Ein Kleines Nachtspiel

I posted recently about being in Budapest with Lee and having to recall how to do night game. It took us a few minutes to remember what to do. It felt like we were Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, two old gimmers long past their youthful best, unable to do what previously had come so easily in their youth.


Well I have been in Warsaw for the last three weeks. That’s in Poland that is. I went to meet a student of mine. ‘Nick from Newcastle’, we’ll call him. We do get together from time to time as ‘friends’, but really, I just feel sorry for him and he needs my coaching. What can I say, the man needs me? He’d be lost without me.

I keep him on the straight and narrow. How squalid his life would get without me coaxing him back onto the straight and narrow from time to time, I dread to think, but it would be pretty squalid.

But joking aside, I hadn’t seen Nick in a long while and it was a lot of fun to see him again. Bodi came by for the last week and it was the icing on the cake. It was like it was 2012 all over again. By the time my student came over for 5 days infield coaching, we were cooking on gas and it was a big spike of fun and frolics for a whole week.

So one Saturday night, I was sitting around my Polish Airbnb twiddling my thumbs. It was just after Nick took a few days off in Kiev, just before Bodi and the student turned up.  I was in a funny old apartment. It was from the 1930s, the decor hadn’t changed since then. It was pretty ancient and it was underground. So dingy and antiquated. I don’t mind that, but early Saturday afternoon, I needed to get out.

So seeking some thrills, I hit the bars. My aim was simply to sup on some cheap cocktails and meet some people. I was alone, but as we all know, game is a skill-set you carry with you that can quickly score you friends wherever you go.

Not to hunt skirt, just to socialise and have a good night, I found myself at 9pm, Saturday night, walking into a bar alone. I glanced around, noted the surroundings and said to myself exactly what I used to say at the beginning of every boot-camp back in the day. ‘Let’s go to work’.

The bar was half the size and shape of a tennis court. It had music, but not loud. It had about 20 people in it. The serving area was against the long wall opposite the door. It was about half male and half female. The hottest girl was a blonde in her late 20s in dark rimmed glasses. She sat with a friend at a table against the far wall. At the bar were two 6s. Then a few scattered mixed sets.

So my first job was to social proof. I walked to the bar, asked the 6s if I could take one of their cocktail menus, glanced at the drinks and ordered myself a vodka Red Bull.

I’d seeded the 6s with my presence. They’d likely make a good pawn set when the time came. But for now, I need to build a bit more value. I don’t want to get a cold shoulder too early and burn the bar. So I waited for a mixed set to come into range. What I wanted to do was create a slight buzz around me and let the whole bar, including my seeded pawn set, see me being popular and having fun.

It didn’t take long. Within a few minutes two well dressed guys walked in, planted themselves next to me at the bar and waited to get served.

‘Guys, get in here, get to the bar’, I said, as I made way for them to get in front of me. Nods were exchanged and a few pleasantries. The guys were from France and they were warm to me joining their group. I pulled away, checked my phone and sent signals to them that I wasn’t desperate for company.

After a few moments it was time to act.

‘Lads, can I ask you a favour? It’s a bit of an odd one’.

‘Sure what’s up?’

I told them my friend was back at the hotel and saying he was going to stay in. I told them I wanted to coax him out. I wanted to What’s App him a photo, get him out of his bed on a Saturday night.

So now the three of us were pausing for photos, clinking glasses and laughing. We’re in full swing now, just having a conversation, ‘what brings you to Warsaw’ etc.

  • Any question they ask me, I answer in a DHV, because I know the potential pawn set can hear me. This is why it’s SO important that bars aren’t loud. Bars in London are far too loud.
  • Those photos of me clinking glasses with two suave looking guys, they’re DHV photos. Straight up to Facebook the next morning ‘new friends in Warsaw’ or What’s App them to targets.

At this point two girls new come up to the bar. Low 7s. I’d seen one of them watching me so I just looked at her (Red 7) and said;

‘You’re not Polish are you’

It didn’t matter what I said, she’d been watching me and she was a low 7. It’s a new pawn set, it’s keen, so I decide to take advantage. I only need her around so that I am not a chode without a girl. I don’t need a big win here, just for her to talk to me. She’s been watching me and I’ve enough value now to rely on an easy open.

It was a five minute conversation. Basic set. Light DHVs, get her jumping through a few hoops, then I introduce her to my French friends. She told me she was a French teacher so it was an easy merge. Now I’m the guy who brings people together. At this point, I’m becoming the focal point of the bar.

I have Red 7 in my pocket. In the real world, not ‘Jimmy’s got a girlfriend world’, I can take her number at any point. She’s a low 7, 20 year old redhead. A pawn set but a decent consolation prize should I go home empty handed. But my job now is to use the pawn set to propel myself into a good target set. That would be the blonde in the dark rimmed glasses I mentioned.

Red 7. Something like this.
Red 7. Something like this.

At this point, I have a spot of luck. I’m now in a solid merged set. The French guys like me as I am bringing them girls. The girls like me as I am cool. But what happens next sky rockets my value in the bar. A guy walks in wearing the most amazing fancy dress costume I ever saw. It was an Imperial Scout from Star Wars. Not a Storm Trooper, an Imperial Scout. This guy it turns out worked in the theatre as a costume designer and he’d made the outfit himself. It was perfect. Blast marks, the lot. It was good enough to be in the film. Complete with replica blaster.

I wanted a photo with him, so I left my set; I bought him and his girlfriend a round of drinks and told him my nephew loved Star Wars. I was with them for five minutes; we had photos and talked about our jobs.

He was an impressive guy. I was pleased to meet him and I was blown away by his craftsmanship. If anyone ever wants a replica Star Wars outfit, then PM me and I can send you his details, because his work is second to none.

So now I am the guy who is high fiving the Imperial Scout and his hot girlfriend. Red 7 is looking over smiling (it’s a text book take away, I’ve moved on and the pawn wants me back) and more importantly, the blonde target set is now watching me as I knock back shots with the Empire.

At this point I am about one hour in. It’s quite an investment, especially given that at any moment, any set can decide to leave the bar and thus I lose a lot of my investment, especially if it’s the target set. This is one of the huge drawbacks to bar game. You can’t dally; you have to strike while the iron is hot.

As I walk past Red 7 I say ‘hi’ and she invites me to join her and her friends. I note a friendly looking guy and hippy gal has joined her. I tell her I’ll join them later and I go to the bathroom. I don’t want to join her set seated just yet. It’s harder to work the bar when you’re seated, I still have a lot of capital elsewhere and I don’t want to be on the outskirts of a conversation between 4 good friends.

So I go to the bathroom, talk to a few people in the queue and return to the bar. I buy another drink and talk to some people nearby.

At this point I see the target blonde walking over to me. She’s left her friend and is heading to the bar so I take my chance.

Not quite as highly placed as this, but close.
Not quite as highly placed as this, but close.

Now, I don’t need an opinion opener. I don’t need to come in under the radar here. I KNOW she has been watching me. She’s seen me laughing, taking photos, clinking glasses, being the centre of attention, looking good and mixing with the Imperial Scout. Everyone in the bar wanted a photo with the cunt; but I was getting to know HIM and his girlfriend, not the suit. I wasn’t using him for a quick photo.

She walks right up to the bar, stands right next to me and looks ahead. She is clearly waiting for me to talk to her. So I just say:

‘Now YOU’RE an elegant looking lady’.

It was the truth. I was only telling her the truth. She stuck with me for 20 minutes listening to my DHVs before I sent her back to her friend. ‘I don’t want your friend to be on her own’.

It’s a ballsy move. It’s the kind of gamble you find you have to take at times in bar game. She was the hottest girl in the bar and she was into me. I just sent her away. I know it’s a hot set and I know in real life (if I was out to score) I’d have about 10 minutes to make some quick decisions.

Now something else happened. A new group joined the bar. 4 very cool looking, well dressed Turkish guys with a 8. The new hottest girl in the bar. The new target. My senses were becoming dulled by the vodkas, but I was in high spirits for now and was revelling in pulling the strings.

The new target set positioned near the door. I returned to my central position and as luck would have it, the guy from the Red 7 set was at the bar so I introduced myself.

‘Ah, you’re from Italy! I am friends with Kasha’.

I roped the guy into conversation, bought a tray of shots (£5) and reignited red 7 as a pawn set. I told stories about my Italian drummer, when I did a tour of Italy, how I love Lucio Battisti. I had the set rapt for as long as I needed. Turkish 8 saw the whole thing and heard a lot of my DHVs.

Then my hard work started to pay off. Two things happened, right in front of Turkish 8 and she saw the whole thing.

The blonde target walked past me and gave me her number, in full sight of the whole bar. Then the Imperial Scout returned. He came in, high fived me, chatted to me, then bought me a beer and went into the corner with his girlfriend.

Using my peripheral vision I could see Turkish 8, watching me. Let’s consider what she saw:

A chatty, well dressed English guy talking about when he toured Italy in his band. A group of 4 people standing with him and laughing. A hot girl throws her phone number at him. An Imperial Scout walks in, high fives him and buys him a beer.

I stick with my Italians and keep an eye on the new target set. The Italians invite me for lunch on Sunday. I give them my number. The guy takes my number as do all the girls. Red 7 immediately texts me there and then to ‘test the number is right’.

That’s the Red 7 and Blonde spectacles collected. Now remember, I am doing all this with one hand tied behind my back. I am not asking for numbers, just passing my time. I am not running comfort, I am not telling girls ‘look, I really do fancy you, we should do coffee tomorrow’, I am without the two crucial weapons in the pickup arsenal – verbal and physical escalation. It’s all value game, push/pull and social dynamics, in other words – all attraction. It’s all arms length and very stand-offish. I don’t have any desire to cheat on my girl, especially not with girls who are a couple of points below her.

Bad luck! The Turkish 8 leaves the bar with her set. So I simply leave and follow them at a distance. The bar I was in was in an open air market courtyard, a little like the Camden markets in London. It’s really like one big open air nightclub with separate bars. So I tracked the new target set to their new bar which was two doors away. I hung back, saw them head in, waited a moment and walked in.

I immediately saw the guys, but the skirt was nowhere to be seen. No problem. My plan was to get a drink, open the guys and be in the target’s set by the time she turned up. But first I was playing a hunch. She’d be in the queue for the bathroom.

I headed down the steps and there was a queue. And there, right at the end of the queue, staring up wide eyed as I descended down the stairs was Turkish 8. I glanced past her, joined the queue, casually let my eyes meet hers and said gruffly: ‘Hey. I’m Jimmy Jambone’.

Pretty accurate comparison. Obviously this is a pro photo.
Pretty accurate comparison. Obviously this is a pro photo.

The deal was done. I’d sealed my reputation in the previous bar. I seeded a few DHVs for a while, went into the mens’ room, went back upstairs and waited. I worked a few more sets, to pawn off. All guys. Got them chatting and laughing. Before long the Turks noticed me and one of the guys opened me. Another spot of luck.

Invited into their set, I had an hour with them, working Turkish 8 in plain site of the set, under the radar. Mixing indifference to her with spiked DHVs. The guys were buying me drinks.

Now, I worked out there was no dating going on. I couldn’t work out how they all knew each other, I wasn’t getting very straight answers. Only that they all were doing Erasmus. Turkish 8 turned out to be Polish and from Lodz and going back to Lodz the next day. The guys were all Turkish and were flying back to Turkey in the morning.

One of the Turks, the coolest guy, the guy who bought me drinks, was clearly working her. Standing very close in isolation and talking close to her ear. Very close body language. She wasn’t reciprocating. I got the impression she had been but was keeping him on ice as long as I was there.

She in fact isolated me. We spoke in isolation for 5 minutes and she asked me straight out, ‘do you want to come clubbing with us tonight’.

  • That’s a step too far. Knowingly working some social dynamics to my favour in a bar is bad enough, but going to a club in the knowledge that a girl is trying to get with me… that’s a step too far.
  • I liked the Turkish guy. Why should I jack his set just for kicks when I had no intention of doing anything. If I was playing for keeps fair enough, but for me this was a pre season friendly. For him, it was the real thing. He was going for the lay and I liked him. Who knows, they could be married three years from now. They looked good together. I didn’t want to get in the way of that.
  • Clubbing! I am 38!!

I declined, so she took my number.

I hung around a while longer then did the Irish goodbye. Got home at 4am.

The next day I had enthusiastic What’s App messages from Red 7 and Turkish 8. I ignored them and of course never texted the Blonde in glasses. I have no idea if those leads would have ever gone anywhere in the real world, but it was not a bad haul for a guy on ice. Not quite a Sidney Crosby, but not as bad as a Shayne Gostibehere.


  1. wow! like the old school game you describe, it seems you take risk when you leave a set but perhaps they are all calculated risks. I’m wondering if you are a very good looking dude as it seems the girls are actually giving you numbers and trying to push the interaction forwards when you run game… this to me is magic, plain and simple, would you say you are above a male 8/10?

    now you are a guy in a proper relationship wondering what your thoughts are on game vs. a monogamous relationship. pros and cons from someone who has actually lived in abundance would be fascinating perhaps in another post. loving this blog dude.

    1. Thanks.

      I am never the best looking guy in the room, but I am above average and it helps. That’s not why they were giving me their numbers though. They would never have even noticed me had I not worked the bar.

      I’ll keep writing about the game vs relationship dilemma. It’s a tough one.

      As for the calculated risks. I do think it helps when you’re into the top quality that you are willing to do a take away. You have to confidently roll the dice. You’ll lose out half the time, but the times it works can be the difference between her being on the fence and being convinced.

  2. So you:
    – weaseled the hell out of it
    – didn’t close a thing
    – rationalized the hell of it (“calculated risk”… I call it losing momentum)
    – kept rationalizing the hell out of it even the days after and while writing the post (you dont wanna cheat on your girlfriend… So can you explain us why you stayed 3 WEEKS in Warsaw?)
    – got “social proof” by befriending Turkish Erasmus students and high-fiving a faggot, in a cheap Warsaw vodka bar… Mystery in L.A. working a room full of movie people would be jealous.

    I call this a great game lesson 😀

    PS: nothing against cheap vodka polish bars, I go there looking for girls to fuck all the time :p

    1. I did three weeks because I was meeting Nick for the first week and a half and then I had a student booked in for the second week and a half. I would have stayed there a fourth week to hang out with John Bodi but I’d already arranged to meet my girl, so I had to go after just three weeks.

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