The Mott Street Poker Club
Mr. Lee-Tip's Strategy
He Investigates Poker on the Melican Plan
WHEN the Club assembled for its third session, it was observed that Mr. Lee-Tip’s face wore an expression of
unusual severity. He snorted a great deal, and made strange noises to himself. There was a malignant sparkle in his eyes when they peeped
through the slits in his face, and a vicious twist to his pigtail; and when he took his place at the table with the others, his excitement
manifested itself by his drumming the “Confucius March” on the board with all ten fingers. Mr. Hong-Lung prepared to deal,
— a privilege he had previously invariably assumed, and which had been conceded him, — when Mr. Lee-Tip remarked:
“What fol hol on?” demanded Mr. Hong-Lung, in vast astonishment. “You no leady to play?”
“Flow fol deal,” said Mr. Lee-Tip, authoritatively. “You flow fol deal allee samee Melican man.”
Mr. Hong-Lung stared. Mr. Lee-Tip’s sudden familiarity with a primary rule of the game appeared to surprise him
immensely. However, he threw the cards for the deal, and it fell to Mr. Lee-Tip. That gentleman handed the pasteboards with a dexterity
that savored of recent rehearsal under skilled tutelage, and, having dealt, gave Mr. Hong-Lung a handful of spot cards, Mr. Gin-Sing
three of a kind, Mr. Hop-Sam two pairs and himself four kings, with ace high. Mr. Hong-Lung did not better himself on the draw, and
laid his cards down, saying,—
Mr. Lee-Tip’s eyes glittered.
“How you call um passee?” he asked.
“Me no playee.”
“How fol you no playee?”
“No ketchee calds.”
“You ketchee calds, allee samee lest of us.”
“Ketchee calds, but no ketchee good calds. Me passee.”
Mr. Lee-Tip reached down under the table, his eyes blinking as if they were worked with wires.
“You playee polkel samee Melican man?” he asked.
“Celtinly.” Answered Mr. Hong-Lung, somewhat uneasily.
“Len.” Said Mr. Lee-Tip, bringing his hand up from under the table with a hatchet in it, “you no
“Me sabbe,” answered Mr. Hong-Lung, promptly.
He remained in, and was, of course, wiped out. The deals of Mr. Hop-Sam and Mr. Gin-Sing which followed were equally
disastrous to him. However, he braced up a trifle when it came his turn to deal, and had stacked a good hand for himself, and was about
to throw the cards when Mr. Lee-Tip again interfered.
“Hol on,” he said, ominously.
“What you callee hol on?” asked Mr. Hong-Lung. “You clazee?”
“Me wantee cut calds,” replied Mr. Lee-Tip, suavely.
Mr. Hong-Lung laid the pack down with and expression of profound disgust.
“Too muchee dlam humbug,” he said, getting up. “Me no playee polkel like lis.”
Mr. Lee-Tip began chopping tooth-picks out of the top of the table with the hatchet.
“Playee polkel allee samee Melican man,” he said, placidly. “You sabbe?”
Mr. Hong-Lung sat down with a sigh of weariness, and the game proceeded. It lasted till he had lost all his money and
most of his clothes, when he complained of being sick and went to look for a doctor. Upon turning out his pockets, to prove that he
was not worth detaining, he was allowed to depart. Mr. Lee-Tip, Mr. Hop-Sam and Mr. Gin-Sing divided the spoil fairly, after withdrawing
from the pool the price of a Mott Street Perfecto for Finnegan, the roundsman, who was known as the champion poker player of the police
force, and with whom Mr. Lee-Tip had been seen in close consultation the evening before.