Jacklyn looks out towards the ocean and listens as the waves crashed on the beach. She pulls her robe tighter around her slim body for warmth from the slight chill in the air. She couldn’t believe how her life has changed since last year. She was a nobody struggling to pay her bills and rent. She barely had enough food to live on and lived in a rundown studio apartment.
Now she had a nice condo on the beach, a nice job that she enjoyed and money in the bank. She was the assistant floor manager at a nice casino. She turns around and heads towards the kitchen to fix some breakfast. She still can’t get over how much her life changed as she makes some coffee and an English muffin.
It all started because she was forced to leave home because her parents couldn’t support her decision to become a girl. At first, her parents were a concern for her and made her see a counselor about her cross-dressing issues. She had always enjoyed items that were meant only for girls. She loved it when her mother took her clothes shopping with her. She would look through the different dresses and blouses with her mother. At first, it hadn’t bothered her mother, but then one day her mother said it made her uncomfortable.
That had hurt her because she liked looking through all the different styles and the feel of the fabric. After her mother told her that. She would just go and hang around in the toy section or shoe section.
Soon, she found it boring going shopping with her mother. She wanted her to look at guy things. She hated guys clothes and refused to pick out anything that was male related.
Her father tried to get her interested in sports like baseball and football. He signed her up with the local junior football team. She had been bullied and picked on by her teammates because she didn’t like playing football and baseball.
When her father’s friends came over for their weekly poker game. She would join in and learn how to play poker. After a while, she started becoming good at the game. She learned how to read people. How to find their poker tell. She would play against them and would lose at times. However, the more she played. The better she got at finding them, poker tells. She became good at playing poker and became hooked doing it.
One Halloween she went dress as a cheerleader to a friend’s party and found she liked being a girl. So, one day while her parents were out of the house. She dressed up in one of her mother’s dresses that she saved from the donation bag and put on make-up and such. She waited for her parents to come home and surprised them.
At first, her parents didn’t know what to make of their child and made her change. Once she changed and joined her parents in the living room. They talked about it and said she would have to see a counselor before they would let her dress full time.
The counselor they sent her too, was an asshole. He believed that she was being influenced by peers at school and she had low self-esteem. He even went so far as to say she was looking for attention. The counselor prescribed some medication for her to take.
The pills the doctor had prescribed for her, made her sick and made her mind foggy. She took them for a while but later threw them away. They were making her sick and once she told her parents she didn’t want to see that quake again.
They gave her the choice to either see him and take the medication or move out. She chose to move out. She moved in with some friends and got a job as a dishwasher at a seafood restaurant.
It wasn’t the best job in the world, but she did her job as good as she could. After work, she would play some poker with people and break even most of the time.
One night, while working at the seafood restaurant washing dishes. She found out that the owner of the restaurant and some of his friends would meet at a closed property he owned and play poker. One of the security officers that work at the restaurant did security over there during their poker game. He had informed her that they played for big stakes. It was possible for a player to walk out of the game with close to hundred thousand dollars. He said for you to get invited to the game, you had to have at least twenty-five hundred in your pocket and be the guest of one of the players.
She didn’t know any of the players, but she did know places where she could enter poker contests. She signed up for a few more poker contest and won them. She kept competing and winning them. She used some of the money to fly to Las Vegas and enter a few poker games and won them. Sure, she had a few contest and games she lost, but she always kept money in reserve to fall back on.
She managed to find a counselor that would help her with her gender issue. She was a nice person and had her attending meetings with others like her. This way she knew she wasn’t alone.
The interaction between herself and the people she met at these meeting helped her.
Sometimes they would get together and go out to eat at a restaurant or go to the movies together. Anyone that could afford to go with them. She would pay for them from the winnings she had acquired from the various poker games she had won.
One night while she was at work, her manager George Fornell pulled her aside and invited her to their next poker game. When she arrived for the poker game, she couldn’t believe some of the players that were there. Two of the men she knew. They were regulars at the Sports Bar and owned the most profitable used car lots. One of the others she knew because he owned the local pool hall.
The men didn’t think she knew how to play and gave her a hard time during the first hand. She watched them and learned their poker tells. The game ended in the early morning and she won the pot. The pot she won was fifty thousand dollars. Luckily, the bills were in hundreds, so she
could conceal them in her purse. She was invited back for the next game. She knew she had to be careful with all the money she has been winning. The tournament money she kept winning, she has paid taxes on. The money she won from the group, she would keep in a safe deposit box. She couldn’t risk putting the money in her bank account or going on a spending spree.
Her boss boosted her from dishwasher to hostess. Everything she was learning from other women in the group. Had made it possible for her to pass as a genetic woman. Some of the other women were a hair stylist and make-up artist.
Her job at the seafood restaurant allowed her to keep up with her bills. Sometimes she would dip into her winnings to and make small deposits
of money. Nothing too much to draw attention to herself. The night of the game, she pulls the normal amount, with a little extra just in case.
She notices there were some new players at the table, that she hadn’t seen before. She loses the first few hands, but by the time the game ends for the night. She walks away with $80,000 dollars.
The last pot was the biggest amount of money. She won with four Ace’s, King high. She had learned everyone’s poker tell. Just as she was about to leave.
Her boss walks up to her “hey, Jacklyn. Would you be up to a bigger game? Texas holding style of poker?”
“What’s the buy-in?” Jacklyn figures she could do it.
“Fifty thousand, but if you win. You could walk away with $250,000 dollars.” George was wondering if she’ll take the chance.
Jacklyn just stares at him. She knows that money would come in handy to having her final surgery and having some plastic surgery done to her body.
“Sure, why not. When and Where?” Jacklyn wonders if she’ll have to take a taxi or something.
“Here on Saturday at 4:00 pm.” George knew she had the day off.
“Okay, I’ll be here.” Jacklyn takes a cab home and put the money she won in a lock box under her bed till she gets to the bank to deposit it.
That would be the game that changed her life forever. She remembered showing up for the game and meeting several new players. The new men wore tailored suits and had bodyguards with them. Each of them was searched to make sure they weren’t carrying any concealed weapons or cards.
Once she was inside, and the game was underway. She had a hard time reading the new guys but after a few hands. She learned their poker tells and started beating them. The game went late into the next morning. When they finally ended the game. She walked away with the whole $250,000 dollars pot.
She couldn’t believe she had beaten some of the people she had. The same cab driver that has been picking her up showed up to bring her home. The last thing she needed was to get her letter to give to the surgeon that she was ready for her surgery. She had given her two weeks’ notice at the restaurant.
She still had the money from her other winnings to pay for the surgery. Once her counselor gave her the letters she needed to get the surgery. She flew to Montréal, Québec and got her surgery up there. When she gets back to her old place. She started looking for a new place. One by the water. She does get an invite from her former boss to another poker game. She finds a nice condo unit in Long Beach, New Jersey. It is a two-bedroom place right by the ocean. It cost her most of her winnings, but it was worth it. She was approached by a Casino owner not too far from her place to work as his assistant floor manager.
He informed her that she was recommended by her former employer. He mentioned that she was a pretty good poker player and knew what to look for. She had blushed at his compliment as she accepted the job offer. He didn’t mind if she played poker, but only when she was off work. He had a problem with his last assistant manager playing blackjack and the slots while on duty.
Once she had settled in at her new place. She went shopping to buy some nice dresses and dress suits to wear as she walked the floor of the casino. She wasn’t the type of manager to just sit around in the security room watching what was going on. She was the type who needed to be out on the floor and watching the players.
She looks around her kitchen and wonders what she should do today. She had it off from work and it was slightly windy and chilly outside. She walks over to her laptop and checks her private emails. There were a couple of invites for a few poker games. She checks her calendar to see what her work schedule was against the days of the games. She could make two of the games.
She sends a reply informing the organizer that she would be attending the game. She gets up and heads into her bedroom to check what was left of her winnings. She had more than enough to enter the game saved up. Since she didn’t have any to do today. She changes out of her night clothes and put on her exercise clothes. She heads downstairs to the in-house gym and head over towards her favorite treadmill. It looked out towards the beach. She puts her earphones in and listens to some music while jogging on the treadmill.
She wonders how the rest of the people she knew from the support meetings were doing. She knew a few were having a hard time at their work transitioning on the job. Their employers were being jackasses and cutting back on their hours. She jogs for about thirty minutes, before heading over towards the weight bench and lifts some weights for a while.
She lifts weights for a while and heads back to her condo to take a shower and change into some nice clothes. While she is letting the tub fill up. She sends a text out to some of the women she knew before her surgery to see who answers back. As she slides into the tub, she receives two texts back from members of her support group. The two she heard from was as young as she is. One was still in High school and had friends that supported her. The second one worked for a call center that gave her a hard time for using the women’s restroom. Her supervisor and several of the other people that knew her and worked with her. They didn’t care about her using the women’s bathroom. It was some of the African American women that worked in her department that were raising such a stink about her using the women’s bathroom.
She texts them back and asks if they would like to get together this weekend? She could drive down to meet them since she was going to be in town for the poker game. She sends them a time and the hotel she’ll be staying at. She’ll treat them to lunch and do some shopping with them. Once she sends the text out, she lowers her head under the water and comes back up.
She soaks for a while and once she is done. She heads into her bedroom and puts some clothes on, while also packing a bag for herself for an overnight stay.
She grabs her car keys and heads down to the parking garage. She bought a used 2015 BMW X3 Silver SUV. She tosses her bag into the back seat and gets in. She programs the GPS unit for Virginia Beach, Va. The place she was going to play poker was down off Laskin Road.
The five-hour drive down to the hotel she was staying at was on the beach side of Atlantic Ave. She checks in and let her friends know she’ll be by tomorrow morning to pick them up. She calls the cab driver she has been using and waits for him to arrive. She makes sure she only takes the entry fee and cab fare to and fore form the place. She had half of her extra money put on a pre-paid credit card and the rest of it locked up at home.
When she shows up for the game. She notices that George has invited a few people she has heard about, but never played against. She just stands still while she is frisked. Once she is cleared she enters the building and takes her normal seat, after looking around. She learned a few things while being trained to be a floor manager.
The night’s pot was $75,000-dollar pot. At first, her hands weren’t that great, and she was losing money. However, by the end of the night. Her last hand was the winning hand that fetched her the pot. She had bet her last hundred fifty dollars against one of the new men that were there. All night long they had managed to widdle down her money. The last hundred fifty she had was all she had left of the fifty thousand she brought with her.
Her final hand with a royal flush of spades. The guy didn’t look too kindly to her winning because he had four of kind, queen high. He left the game angry with the other three men following behind him.
George had all his money taken early in the game. He just looks at Jacklyn as she leaned back in her chair. She couldn’t believe that she had come close to being beaten. George helps her pack her money up and wait for the cab to show up. She goes straight back to her hotel room and hides her winnings in her luggage. There was a false bottom in one of her suitcases where she hid the money.
She takes a short nap. She gets up in a few hours to go and enjoy time with her friends.
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