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Death to Pokermatic 5000

To: poker-night
From: electroblake
Subject: Death to Pokermatic 5000
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2007 19:06:19 -0400

When I was a boy we lived on a farm in the middle of North Dakota.
It got pretty cold there in the winter, unlike South Dakota where I
hear it gets pretty warm, but not in the winter. Well, as you
probably have heard, there isn’t much going on in North Dakota most
especially on a farm in the middle of it so me and my five brothers
and seven sisters often got pretty bored. Due to some complicated
issue involving solar flares, there was very poor television
reception and Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet yet, so we had
very little to entertain ourselves during those times when truly
massive snowstorms covered our compound in six or seven feet of snow
aside from our parents electronics research lab and workshop. You
see, our parents had gone out to buy some cheese one morning in
August of my seventh year and were never seen again. We all figured
they had gotten stuck in a time vortex again and would probably just
walk right back into the kitchen one day and be all like, “hey kids,
we got this cheese!” but that never happened. At least, not yet.

Anyhow, as you can imagine, my siblings and I ended up building quite
a few robots. Most of them sucked, because they were robots and none
of us had any advanced degrees, but one! One of those robots! He
was great. We called him Pokermatic 5000 and he could play poker
better than any of the other poker playing robots we built. He was
even better than Pokermatic 4500 and much much better than Pokermatic
V3.75. Well so wouldn’t you just know it, one day Susie third to
oldest sister goes and gives Pokermatic 5000 a quarter just for
laughs because she was so sure that robots suck so much that he’d
probably just go and loose that quarter fast as most robots puncture
their main processors when you hand them a pair of scissors but that
Pokermatic 5000, he sure did surprise her! Two days later he had won
the deed to the compound, the title to the car, and just about every
worldly possession any one of us did have.

And wouldn’t you just know it? The cursed machine goes and boots us
all out!

Most of us died that first winter. It was down to just me, my
younger brother Jed, and Susie. We’d had to eat the rest, of course,
and were just about to go through the next round of drawing straws
when the snow had finally thawed enough for us to rummage around for
roots and berries and such. I learned to make spears out of sticks
and Susie managed to train a colony of ants to attack and kill
grizzly bears, which we all agreed were pretty tasty. Soon we
fashioned a hut out of grizzly bones and skins and we started
plotting our revenge. We all knew one thing: Pokermatic 5000 must die.

We spent the next seven years formulating a plan.

It was a great plan.

Worthy of turning into a major motion picture.


when we went back to the compound we made a shocking discovery. Some
two or three days after we had left the compound, Pokermatic 5000 had
found a pair of scissors, and jammed them right through his central
processing unit. “stupid robot,” I said.

“Stupid stupid robot,” Jed and Susie both agreed.

Of course we all left North Dakota soon there after and we drifted
apart. I have since acquired keys and a credit card and have learned
important things like which one of the near by laundromats is the
cheapest and how to make grilled cheese sandwiches. There are times,
however, when I miss those cold North Dakota days, all of us sitting
around soldering the hell out of some circuit, all low pass filters
on the sensor inputs, all digital outputs buffered to supply current
through relays, all loosing our shirts to soulless self destructive
mechatrons. At times like this I like to throw myself a little

“first hand at nine”

dangerhouse is XX xxxxxxxxx xx in soulless self destructive
somerville, ma

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