mark who dealt the cards.

Today I never watch the “World Series of Poker” because it reminds me of what might have been.

KEITH KAPPES is publisher of The Morehead News, The Olive Hill Times and the Grayson Journal-Enquirer.

Text Only
  • Lana Bellamy: Waking up America's youth: 4/18/14

    I once read a quote by a man saying the reason today’s youth do not have the same “spunk” as youth in the past is because they do not have inspiration.

    April 17, 2014

  • Mark Maynard: Let’s just forget about it: 04/17/14

    The older I get, the more forgetful I become. Does that sound familiar?

    April 16, 2014

  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014