Saturday, January 17, 2009

Episode 12: Gunsmoke, The Gambler

Show notes for Episode 12:

  • Excerpts from Total Poker by David Spanier (1977)

    David Spanier's 'Total Poker' (1977)Published before many of the other, “classic” examples of poker journalism such as Al Alvarez’ The Biggest Game in Town (discussed back in Episode 1), Anthony Holden’s Big Deal, and James McManus’ Positively Fifth Street, David Spanier’s 1977 collection of essays titled Total Poker smartly covers a wide range of poker-related topics.

    On today’s show, I read from a couple of different chapters in Spanier’s book. First I read excerpts from a chapter titled “Morals” in which Spanier examines differences between amateur and professional poker players. I conclude with a paragraph from his chapter about poker in the movies in which Spanier makes a connection between poker and old Westerns.

    If you’re interested, click here to read my full review of Spanier’s Total Poker, which I wrote for my blog, Hard-Boiled Poker, back in the summer of 2007.

  • “The Gambler,” Gunsmoke (originally aired October 7, 1956)

    GunsmokeStarring William Conrad (Matt Dillon), Parley Baer (Chester), Howard McNear (Doc Adams), Georgia Ellis (Kitty). Also starring Lawrence Dobkin and Ralph Moody. Produced and directed by Norman Macdonnell. Written by John Dunkel. Music composed and conducted by Rex Koury.

    Here is the Wikipedia page that covers both the radio and television versions of Gunsmoke. And here is a site where you can download and listen to more episodes of the show.


  • Saturday, January 3, 2009

    Episode 11: Poker Chip Draw

    Show notes for Episode 11:

  • “Five Card Stud” by Lorne Greene, from his 1965 album Lorne Greene's American West. The song was written by Wally Gold and David Hill. Here are the lyrics:

    'Lorne Greene's American West' (1965)I remember it well, it was a hot rainy night
    When that stranger rode into town
    And tied up his horse at the Rainbow Cafe
    and bought everybody a round.

    “Hey bartender, break open a new deck of cards,
    Let’s have some good, honest fun -- ha!
    Now, a sociable game for a dollar or two,
    That never hurt anyone.

    Now, put your money right down on the table, boys,
    The name of the game... five card stud.
    Deal slow and easy from the top, son,
    The name of the game... five card stud.”

    That poker game lasted all through the night,
    It lasted all through the next day.
    But one by one, they had to drop out.
    When they had no more money to play.

    That night there was only the stranger
    And a cowboy -- a young friend of mine --
    They shuffled the cards and the crowd sensed the end
    As they put all their chips on the line.

    “Now, put your money right down on the table, boys,
    The name of the game... five card stud.
    Deal slow and easy from the top, son,
    The name of the game... five card stud.”

    After four cards were dealt to the young cowboy’s hand --
    Two kings, everybody could see --
    But the stranger’s hand, looking better than his,
    Showed an ace, and an ace, and a three.

    The last card was dealt to the young cowboy’s hand,
    And when he turned up a third king,
    Why that stranger just smiled and threw in his cards
    And he left without saying a thing.

    Well after he’d gone, they turned over his cards,
    And surprise showed on everyone’s face.
    Oh, they’ll never know why he got up to go
    When his card in the hole was an ace!

    Now in poker all the rules say that aces beat kings,
    So in truth, the stranger had won.
    But out of the crowd, just the two of us knew
    That the stranger was playing his son.

    “Now, put your money right down on the table, boys,
    The name of the game... five card stud.
    Five card stud, five card stud, five card stud....”

  • “Poker Chip Draw,” The Cisco Kid (originally aired February 19, 1957)

    The Cisco KidStarring Jack Mather (as the Cisco Kid) and Harry Lang (as Poncho).

    Here is a website where you can find about 200 of the over 600 episodes of The Cisco Kid. And click here if you would like to read O. Henry's 1907 short story, “The Caballero’s Way,” in which the character of the Cisco Kid -- very different than the hero depicted in the movies, radio shows, and on television -- was introduced.

    Finally, here is that old episode of the TV show The Cisco Kid I mentioned on the show, titled “Buried Treasure.” Incidentally, this episode originally aired on February 19, 1952, exactly five years (to the day) before the radio show featured on this podcast was first broadcast.


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