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Chasing EJ – Chapter 3: The Characters

As of yesterday, I had no intention of writing this chapter, but things change. You must adapt to what you see, hear, and feel. In this case, I didn’t see or hear anything, but I could feel that some people were looking forward to being characters in Swindle. There is a reason I changed the plan, but I can’t reveal that reason.

As far as Swindle goes, I already have 115 handwritten pages in a notebook. I always write in a notebook first. In my opinion, those 115 pages include some pretty good storytelling content. I don’t always know what readers will like. That’s for sure. However, I do know that when my pen flies and it can barely keep up with my mind, it’s a good sign. When I have to pause and think about what to write next, that’s not good. With Swindle, my pen flew.

Aside from the reason I can’t reveal, there’s another reason I stopped writing it. It relates to A Fishy Poker Tournament. That’s a book where I included 50 people from my Facebook Friends page as characters. Since I had to research all these characters, it was a painstaking process. The result: a love/hate relationship with readers. Sales result: disappointing. On the other hand, when I wrote A Fishy Poker Tournament, I stopped to think about what to write often. It didn’t flow.

There are two ways to look at this. One, Swindle also includes a lot of characters based on real life and that didn’t work last time. Or, the characters are irrelevant; it’s the flow that matters, so it will work.

This is my long way of telling you that I might finish writing Swindle at a later date. At the same time, it’s not a promise I can keep. I’d say there’s a 55% chance I do it, but a 0% chance I do it anytime soon. If you play poker, you know that 55% is far from a lock. Swindle has a complicated storyline and there are many potential flaws. That kind of book doesn’t match my current priorities.

The good news is that I’m going to include most of those characters in this book, but not by nickname. I’ll save the nicknames for Swindle if I end up writing it. In this instance, I’m just going to see what my people-reading ability is like. I’ll make a quick list and you can decide if my reads are accurate.

Josh – Excellent dealer. Tight-aggressive when playing. Very strong player with chips and momentum. Higher energy when things are going well. Will chat at table when things not going well, but in a more matter-of-fact way.

Stephanie – Haven’t seen her play poker. Easy to talk with on any topic. Even when upset, overall a happy person. You always know what you’re going to get.

Fred – I have no idea who this dude is, but I wrote ‘Doobie Time’ in my notes, so….

Tommy – I didn’t see him dealing the last two times I was at LKQ, but a great pitch. Extremely fast. I haven’t played enough at his table to know what he’s like controlling the table and calculating pots.

Darcele – Potentially the hardest working person in the entire joint. Potentially! Just stating what I see. Happier when agitated. Not happy if things are perfect. I used to be that way, so I get it.

Ted – Calm, easy to talk to, and intelligent. True passion for the game. Good person.

Mike N – Your first impression might be that he doesn’t want to talk to you, or anyone else. But when you get to know him, he’s cooler than you expect. Reminds me of Lisa from Tunica (formerly). Not because of appearance, but because business is business and fun is fun. Good at separating the two.

Ron – Just wants to have a good time. Doesn’t take life too seriously, which makes him easy to get along with. But he will be cold as ice with no opportunity for apology if you cross him. Not based on personal experience. Just a hunch.

Bobby – All around good guy. Very good at his job but can adapt to almost anyone and any situation on social side. Waterloo.

Jim – Loves the atmosphere at LKQ. Willing to give you his time and talk about almost anything.

James – Some tall dude standing behind the bar one night. Very friendly and told me to call him ‘Mo Money.’ Fun personality.

Chris – Always a threat in any game. Fearless and calculating at the table. Doesn’t like to lose, but forgets about it once back into the next game. Very passionate about poker.

Leyla – Almost always in a good mood despite a lot of work. In the rare instances she’s in a bad mood, she handles it very well and never takes it out on customers. Excellent at building rapport with patrons.

Jeremy – When he first walks in to his security post, he says nothing to anyone and evaluates the room and people. After he checks the cameras and settles in, fun to talk with. A very unique personality. I’m not sure if he’s one of the friendliest people in the world or has six dead bodies buried underneath his basement. When I told him this, he said it could be both.

Jason – Funny dude. Laidback. Just a likable guy based on the way he carries himself. Gets excited about winning.

Keely – High energy. Takes a lot of pride in her work as a dealer, but enjoys playing the game more. Good at banter.

Brett – A great complement to Keely. I’m a native New Yorker, and I would assume he is same. Some people don’t understand New Yorkers. They think we’re all jerks, but we’re not. We’re just upfront, but not in a bad way. As far as poker, great reading skills, picks his spots wisely.

Aaron – Likes to buy-in to tournaments at LKQ and then get blinded out while playing another tournament somewhere else. Enjoys the game of poker, but enjoys the poker world even more. Not sure if I’m right on this one, but that’s my read. Also possible he doesn’t realize this.

Heather – Brings a happy energy to LKQ, which is extremely valuable. When other people see the staff smiling, they want to be there. Good moods are magnetic.

That Lady That Wears All Black And Jewelry And Gives Out Candy – She’s cool.

Tyler Nelson – Extremely disciplined and honest. He knows what’s going on at all times. If he sees an error, he’ll fix it. If you ask him a question, he’ll know the answer. A key piece to LKQ.

Chad – Talks a lot.

Nathan – Likes to have fun. Good at switching gears between playing and working.

Jj – Tough as nails on the table. Nice as can be off the table. Prefers disco.

Sherry – Very easy to get along with. Patient at the table. You’re going to have to pry her chips away. When you least expect it based on the image you created of her, she will make a move.

Scott – Enjoyed The Dark Side of the Felt but mad it wasn’t 100% true. Even threw a mug against the wall after reading. Good guy though. Superb math skills. Quality reading skills. Might tilt a little if someone misplays a hand against him and wins.

Joe – Always fun to have at table. Good action player.

I know I missed A LOT of people! These notes were from early on. I just wanted to get these out there, and I’ll naturally incorporate others as I continue the story. For now, let’s see what happens on Saturday and Sunday. If you’re there and you bust me, I’m likely to write about it. If you’re there and I bust you, I might write about it. But come on down and get involved. You could end up playing a big role in Chasing EJ. You could end up being my ally if you bust him.

Important Note: You never need to feel guilty about playing poker at LKQ. Those times when you think you should spend the time with your significant other, play golf, go hiking opposed to playing poker? This is different. This is for charity. None of those aforementioned activities support charities. When you play poker at LKQ, you’re helping kids. Therefore, fun + helping others = No Brainer.

See you Saturday at 2 p.m. and/or Sunday at 5 p.m. If you need more info on these tourneys, go to LKQ Charity Events on Facebook. Or use PokerAtlas.

Chasing EJ – Chapter #4: More LKQ Characters + Secret Revealed