Bonnie and Clyde were a notorious duo who robbed banks and had shootouts with law enforcement officers throughout the Midwest. One of those gun battles took place in downtown Joplin, MO.
When I lived in Springfield, MO., I played a lot of poker at Downstream Casino in nearby Quapaw, OK. One day the poker room manager announced he was hosting a Bonnie and Clyde Poker Tournament.
The buy-in was $120 and the competition was open to men and women. I didn't have a female partner at the time but thought this would be a good time to introduce my daughter to poker.
Rossana knew the rudiments of poker. She wasn't sure she was good enough to play against other players. I assured her that she was.
'It's just a fun game,' I said. 'Don't worry about winning or losing. You're my partner. We'll do fine.'
On the night of the tournament, we showed up at the Downstream, ready to play.
The turnout was good. There were more than 60 teams competing for cash prizes. We decided to let me play the first round so Rossana could watch the action. She took a chair on the sidelines and watched me play.
I managed to accumulate a few more chips than I started with. Then it was her turn.
'Okay, Bonnie,' I said, surrendering my seat to her. 'Give 'em hell.'
Rossana smiled sweetly and sat down.
She played conservatively and didn't make any serious mistakes. I was impressed by her studied concentration. When she made a good move and won a nice-sized pot, I applauded.
'Your daughter is a killer poker player,' one of my friends said approvingly.
Like the real Bonnie of Bonnie and Clyde, Rossana was a crack shot with a pistol. She had served in the U.S. Navy and won an Expert medal for marksmanship on the firing line. I thanked him for the compliment and added, 'You ain't seen nothing yet.'
We played the tournament and did a good job until we were knocked out of the competition. There were only 20 couples left when we gave up our last chip. I complimented my daughter on her play and treated her to dinner.
Bonnie and Clyde Tournaments, sometimes referred to as Jack and Jill, are being held in many casinos around the country. Poker room management is trying to increase the poker base by opening tournaments up to couples. They're doing a good job of expanding the base and making the game fun for their customers.
Too bad Bonnie and Clyde didn't retire from robbing banks before that fatal shootout that claimed their lives. If they had substituted poker for bank robberies, there's no telling how far their relationship would have gone. I can't wait until Rossana and I try it again.
Author: Geno Lawrenzi Jr.
(Geno Lawrenzi Jr. is an international journalist, magazine author and ghostwriter and poker player who lives in Phoenx, AZ. He has published 2,000 articles in 50 magazines and 125 newspapers. If you want to share a gambling story or book idea with him, send an email to email@example.com ).
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