DEALING with it

A LEAGUE OF OUR  OWN | Flirting can be used to your advantage when playing poker in a gay league. Just ask Pocket Rockets founder Jeff Teller. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

Even with Lady Gaga’s advice, poker face does nothing to help the couch potato know when to hold ’em and fold ’em in gay traveling card tourney

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Playing for money without really playing for money is my kind of betting. With gas at three bucks a gallon, my wallet is screaming for help, but Pocket Rockets turns me into one high roller. All I really have to dole out is a couple of bucks for drinks and put on a poker face for some Texas Hold ‘em action at three clubs around the gayborhood. The best part — total exhilaration — comes even when my ass is handed to me by my opponent’s full house.

“We go out of our way to make sure people are comfortable in poker setting,” says owner Jeff Teller. “It’s just about fun.”

At Sue Ellen’s on a recent Tuesday, I got my game on. Activities that involve sitting while partaking of alcohol are ideal for the dedicated couch potato. The cardio behind it is just my speed at the deal … but seriously, poker is stressful. Thinking it would be all drinks and laughs, the “fun table” was just as serious as the tournament final table dealing across the dance floor. I’d played Texas Hold ‘em once before at some friends’ loft. Once. And that was three years ago. Without Cliff’s Notes in hand, I was about to be “that guy.” But once people figured I was the speed bump, they all pitched in to help.

“Lots of people are intimidated by poker, but we’re really friendly,” Teller assures. “[My partner, Aaron Ahamed and I] were nervous our first time. The one thing we do at our league is, we emphasize good sportsmanship. I really feel that enables us to bring in new players.”

By day, Teller is a yoga teacher and licensed massage therapist, but his interest in poker got him started on the path with his new company.

Poker isn’t new to Dallas gays: The Round-Up Saloon hosts a Wednesday tourney that goes on hiatus for a while after each championship. Pocket Rockets, however, runs continuously, offering prizes each night (which I didn’t win).

Teller says up to 45 players will play on any given night, which (as of now) takes place four times a week. Along with Sue Ellen’s on Tuesdays, Pocket Rockets hosts poker tourneys at TMC: The Mining Company on Thursdays and at the Brick Saturdays and Sundays. Teller and Ahamed plan to keep players going at each of those venues while adding more.

“We’re making an effort to get out there, be involved,” he says. “We started going and went to a couple of other leagues and thought how nice it’d be to put emphasis on gay community.”

My night of play, despite my half-hearted efforts in true CPAJ style, left me a total loser. My first plan of attack wasn’t working: Fold and never bet until people fell out of the game. This was not a good idea. Confusion led to checking which led to unfortunate bets. When I looked down I had less than 10 chips — just over a $1,000. This was the inevitable “fuck it moment” and I went all-in with a hand that I felt confident about … too confident as it turned out.

With an ace and a queen in hand and an ace and queen on the table, I had a strong two pair hand. I was edging, trying not to jump ahead to do my “in your face” dance. Something about a side bet would have put me back on track but another player won with his ace and king, also mirrored on the table. One other player had his ace but a weaker hand. It was climactic and the table rallied with “ohhhs” as each hand revealed.

“Yeah, there’s that drama because queens are playing,” Teller says. “ Some people take their game so seriously that you’d think the Super Bowl was going on. You can’t help the drama.”

I have no idea what he’s talking about.

Going in as a novice, margaritas and beers obviously did not affect my judgment, but Teller still gave me tips on how to be ready for the next time.

“Sense you’re players and if they are cute, that could work in your favor,” he says. “You can distract with flirtation and then all of the sudden take him out. And glute exercises, because sometimes you’re sitting for hours at a time.”

Wait, exercise? Ugh.

For more information, visit PocketRocketsDallas.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 25, 2011.

—  John Wright

Cazwell brings his ‘Ice Cream Truck’ to Station 4

Cazwell is serious about his music … even if he is a club diva

CazwellIn this week’s issue, Cazwell talked with the Dallas Voice about his approach to music. Just because he’s all about beefcake and sexy, funny lyrics doesn’t mean you should take him less seriously as a musician. He’ll tell you why.

The last time we saw Cazwell in town was at the now-defunct minc in Exposition Park. Then he was first touted as the gay Eminem, but he’s really in his own league layering outrageous raps over dance music. He’s more fun than Eminem with songs like “I Seen Beyonce at Burger King” and “All Over Your Face” from his 2009 album Watch My Mouth. The rapper-singer’s newest hit, “Ice Cream Truck,” is big on the dance floor which I’m sure has nothing to do with the video.

He performs an 18-and-up show at S4 on Sept. 30 at midnight. After his performance, he’s gonna stick around for a Meet and Greet. Maybe he’ll have a Bomb Pop just for you.

DEETS: Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road. Sept. 30 at midnight. Doors at 9 p.m. $15. Caven.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Black Pride Weekend: Second annual Masquerade Ball at The Warehouse

“Fierce” doesn’t begin to cover it

Dallas Southern Pride is bringing back its Masquerade Ball which looks to be the centerpiece party of the weekend.With special performances by Andre Misrahe, Back Rayne, Kage Khan, pictured, and JuJubee from RuPaul’s Drag U, the night doesn’t stop there. Prepare yourself for the ultimate sex siren battle on the dance floor and of course, the fab and fierce costumes and masks sure to be on hand. You’ll  have to see for yourself just what to expect. Just note the time of the event. It’s late, but that means more disco nap.

DEETS: The Warehouse, 1837 Corinth St. Doors at midnight. Ball begins at 3 a.m. $20–$25. DallasSouthernPride.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Zayra performs midnight show at the Rose Room

Does she bang a gong?

Dance music newcomer Zayra stops at the Rose Room to perform songs from her debut album Baby Likes to Bang. You might have heard “Sexy Super Mini Skirt” or one of numerous mixes of “V.I.P.” on the dance floor, but now you get to experience it up close.

The Rose Room will also be giving away free albums and downloads. Get ‘em while you can. 18 and up.

DEETS: The Rose Room, 3911 Cedar Springs Road (inside Station 4). Midnight. Caven.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Fixing Craigslist

By Ty Pressley, The World According to Ty

For those of you who may not know, I’m pretty much like Scott Bakula from “Quantum Leap” (and I swear that any day now I’ll stop referring to that show in my punchline arsenal) — I’m bound and determined to fix the world.

Is there anything more amusing than the sordid and desperate ramblings found only in Missed Connections? Hmm, Dustin Pot Pie doing karaoke? Sue Sylvester from “Glee”? That might be it. Accordingly, I’ve decided to grace these CraigsList posters with my insightful — albeit unsolicited — advice.

After Hours TMC – Sat. Nite – m4m

Really like how forward you were. Not shy at all. I helped you find your vehicle in the rain. You drove me to my car. Regreting I didn’t get your contact information. Tell me about your vehicle make and model? Where was I parked and what did we do when we got there?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you either shared an awkward moment of silence; or, more realistically, you folded down the backseat and created your own version of Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing At All.” If he was so drunk that he couldn’t find his car on his own — gotta love that commitment to excellence — he’s not going to find your ad on CraigsList. Unless he’s one of my drunk Facebook friends.

S4 Dance Floor Friday night – m4m

Your were dancing with four of your friends and you and another was wearing a vest (But you were the one in a dark shirt with the vest). You were wearing i think black jeans/courderroids with white nike hitops..with a nice ass.. We dance for awhile back to back and i touch you ass couple of times.. love to meet you and hang out…

Hold up. Friday? S4? Wearing a vest?? This guy might actually be referring to me and my besties on the dance floor!! This. Is. Priceless. Before you mourn over what probably would have been a cross between “Bad Romance” and “I Will Always Love You,” realize that there is no such thing as a Missed Connection at S4. You either went home with them, or you didn’t. And they definitely weren’t corduroy pants.

American eagle ne mall – m4m

Saw a cute dude with his mom at American eagle we exchanged glances hit me up if you see this never done this before hope it works

Let me start this by pointing out the obvious: He was with his mom. That’s usually a good indication that he is either underage, has no money, or has no friends. And you want to find him?? And you expect us to believe that you’ve never tried to hook up with a stranger online before??

Guy in the Red Ford Ranger – m4m

Friday you cruised up and down Bowser close to the Hidden Door. You and I spoke, for a short time, you said I was HOT. What color tank was I wearing? We should meet again, and you should come prepared. BEAR on the balcony. PS: I liked the mustache and the goatee….

I am quickly losing faith in humanity. Your tank top was a dark shade of failure. And if he had been interested, he would have told you to hop in and come home before his lesbian roommate realizes he took her truck.

All of these people have a few things in common:

• None of them are getting laid tonight.

• Do these people not bother getting phone numbers, or Facebooks? If he’s cute, introduce yourself. Get his name!

• None of them has any initiative. Seriously, try something original if you want to give a guy your phone number. Ex: “If you wanna call me sometime, my phone number is written on the bathroom wall.”

* If you think you might want to hook up with them later, seize the moment and do something about it. CraigsList isn’t a time machine and your best chance at a happy ending on CraigsList is rubbing … a lamp.

—  Dallasvoice