The Flamingo Men

I haven’t played online poker for years.

There were lots of sites available. Sites with names like Card Starz and Poker Kings that referenced the game in some way. One bucked this trend, and called itself The Flamingo Men. 

They ran the same as any other site, focusing on Texas Hold ‘Em, with the odd game of seven card stud. Most poker sites use characters so you can tell which player is which. Sometimes they are people, sometimes you can customise them. Not on The Flamingo Men. Here you must pick on their animals. A monkey in a top hat. A dog with a funky tie. And the company’s logo, a flamingo wearing a pair of sunglasses dealing the cards.

You pick from one and many more, and sit play some poker. The monkey swings his hat in the air when he wins, and the dog will howl and pull on his tie when he loses. The poker chips were blood red and bone white. 

I played a couple of hands, and went back to my usual sites. Because I heard a rumour about what happens if you spend all your money Most sites will refuse you business until you persuade someone to give you another credit card. Perhaps send you a template email about the dangers of gambling. But on The Flamingo Men, when your money runs dry, the flamingo pulls down his sunglasses, and asks a simple question:

'Keep gambling?’ 

If you accept, they will transfer enough for a full night’s poker. And if you win, and pay the money back, then good for you. You kept gambling

But if you lose your money again, a few days later there will be three knocks on the door. And they will all be there. The dog, the monkey, the flamingo. Asking for the funds. 

It will be a bit of a shock, but write them a cheque, or pay them in cash, and all three will leave. They don’t take card unfortunately. It’s a real pain. 

But if you cannot pay, (and if you have got to this stage you almost certainly cannot), then the monkey will bare its teeth, and the dog will pull at its tie and howl. And you will learn why their chips are blood red, and a terrible bone white.