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Drawing Dead – Chapter 10

The dealer counted out the chips as Miguel kicked his chair away in disgust, looking angry as Carlos had been. Sam was sure he had the most chips, even if it was just by a few thousand, but he sat motionless, waiting patiently to be declared the winner of the €3,400 top prize. Miguel strode

Drawing Dead – Chapter 9

The last eight players assembled at Casino Barcelona for the final table. The evening had been a bust at the felt for Antonio, but Sam’s words had kept him on the rail with a drink in hand. The host of last night’s private game watched the drama unfold while a curious smile played on his

Dead by the River – Chapter 4

The start of the weekly poker tournament at Ivan Angelov’s mansion was always a busy one. Players often went on the attack in the first couple of hours, knowing that they could rebuy and enjoy the atmosphere and free drinks that their host always provided. He loved it too. Angelov may not have been liked

Drawing Dead – Chapter 8

Carlos remained on his feet, but the three policemen moving in his direction took the wind out of his sails. Everyone was watching to see where they would end up. As it happened, they weren’t bound for Carlos, but veered right to Sam’s table. They walked past Sam arriving at the table where Mo and

An Ode to the (Traveling) Poker Dealers

I was introduced to the world of poker a few years after the man with the perfect name and perfect story became the 2003 WSOP Main Event champion. Having never deposited any money of my own, I started the journey with a free bankroll offered by an affiliate site that I found randomly while browsing

Dead by the River – Chapter 3

A day later, the stage was set. The sun was dying in the sky when the dozen players arrived at the Angelov mansion. Sofia had spent the day thinking a lot about the death of Georgi. There was no random element to his death. He was a strong swimmer. He worked deep in the city,

Dead by the River – Chapter 2

Sofia’s first memory was of riding a small pink tricycle up a garden path outside their modest two-bedroom family home. She was guided along the cobbled stones, not by the hand of her mother or father, but of Georgi, her older brother. She loved his energy, his heart, his sense of fun – it kept

Drawing Dead – Chapter 7

The tournament was not offering the kind of money that would change the lives of any of the four high stakes players who had arrived in Barcelona to play at Antonio Molina’s apartment. That didn’t matter to any of them, however. Each of them was hunting for a crucial piece of information that would allow

Drawing Dead – Chapter 6

They woke mid-afternoon, having earned the kind of sleep only lovers do.  “Sammy, why do we meet like this?” Sofia asked as she sat at the gilt-edged make-up desk, blinking slowly into the mirror as she reapplied mascara. “In Barcelona or in bed? I think we both know the reason we end up in bed

Dead by the River – Chapter 1

Touching down in Bulgaria was always a routine that Sofia enjoyed. For one thing, she was landing in Sofia, the city after which she was named. When she was a child, it was all anyone talked about; her father’s relentless business drive and how he named his daughter after the city he hoped to one