BETTY HUTTON POKER |
"Betty Hutton" is the name of a poker game played only in private or home games, a form of seven-card stud in which 5s and 9s are wild.
A rare form of poker, the game (along with the actress it was named after) were immortalized in author Roy Parvin's aptly-titled novella Betty Hutton, which follows a middle-aged man named Gibbs, a recently paroled ex-con and former dealer of stolen antiques who drives a stolen car into Montana, trying to outrun his bad luck by changing his surroundings.
As a snow storm approaches, Gibbs recalls a story about actress Betty Hutton: It'd occurred during World War II when Hutton had been on tour to support the troops. Snowed in for days, it was just Betty and a hundred lucky souls. On her last night, she'd stood atop the bar belting out her song hits and on her final number, stopped shy of the big ending in the last verse, telling the gathered people she'd finish it properly for them upon her return. "One more reason so you don't forget me," she had said, promising she'd be back.
Hutton never returned, however. Years later, while incarcerated, Gibbs had ran across a story about her in a Life magazine in the prison library. It'd been a tough life for Betty, more disappointment than joy, and Gibbs could understand why she might have broken the promise. And it seemed sad to him, "the saddest thing," as the novella puts it, "what age and life could do, that Betty Hutton wasn't even Betty Hutton anymore." While trying to change his own luck in Montana, Gibbs risks it all in a game of poker, which comes down to a last hand of Betty Hutton.