The Gay Guyde to Poker
You really have to have nothing much else going on in your life to be able to sink your teeth into writing a book. That’s what I believe anyway. Back in ‘08, I got laid off and was bored to death. At that time, I wrote the first 33 pages. But landing another job in less than a month, there my work sat as a Word document for 12 years! Uugghh.
But don’t fear! Here’s comes the pandemic. Hooray! Months upon months of clearheaded nothingness; nothing but time and waiting for—well, no one knew what. But I did know that this was my great opportunity to finally finish my first book.
Enter: The Gay Guyde to Poker. Yep, you didn’t think such a person existed but sure enough, I am a gay poker player! Been playing for over 20 years and always felt my experience was so much different than that of the average casino rat. So much so that I knew I needed to write all about it.
The book is one part beginner’s guide (teaching the basics about poker and Texas Hold ‘Em), one part cautionary tale on what it’s like to be an openly gay man embedded in this historically heterosexual pastime, and finally, what I did to turn the tables and use my minority as an advantage. If this all sounds dark, I assure you it’s not. It’s mostly amusing anecdotes; a fun, easy read; 100 pages; perfect for summer (or fall or winter or spring!).
My name is Butch Cordora and the minute the nine other players sitting at the poker table realize I’m gay, I’m immediately viewed as the weaker opponent. How can I be a good poker player? Shouldn’t I be hanging out at drag shows and piano bars? What do I know about casinos, after all; isn’t poker a heterosexual man’s game?
Now mind you, I certainly don’t sit down and blurt out; “Hi, my name is Butch and I’m gay,” (although that would be hysterical) but I certainly don’t hide it either. And eventually, at some point during the four-to-five-hour game, my sexuality might be revealed—whether it’s some dude I’m dating who happens to come by the poker table, or a call or text from a boyfriend, to something I’m wearing that promotes the LGBTQ+ community.
Women, people of color, minorities of all kinds unfortunately have this crutch to bear. It may be a different set of stereotyping than that of a gay man, but preconceived notions are alive and well. Too passive, too aggressive, not intimidating enough, not serious enough, too slow, and on and on.
I’m really proud of this book and I can honestly say that of all the artistic endeavors I’ve executed thus far in my career (acting, hosting a TV talk show, being a radio jock, producing, directing and starring in a feature length documentary, a solo art gallery show, even creating and designing a calendar) I always walk away from projects thinking, well damn, okay, I’m really happy with what I accomplished but I’ll definitely never do that again! But that’s not the case with writing. It’s relaxing, cathartic, and I already started my follow-up. Working title: Confessions of a Pit Boss. Stay tuned!
You can find me locally at the Rehoboth Beach Guest House where I host monthly poker retreat weekends in the town’s off-season. Starting November 2022 and going through April 2023, one weekend a month is dedicated to teaching poker, playing poker, eating, sleeping, and breathing poker! Check in Friday, check out Sunday, and you’re ready for the casino. Ha!
The best part about all this? It happens in a safe space. At press time, the November retreat is SOLD OUT. But—no worries!—announced here first are the dates of the December retreat: December 9, 10, and 11.
Packages vary from $259 to $499 (room included in that price). The sliding scale depends on where your skill level stands and any additional one-on-one time you’d like to book with me.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 215-923-2972 for more details about this super-fun big gay weekend. I’ll see you at the tables! ▼
The Gay Guyde to Poker is available at Browseabaout Books in Rehoboth Beach, as well as online book sellers including amazon.com.
Butch Cordora is a first-time author whose love of poker—and his original, quirky slant on the topic—has led him to pen what he’s hoping to be the first of many books.