Men the Master and Eskimo Clark

“God bless us everyone, and all you can eat, baby!”

Those were the words lovingly slurred by Men ‘the Master’ Nguyen Christmas morning when he provided a beautiful dinner to a stunned and thankful family – his own.

But what happened for Men to have this change of heart?

Well, Christmas Eve began like any other night for the Master. After playing 40/80 Omaha Eight at Hawaiian Gardens til 3 AM, a cab was called for Men, who didn’t tip the driver and then passed out on his porch.

The Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present

But then, just as the clock in the window of the pawn shop next to his house struck midnight, something miraculous happened. The ghost of three-time bracelet winner Eskimo Clark appeared.

Smoking a cigar and cursing at an invisible dealer, Eskimo plopped down next to Nguyen and asked him if he could borrow money.

An understandably shocked Nguyen took a long look at his old friend Eskimo before exclaiming, “Get off my porch, baby, this private property.”

Eskimo, taking a long puff from his ghost cigar blew the ghost smoke in Men’s face before coughing, “Eat a dick, you little sh*t. I’m here to help you turn your life around.”

And so together, the two poker legends looked back over Men’s life and all the mistakes he made.

“See here’s where you f*cked up again,” noted Eskimo as the two revisited a time in the past when Men spat in the face of a player next to him.

“While he was wiping off his face and calling for security, you could have palmed a couple of chips. But no, you just sat there smugly drinking that Corona.

Later the two visited the Ghost of Christmas Present, which turned out to be Minnesota Fats. Minnesota didn’t really have any advice to give, so Eskimo and Men just boosted his laptop and moved on.

Ghost of Christmas Future

Finally, after Eskimo got sidetracked by another ghost who backed him in a ghost tournament, Men visited the Ghost of Christmas Future.

Alone, Men the Master walked through a spooky graveyard before stumbling upon a hooded figure floating in front of a tombstone. The figure lowered his hood to reveal his true identity.

It was Amarillo Slim.

“Now a horse can drink more water than a broom can sweep dirt, but dirt ain’t never quench a blind man’s thirst.”

“Huh, what that mean, baby?” responded Nguyen.

“And a sheep without his wool is just a cowboy without his saddle.”

“Huh? What you sayin’?”

“Chickens peck corn, and people eat chicken, but ain’t no chicken at the table ‘cept the rooster crowin’ til the sunrise comes grinnin’.”

“NOOO!!!” screamed Nguyen before sitting upright on his porch. He looked around, relieved and amazed.

“They gone, baby! They gone!”

Elated, Men grabbed his coat and ran through the neighborhood.

Merry Christmas, baby!” sang Men to all the people on the street as he reached into his pockets and threw various tournament chips to children.

He went out and bought the largest turkey he could find. Returning home, he handed it to his wife and told her to go into the kitchen and cook it.

And then, after handing each of his kids a Corona, he smiled and said, “God bless us everyone, and all you can eat, baby!” A tear rolled down Men’s cheek as he looked out the window and waved to the ghosts of Minnesota, Amarillo, and Eskimo.

And they smiled back – namely because while Men was gone last night they stole 15k from his bedroom.

Also read: Reflections On A Missing 8 – An Oral History Of The Great Misread Hand Of 2009

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