Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker, damnit!
Hey now, I'm back with my main man, Johnny Hughes, unique take on politics and poker.
Poker Players and Politics
by Johnny Hughes, author of the poker novel, Texas Poker Wisdom.
As Iggy is fond of pointing out, this is a boffo, big-time political year, with a real horse race in the Democratic party and another horse race in the Fall.
Get involved. Pick a candidate or a party and hang around the headquarters. Go to a vote count watching party. Meet the politicos. Why, you say? I could be playing poker online, you say. Again, no opportunity like the next few months will come around for a long time. Get involved for what it can do for you, old numero uno at all times. Political volunteers are a classless group where the usual divisions or rank, age, and income that usually divide us are supposedly absent. Politics is the ultimate vehicle for networking or getting laid.
Being a political volunteer is a terrific way to meet the rich and powerful, potential mentors. In 1968, I had my first job. Everybody around Lubbock, especially the police, knew me as a gambler with a minor and humorous arrest record. First time I went to jail was at 14. Me and a pal each set off a string of firecrackers right at New Year's Eve inside the largest, fanciest movie house in town. We were arrested right on the front row, a great honor.
In 1968, Humphrey was against Nixon, excitement like today. I'd dress fancy and hang around. I attracted the attention of the second richest lady in our part of West Texas. Her sister was the richest. After the Democratic defeat, she sent me to Denver for a re-building meeting of all the factions that were posing as a party. It was wild with Chicano, Black, Native American caucuses with loads of demands. When I got back we huddled with a couple of other liberal old ladies. When she asked me how much money she should give, I said, "I wouldn't give these fruitcakes a plug nickel." She loved that and we became close over the years.
Helen Jones became my mentor and protector for decades after that. She owned, with her sister, the Mallet Land and Cattle Company, 53,000 acres, which was in four Texas counties. It had 1100 oil wells. If everyone drilling for oil in America hit a well right now, the Mallet would have more oil wells than that. Millions poured in. She gave away many millions. Her trust and her sister's are still the largest donors around long after their deaths.
She let me drive her Cadillacs any time I needed one and use the pool. Helen graduated from Berkley in 1921. She was sharp and powerful. I was her occasional messenger to politicians and lawyers. When I slipped on to the faculty of Texas Tech, it was Helen Jones that kept me there. She donated directly to my department for awhile, but she donated buildings and wings to the Museum and millions and millions. She made a great friend for me.
You need to meet those powerful mentors if you are around the age of the folks I met at the Blogger's convention. You might slip into some dynamite home games, better job opportunities, or just plain fun. The key term in Democratic Party is Party! There is something about a passionate political race that naturally makes the women folk horny.
You should wear some poker identification such as a Full Tilt hat over to the party headquarters. Politics is a great way to meet the folks you need to meet.
It doesn't hurt for a gambler to know some powerful elected officials
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