Sitting stiffly in the ninth position, looking quietly serious and quite intent about the hand he was involved in, sat Jessie Dill. Suddenly, there came a rather annoying cackling laugh. Looking around, any one could quickly tell that the laughter was not human. It was a laughing machine in Jessie’s pocket. He had just beaten “Duck”, his current nemeses, in another heads-up poker hand. The showdown clearly stated who the better player was. Jessie was once again the top dog in the Texas Hold ‘em card game. They were both heavily buried financially. It was hour number 36 and the chief complaint was that the money walked out the door two hours earlier (This refers to the gentleman who lost his money, and had been supporting this game). Some people would say Jessie was just lucky, but I knew different. His patience and his experience had left him with most of the thirty seven hundred dollars left on the table, from a game that had started a day and a half before. I am probably one of very few people who knew Jessie didn’t need a lot of luck.
With a head full of thick, stark white hair, Jessie was probably five foot seven on a good day. Some would suggest that most of Jessie’s good days were behind him. When I met him in 1985 he was seventy- five years old. Age did not hinder Jessie in any way. His deep crystal blue eyes shined as though he believed he was eighteen, going on eighty. I was card dealer in 1985 and only twenty five years old. The unique friendship that sparked up between the two of us was magical. Jessie had been a seven card stud dealer in the sixty’s and seventies, and a pretty good one at that.
To most people Jessie came off as a know- it- all, who was always right. That was probably because he was, always right. Dealing poker in Las Vegas for thirty- five years usually made him right. It also made him a very good card player and a lot of people did not like that much either....