Monday, March 29, 2004

Casey at the Felt

(Copyright ©2004 by Dan Marsh, with thanks to Ernest L. Thayer)

With the DH rule now in effect they were the Mudville Ten
That gathered 'round the felt one day to try their luck again.

It happened only seldom they had ought to do at night,
So Mudville Farms Casino was where they took their fight.

Six hours in, the stacks were tall, the chips were clacking loud,
And the mighty hitter Casey was attracting quite a crowd.

He'd toss his chips in toward the pot and roar his booming laugh,
And his opponents always folded, or maybe dragged in half.

Then Cooney busted out at last, and Barrows did the same,
Tossed their cards in forcefully, accursing Casey's name.

The railbirds now looked hungry; their faced were alight,
Something glinted in their eyes as they saw the players' fright.

"Finish them!" they shouted, together all as one,
While the players ('cepting Casey) no longer played for fun.

Finally they saw their chance as they looked upon their cards,
And then began the hand which is still sung about by bards.

Jimmy Blake was dealt two Kings, Aces got old Flynn,
Yes, finally, they saw a hand that Casey wouldn't win.

Casey didn't seem to sense his teammates had enough,
He chose the wrong time, it would seem, to run a hopeless bluff.

So when Flynn raised a hundred, and so did Jimmy Blake,
Casey thought an all-in bet was what a bluff would take.

The crowd, they cheered together, when Casey boomed "All-In!"
No thought was in their minds but how much Casey would drag in.

But Flynn and Blake leapt up as one, yelled "Call!" for all to hear,
And some that gathered on the rail swear Casey's eyes showed fear.

The dealer counted out the chips, and boy, there were a lot,
But more than chips were now at stake when personal it got.

The crowd, they sneered at Blake, they were sure that he would lose,
And not a one would give a dime to stand there in Flynn's shoes.

But still the hand, it must be played, and for the hand to go,
The dealer had to ask each man for both his cards to show.

Flynn flipped his Aces up with glee, let out a hateful yell,
While Blake let out a sigh and turned his Kings both up as well.

Shock registered on Casey's face, which quickly turned to hate.
The crowd then saw him turn a Jack; there followed then an Eight.

One couldn't think then in the room, the shout was loud and strong.
The crowd knew what the odds were, and the odds were surely long.

The dealer rapped the table, dealt three cards face-down,
And as he flipped them over, all leaned in around,

To see a Three, an Eight, a Six, harmless cards all three,
For though Casey'd made a Pair of Eights, his fate was not to be.

A Pair of Aces stared at him, and still a Pair of Kings;
And Flynn, his Aces strong, they were, still felt a joy that sings.

The dealer rapped the felt again, and turned a card once more,
And all there leaned in once again to see a harmless Four.

The crowd, they looked at Casey, and saw him cold as ice,
While Flynn was cackling gleefully in a way that wasn't nice.

And some of them were saddened, to see a hero fall,
And others there were sickened, to see Flynn standing tall.

For Casey was the reason they were standing at the rail,
And those who called him "hero" weren't there to see him fail.

So as the dealer rapped the felt, there rose a great tumult,
As the crowd pushed in upon the rail to see the hand's result.

Oh, somewhere in a cardroom cards are falling as they should,
And money flows from poorer players steadily to good,

And in another cardroom, patience is the rule,
For playing Jack-Eight Offsuit will make one a Royal Fool.

But an Eight just fell in Mudville:
Mighty Casey has sucked out.

(Permission is granted to link to this poem, but republication rights are not granted without prior consent of the author. Contact dmarsh3000 AT hotmail DOT com for information.)