I’m sitting at a table having a hell of day. I’m cleaning motherfuckers out left and right, but then a new player steps up to the table.
This guy, he’s a real gem.
A performative gambler.
You know the type.
When they show up at the table, they’ve got their whole fucking persona down to a tee.
Maybe it’s fresh threads. Or even the rattiest fucking shirt you’ve ever seen.
$300 haircut, perhaps. Or they look like they haven’t washed their hair since Bush was in office.
Either way, their whole horse and pony show is designed to get you to pay ‘em no mind. When you look at ‘em, you might see an insane drifter or an image-obsessed punk kid.
This particular motherfucker was there to put one over on all the fishies sitting at the table.
But not old Karrde.
His ass takes an empty seat, and even a blind man would catch the smirk behind his mustache. He antes up, and motherfucker can’t keep his mouth shut. He lets us know all about whatever bullshit he believes in.
Aliens? Something called Tick Tock? Karrde don’t remember.
Dealer passes out the cards, and my luck seems to have run out.
Normally I’d throw it away, but this dumbass spent five minutes trying to figure out a minimum bet.
I call his ass, and the flop comes nine-four-ace.
I paired up, but he puts old Karrde to sleep counting out another big raise. Acting like he’s just throwing out random chips, he makes his raise.
I put him on jacks, just enough to think he can bully everyone off the pot with his lucky novice routine.
See, old Karrde likes a good performative gambler. They’re easy marks.
A guy like Kenny Freeman shows up looking like he came out of Teen Vogue or something. Hair all fresh and only wearing flashy name brands.
His whole image is cultivated to be someone that people respect and pay attention to.
But old Karrde looks beneath that bullshit.
Same with Captain Zappa. That ugly motherfucker looks like he hasn’t had a sane thought since the Nixon administration, but it’s all a ruse.
Zappa’s alien shit? Freeman’s Tweeter posts? It’s all a smoke screen designed to make you look down on ‘em.
Because once you think you’re better than a man, that’s when he reaches into your pocket and takes all you got.
But not Karrde.
You believe so strongly that your way of life is the right one that you look down on everybody else, see them as lesser. But I ain’t a lesser man.
I’m Wild fucking Karrde, and you ain’t never met a man like me.
The problem with performative gamblers is that they just assume they have the advantage.
But today, you boys are holding a pair of jacks staring a man in the eye with aces.
You can call em snake eyes, cause you’re drawing dead against Wild Karrde.
Performative gamblers are like them jacks: We call em suckers.
Pay up, gentleman, I’ve already won.
The House always wins.