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HOLDEM   5'?m2f Salvation, works, grace, mercy

(both demons wear all black)

NEW -- (enters carrying slip of paper, crosses, exits opposite,
reenters backward looking around, reads paper, shrugs, turns)
Ah, Boss, I.... (points over shoulder)

OLD -- (enters opposite, crosses) You ready for your training
class?

NEW -- Ah, yeah, Boss, but I think you got the address wrong.
(points)

OLD -- Nope. That's it. (points)

NEW -- But that's a casino.

OLD -- That's right.

NEW -- All they're doing in there is playing poker.

OLD -- Texas holdem to be precise.

NEW -- You're not saying that I'm here to learn how to play
poker, are you?

OLD -- Actually, I don't care if you learn to play poker or not.

NEW -- Then, what am I doing here?

OLD -- You're learning the strategy of a successful demon.

NEW -- From playing poker?

OLD -- You're not here to PLAY poker. You're here to learn the
strategy of poker.

NEW -- I don't get the connection. What does poker have to do
with being a successful demon?

OLD -- The strategy of a successful poker player is identical to
the strategy of a successful demon.

NEW -- You've got to be kidding.

OLD -- (offers New a wad of money) Here, take this and sit at
table three for two hours, then meet me back here.

NEW -- (takes money, turns) Well, okay, but... but (turns) Say,
what if I lose?

OLD -- Don't worry about the money. Your job is to learn the
strategy of demons. Go. (points)

NEW -- (turns) Well, okay. (exits) I'll see you in two hours.

(optional light cue: dim to dark, short pause, dim up full)

NEW -- (reenters smiling broadly with full money bag)

OLD -- Well, how did you do?

NEW -- How did I do?! Look at this! I won! I won big!

OLD -- What did you learn?

NEW -- Well, the first thing I learned is how incredibly lucky I
am. I had great cards!

OLD -- I don't want to burst your bubble, but you WERE sitting
at table three, weren't you?

NEW -- Well, sure, but....

OLD -- But what?

NEW -- (pauses) Are you saying the dealer was one of us?

OLD -- It cuts down the odds considerably, don't you think?

NEW -- So, what your saying is that I'm not all that good at
Texas Holdem?

OLD -- Let's just say that you don't have to be good when the
cards are on your side.

NEW -- You know, I wasn't the only one at the table with good
cards. The other players had good cards too.

OLD -- Of course, they were at table three.

NEW -- You mean the dealer gave them good cards too?!

OLD -- Of course. That's why you won so big.

NEW -- How does it follow that I won big because my opponents
had good cards?

OLD -- Look. You're a demon. A demon's job is to keep people out
of Heaven. Right?

NEW -- Right.

OLD -- And when all is said and done, everybody on earth wants
to go to Heaven. Right?

NEW -- Right.

OLD -- Heaven in poker terms is like winning a big pot. Tell me,
how did you win your biggest pots?

NEW -- By going all in.

OLD -- Exactly. It's the same with sinners trying to get to
Heaven.

NEW -- You get them to go... ALL IN!

OLD -- Now you're thinking like a demon!

NEW -- Thanks.

OLD -- Did you ever, get anyone at the table to go all in while
he was holding a seven-deuce off-suit?

NEW -- No! That's the worst hand! (pauses) Oh, I see what you're
saying! You're saying we have to give the sinners on earth good
enough cards that they won't hesitate to go all in. And if they
lose...

OLD -- ...They'll be ours forever.

NEW -- Well, I think I've got the strategy. But how do we
translate poker strategy into something that will give the
sinners enough false confidence to go ALL IN?

OLD -- You have to get them to forget about the Ace. (points up)

NEW -- You mean Jesus?

OLD -- Now, how are you going to get them to forget about him if
you keep mentioning his name!?

NEW -- Sorry, Boss. But if... the Ace is what wins the pot, how
do you get them to go ALL IN?

OLD -- The answer is WORKS.

NEW -- Works?

OLD -- Yes. Both poker players and sinners like to be in control
of their own destiny. All you have to do is give them a false
sense of security that their eternal future is in their own
hands. Make them think they can't lose.

NEW -- How do I do that?

OLD -- Keep them talking about how good they are compared to
others, compared to the average person.

NEW -- (imitates) You're a good person. You're one of the nicest
people I know. How can God keep such a nice person out of
Heaven?

OLD -- ALL IN! (laughs)

NEW -- You've been baptized. You'll go to Heaven for sure!

OLD -- ALL IN! (laughs)

NEW -- You've taken communion. Heaven is yours for the taking!

OLD -- ALL IN!

NEW -- You keep the sabbath. Go straight to Heaven.

OLD -- ALL IN!

NEW -- You're a member of the only true church. You belong in
Heaven.

OLD -- ALL IN!

NEW -- (turns, crosses) And when they go to cash in, Saint Peter
will meet them at the pearly gates and ask them about... about
you-know-who. And the sinners will say. What difference does HE
make? I went ALL IN with my good works. (laughs)

OLD -- (follows)  ALL IN with the second best hand! (laughs)

BOTH -- You lose! (laugh, exit)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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