In 1994 several comedians decided to start a weekly poker game. Comics have long been attracted to the game of poker because it shares a risk reward experience with performing. Plus you get to say the sickest things. Eddie Brill is our host and the game is usually held in his apartment on Monday nights. In the beginning we started at 11PM on Sunday. With a kitchen table provided by fellow comic Dennis Regan, we brought our rolls of quarters and played until about 5 AM. Then we’d head around the corner for breakfast at a diner, with the big winner buying. Sarah Silverman, Dennis, Eddie, Sam Greenfield and I were the OP’s. (original players) Our small stakes game is filled with wild stories and jokes we could never do on stage. Louie CK, Colin Quinn and Marc Maron are just a few of the comics who have graced our table, which we have upgraded through a series of actual poker tables to our current custom made model. The quarters evolved to chips with EBPG stamped on one side and the denomination on the other. Our game is classified as friendly, meaning much of the banter at a non friendly game is banned. After winning a hand at our game you don’t want to linger on the fact that you won.
“You stay in hands when you have no business and I’ll take all your money every time, dumbass!”
This is not to say we don’t say inappropriate things to each other because we certainly do. Recently Pat Dixon asked Eddie quite randomly would he rather cut off his own dick or kill his mother. Eddie responded that while his mother was blowing him, he’d cut her neck off and smoke weed through his dick. Eddie’s mom has been to the game, knows what it’s about and was fine with the joke.
In the early years, Jay Mohr lived down the hall from Eddie and celebrated his gig on Saturday Night Live by running through Eddie’s apartment butt necked. Louie CK takes best exit honors with his classic that is our all time favorite. After losing several big pots in a row, Louie got up, slung his jacket over his shoulder old movie style and said, “So long suckers, come see your money sometime!” Instead of opening the apartment’s front door, he opened the one next to it which is a closet.
Our mantra is Focus and Enjoy. With all the talking going on it sometimes slows the game down to a crawl so we encourage players to have fun, but keep in mind why we are all sitting at the table. That is of course to enjoy poker playing pleasure. Our favorite activity is changing lyrics to the songs playing in the background. When the classic Chi Lites Have You Seen Her is on, we might changes the words to
Oh I see my balls everywhere I go
On your face, and even on the radio
When the Tempts and the Supreme sing I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, we change it up to
I’m gonna make you rape me
Against my will, against my will.
The player make up is mostly male but we’ve had a few lady visits including the aforementioned Sarah who gave us our second sickest gag. While in the bathroom, Sarah yells out to the table “I need a coat hanger!” I said I’d bring her one if I could smell her fingers afterward. Yep, I sure did.
For comics, doing your act at the table is seriously frowned upon and a quick way to not get invited back. On the rare occasion we come across players that are not a good fit, they go away via an exit letter I compose and email them.
I was living in Brooklyn on 9/11. I turned on the TV after the first tower fell and before the second. There was a poker game on 9/12. We really didn’t know what else to do.