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Poker Story

Hammadown (Chapter 17)

By December 28, 2023January 28th, 20242 Comments

This week: For our last game of 2023, we do that voodoo that we do so well. Great music, great cards, shitty cards, great cards that are unfortunately not as great as someone else’s greater cards. A fine mix of new and used humorosity. Rod Stewart’s questionable diet is discussed. Joe shows that sometimes he really does know when to fold ’em. And Hank is all smiles… at least when he wins gigantic pots.
Dig it!

(Game Day: December 18th, 2023)

“‘The Best for Last”

The year-end game started promptly. Eddie showed up a little before 7:00 and volunteered to help bring the table up from its home away from home—the doormen’s break room. When we got back with it, Hank, Robin, and Joe were waiting in my living room like they lived there and were currently receiving guests. Cockman was uncharacteristically on the late side, but as long as he walks in with a dozen cookies from Insomniac, all is good. Freed was a last minute scratch because his basement flooded, by which we naturally assume he means his sex dungeon. “Quick! Save the ball gags!”
We ordered pizza, and Joe went on a drink run. Hank got his usual “several diet cokes,” and I asked Joe to get me a Root Beer…

… but not Fanta. A&W or Barq’s. If they only have Fanta, I want you to punch the guy who works there.

The first card of the night was the Ace of Spades, just sittin’ right there on top of the deck. It’s the type of thing that, back in the day, would have caused some musty old cowboy to fall backwards in his chair after a bullet went through his forehead. Good thing we run a civilized game.

I (J.R.) provided the tuneage from a personal playlist curated over many years, titled “Plain Good Songs.” Maybe I’m Amazed, Doctor My Eyes, Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) to name a few, as well as Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman,” which Eddie always makes very clear is his favorite song. He always sings along to one line in particular: I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time. It’s a great line, but Eddie always goes overboard with his appreciation for it, so the second time it was coming up in the song, I said to the table…

“Everyone be quiet! This is the line that makes Eddie cum.”

Then Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night” came on. One of the very graphic lines in that song is “spread your wings and let me come inside.” This prompted a retelling of the old wive’s tale that Rod Stewart once had to have his stomach pumped because it was so full of cum. This was pre-internet, so it’s hard to say how the rumor even got started let alone made the rounds, but we at the table openly doubted the idea that a person would actually have a stomach full of cum. I mean… that’s a lot of cum. Are we to believe that one night, Rod Stewart demanded his whole band line up (behind Mick Jagger and David Bowie, of course) and just start unloading in their lead singer’s throat until the EMT’s had to be called in?
You be the judge.

After the song finished, Eddie did his best college DJ voice (and it’s a mighty good one)…

“That was Rod Stewart. Spread your wings and let me come inside. It’s 75 degrees in the big city…

Oh, how we laughed.
Also, going back to “Wichita Lineman,” Eddie spun a dandy yarn about a time Jimmy Webb, who wrote the song, was on Letterman back when Eddie was the warm up guy and talent booker. He loved Jimmy Webb, so he struck up a conversation with him and at one point belted out a Weird Al worthy parody line…

I am a lineman for the Cowboys…

He actually sang that to Jimmy Webb, who (or so we’re told) loved it!
Then we spent the rest of the night repeating the line on a loop in our heads… sort of like you’re doing now.

I’m not certain from my notes, but I recall that our queen, Robin, started the night in true style by pulling… drumroll please… quad queens! And with no wild cards!

Joe and Cockman went “Mano a Cockmano” in a game of hi-lo. They were both showing high hands with Cockman already showing 3 Jacks. But when it cam time to declare, Joe went low and flipped over a King’s boat. Cockman than flipped over the 4th Jack and they split the pot.

J.R. declared, “That was the best bad decision I’ve even seen.”

Just when we thought things were slowing down, Robin pulls quads for the second time of the night, and once again, it was quad queens! Twice in one night. And neither one with a wild card. That’s wild!
What’s even wilder is that I somehow didn’t take a picture of either one of them.

One of the songs on my list was a perhaps lesser-known old southern rock diddy called “Bounty Hunter” by Molly Hatchett, which prompted the creation in our clouded minds of a Molly Hatchett cover band that dress like Somali pirates and call themselves Somali Hatchett.
Laughter upon laughter.

I recall someone being in a hand that basic odds dictate they had no right being in (so, it was probably Cockman or Joe), but they ended up winning thanks to a terrible and highly unlikely card on the river. All I had in my notes was the phrase…

In poker, that’s what’s known as “a filthy backdoor.”

Speaking of which!
Eddie told another classic, apparently the work of a comic named Roy somthing-or-other…

One guy is fisting another guy
The guy getting fisted says, “I gotta take a shit.”
The other guy says, “Not on my watch.”

Then Eddie hit us with one we’d never heard before—not an easy task at this table…

Have you seen Kukla or Ollie? I’m asking for a Fran.

Tabley McLaughalot.

“Pot ‘O The Night” went to lil’ ol’ me with a very beautiful, very natural hand of cards that were not only in numerical order, but also had the same little shapes on them…

Pretty to look at, lovely to hold.

Unfortunately (for me, at least) a similar outcome would not hold up in the last hand ‘o the night. Some fool dealt “Follow The Queen”—queens and whatever follows the queens are wild. Turned out it was queens and jacks, which worked well for Hank who outgunned somebody’s quad 6’s and my (wild card) straight flush with his five 9’s.
No wonder he was smilin’…


(Small: 5 cards, all up. Big: 7 cards, all up)

SMALL: J.R. with something forgettable.

BIG: Cockman with something equally forgettable except that J.R. was on his way to a showdown sweep before Cockman  stole it with his last card.

Joy to the World.
Peace on Earth.
Good Will Hunting.

The next game will be in the year 2024, 30+ years from the time I personally became involved in the EBPG.
And for the record, over that time, I think I’m up about 37 dollars.
Great times.


  • Glad someone finally had the guts to question Rod’s stomach condition! Will pass this along to Maureen. We frequented his concerts and this question was always buzzing around the stands. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your poker night adventures with us.

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