That truism popped into my head the other night when several people around the table started talking about lending money to other poker players. Over the years, I have lent money to a few friends in casinos and, fortunately, I’ve always been repaid in full. I had one guy who stiffed me for a couple hundred bucks for several months — the fact that he owed me money didn’t stop him from buying in to games when he knew I wasn’t around — but even that eventually came home. Since then, I’ve only handed over some cash to people who I absolutely know are good for it and will return it within a reasonable amount of time.
The other thing that occurs to me every time the topic comes up is this joke. I don’t know who originated it, so I can’t give attribution, but present it for your enjoyment nonetheless.
A homeless guy walks up to a man on the street and asks if he can spare a few dollars. The man rebuffs him, saying, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be. That’s Shakespeare.” To which the homeless guy replies, “Oh, yeah? Fuck you! That’s David Mamet!”
There’s also my all-time favorite true story about lending money to a poker player, which I told in a post called “The Borrower,” which Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck liked so much they used in their gambling movie “Mississippi Grind.” Read it here.