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(The 12th Annual)

Twas the night before Christmas, what a strange year it's been
The pandemic stopped poker, in sight was no end
The tables were gone from all of the venues,
And when they'd be returned, no clue.

The players were masked all snug in their beds,
While visions of Royals danced in their heads.
With the dealers at home, and Jim (not) updating the website,
They had settled their brains before saying good night.

When out in the town there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my couch see what was the matter
Away to I-4 I flew like a flash,
Tore open the car doors and threw up the Sunpass.

This Christmas Eve night there's rain all around
and as I continued west, the 408 I soon found 
And that's when I saw it, and it gave me a smile,
A blue SUV with 102,000 miles!

With a fast little driver looking oh, not-so-slim,
I knew in a moment it had to be Jim.
More rapid than flushes his dealers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

There's Trisha, Ted and Amber, The Gilmores and John,

Steve and Samantha were here, but now they are gone
Alex and Jef, Paco and Jay,
and Nicole throw your cards, to help make your day

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each reindeer hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Jim came with a bound.

He was dressed in Big Stacks fleece, from his head to his tush,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of jewelry he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! "I have presents!", he said
He had cards in his hand, red Aces for Ted!
They sat down at the table and I dealt the cards out,
Jack/Ten suited for Jim, still many an out.

The flop was all diamonds - Queen, Ten and a Jack.
Two pair now for Jim.  There's no turning back.

The turn - Jack of Hearts - Jim says "That's mah boat"
Ted's ready to go and grabs his coat.

Jim’s droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
As he whispered “All in, it’s time for me to go.”
Ted insta-calls and flips over his draw
Jim stands up and sees his potential flaw.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon let Ted know he had nothing to dread.
Jim turns over his boat, but still one card to go
The River Runs Through It – King of Diamonds - A ROYAL, don’t ya know!

He spoke not a word, but went right back to work,
He finished the website, then turned with a jerk.

Laying his finger aside of his nose,
He gave a nod, and up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his dealers gave a whistle,
And away they all drove like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas from BSPL, and to all a good-night!"