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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Please Hammer, Don't Hurt Em

I hadn’t intended to play poker. I was just going to hang out for a bit, watching Little Danger while Wifefish played. I had the most mild of Saturday night intentions.

Some very vigorous arm-twisting and buy-in fronting from some friends ensued, and I was strongarmed into a slot at the table. A friend’s daughter volunteered to watch the lad. Truth be told, I didn’t fight the armtwisting very much. I loves me some poker.

Poker games with our group are always interesting. It’s a heavy theatre crowd, which leans toward raucous. There’s a husband and wife team that are goddamn poker ninjas, and sitting at a table with them is like sitting down at the dining room table of the Great White Poker Sharks next door in an evening gown of porterhouse and sausage. It really ain’t pretty.

They're kind of like this, but less silly.

We opened with some typical table banter and fun, and I mentioned that I would be going “All in” anytime I got deuce-seven off suit, well known as the absolute worst hand in Texas Hold ‘Em.

“I can never leave it alone,” I said, “I just have to drop the Hammer.” There was general hilarity and head shaking…and then shit got weird. Mathematical improbabilities stacked up so quickly that somewhere, a whale and a potted plant raced each other to the ground.

This NOT your friend.

Not one, not two, not even three but FIVE of the first eight hands produced flops, turns, and rivers that were winnable by deuce-seven. I won one of them thusly, in fact. We laughed uproariously. With great uproar. I apologized for bringing my weird mojo to the table, but I really didn’t mean it. We were having more fun than a barrel of strippers.

At some point, the 2-7 craziness seemed to subside. My turn to deal came around, and Jim said to me “Why don’t you deal me something really horrible, like 9-4 offsuit?”

I said I’d be happy to oblige, and with exaggerated care laid a card in front of him. “This is your 9,” I said.

I continued around the table, and delivered his second card. “And here is your 4.” The hand played out, and Mr. Shark showed his cards as he folded: 9-4 offsuit.

“I missed!!!” I yelled. There may have been more uproar. It was the loudest we’d been sans beer in a long time.

At some point, Little Danger got bored with the sitter, and needed some Daddy time. I put him on my knee and showed him my cards for a couple of hands, playing up that he was deciding what we were doing. On his third hand, I said “What should we do with this one?” and he pointed with great authority at the table… “DA!!!” he exclaimed.

“I think that means all in”, I said. I was short stacked, and had a chance at a straight draw, so I went for it. It turned into a 4 way all-in, everybody jumping in the pool like a pack of crazed third graders on a hot august day.

Needless to say, that was my last hand. Note to self…teach Little Danger basic poker rules before letting him tell me to go all in.

The tables combined after the carnage of losing 3 players at once, but our funky Hammer hijinks continued. One of the players at this table tossed his cards down to fold, and they flipped face-up on the way to the felt…showing deuce-seven of clubs.

“No!!!” several of us cried. “You never fold deuce-seven,” I admonished. “You’re going to regret that in just a minute.”

The board ended up showing 7-10-J-7-2. Somewhere on the planet, Stephen Hawking’s head exploded. There was more uproar. Before the game ended, I took Little Danger and exited, stage left. I walked out with a huge grin on my grill.

I did not win, not even the Charlie Sheen way. I didn’t place in the money. In fact, I left early to give Little Danger his nighttime milk and storytime before bed. But I will say this: I had more fun at the poker table than I’ve had in a long, long time.


  1. Ahh, a game of hold em' and a few beers sounds fantastic right about now. And yes, I would entrust my hand and short stack to my daughter, who secretly, does not want daddy to succeed at the poker table, as it would cut into her story time, pre good night. But, "it's all good."

  2. I'm such a pansy when it comes to poker. I'll drink plenty and play with chips or pennies, but real money? No way.

    I know. I'm a wuss. It's okay. You can say it.

  3. My son is addicted to poker. It can go on all night. I have to go all in to get all out. ;)

  4. About the game with a 7-2 hand. When there are two winners with a 7-2 hand, both take the prize? If a player's hand with a 7-2 split a pot with another player he can receive the award? Thank you!


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