Leave it to Willie Nelson to truly embody the "high" in High Stakes. Everyone knows Willie Nelson for two things: hit songs and marijuana. Smoke shops in Amsterdam named award-winning strains after him. Heck, he even has his own personal strain called Willie Nelson Reserve.
Benny Binion started giving out free drinks to patrons at his Las Vegas casino because his philosophy was that a drunk and well-oiled gambler will not think twice about digging into their pocket for a re-buy. Poker players have been known to buy the table a round of drinks or shots of tequila to loosen up the action. Never under estimate what a poker player will do to gain an edge at the tables, especially when your opponents' inhibitions are lower than usual.
Enter Willie Nelson.
Uncle Willie loves the weed. He tokes it every day. He's been smoking up for a half of a century and will be rolling doobies until the day he dies. He recently admitted that he took advantage of friends by smoking them under the table, then challenging them to high-stakes poker action.
A consequence of all this highness is that Nelson's tolerance is supernatural. He can easily smoke 30 or 40 hits in a session and then play a flawless two-hour show. He does not always deploy this talent toward noble ends. He is famous for smoking new friends to oblivion and then challenging them to a few hands of high-stakes poker. Willie's game is cash-only, and all debts must be settled at the table. This has led to stories among his intimates of the time he refused to let Woody Harrelson leave the room until he could deliver $40,000 in cash. It has also led to more than one folk song about the perils of smoking with Nelson, including a Toby Keith ballad with the refrain 'I'll never smoke weed with Willie again' and a new jingle introduced by Jack Johnson at Farm Aid this year whose chorus revolves around the line 'Willie got me stoned and took all my money.'