Wednesday, October 9, 2019

"If I Am Playing with Reasonably Intelligent Men Who Also Have Mastered the Percentages, No One Would Win"

"How Can You Lose?"
By D. L. Champion (1902-68).
First appearance: Mystery Book Magazine, Winter 1950.

Short short short story (3 pages).
Online at (HERE).

     "Theoretically, everyone would finish absolutely even to the cent."

A friendly game of poker, right? Not quite . . .

~ Eben Barkley:

  "I fail to see how even a fool can lose money at poker."
~ Sam Barnes:

  ". . . was possessed of a loud voice. His laugh was a thundering inanity and his 
morals, the professor reflected, would furnish grounds for gossip in a jungle."
~ Maria Barkley Barnes:
  ". . . was putty in Sam's wonderfully manicured hands."
~ Detin:

  ". . . a portly man with a cherubic countenance, regarded the professor oddly 
for a moment . . ."
~ Andrews:
  "This will require some proof."
~ Manners:
  "Gosh, I should have phoned home an hour ago. Excuse me."

- If you're not familiar with the game, you can brush up on poker (HERE; Wikipedia).
- Our only encounter with D'Arcy Lyndon Champion so far was his prestidigitationally-themed "Murder Magic" (HERE), but there will be more in the future. FictionMags's thumbnail (which has a two-page listing of his stories): "Writer and creator of the pulp character 'The Phantom Detective'; served with the English during World War II. Born in Melbourne, Australia; died in New York City." Like many longtime professional pulpsters, Champion had series characters, among them: James Quincy Gilmore, a.k.a. Mr. Death (Thrilling Detective, 1932), Rex Sackler (DFW and Black Mask, 1939-50; see The Thrilling Detective Website HERE for more about him), Inspector Allhoff (Dime Detective, 1938-46; see TTDW HERE; not a nice guy: see TomCat's weblog HERE), and Mariano Mercardo (Dime Mystery, 1944-48; TTDW HERE).

The bottom line:

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