Banco Tolano

One night we had the regular crowd in attendance for our semi-regular poker night and the game quickly shifted from 7 card stud variations to a twist on an old “favorite.”

Guts, as I mentioned before, is a three-card poker game. Everybody antes, cards are dealt, and you decide if you want to go for the pot. High hand takes it, losers match it. It’s a bit of an adrenaline rush, but not nearly so much as its bastard stepchild Potbuilder.

In Potbuilder, one of the cards is dealt face up. (And not necessarily the same one for every player, so long as only one is up for each. So there can be some mystery there.) The lowest Up card HAS to go in. This usually results in pots growing rather quickly.

On this evening, our first attempt at Potbuilder quickly snared our friend Paul Toland. (I normally don’t include last names, but it will become obvious shortly.) Poor Paul got low card several times in a row and quickly tapped out. Discovering that the ATM down the block was broken, he asked for some paper to write an IOU.

Axiom: Never trust a publishing professional to write a simple note, when he can publish one.

Paul drew a faux portrait with a bad attempt at a $5 bill, and passed it off as genuine Banco Tolano legal tender. The game progressed, and Paul won a few but lost more. At one point he was quietly sitting back in his chair, scribbling furiously, with someone (thankfully) dealing Guts, when we asked what he was doing. “Just making money,” Paul replied.

An instant classic.

Epilogue: Paul’s Banco Tolano notes were increasingly entertaining if NSFW, and he made good on each one.

2 thoughts on “Banco Tolano”

  1. I remember those poker games!!! For a long time I was the only girl. Then Meg joined too! My favorite night was when someone (I really can’t remember who) but some newcomer (male) was alarmed that I planned to play and made a big show of it. I happily beat him soundly. I may not have always won–but I did that night.

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