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Poker Story

Hammadown (Chapter 19)

By March 11, 2024No Comments

This week: We play for 2 weeks in a row for the first time in what feels like two decades. New chips hit the felt. New players join the club. Brothers and cousins battle it out. Freed falls asleep and makes up words. And, as usual, fun is had by all/most.
Dig it!

(Game Day: January 29th, 2024)

“Two Weeks in a Row!”

How long has it been since the EPBG managed to shuffle up and deal for consecutive weeks, you ask?
The answer (as of this date) is “a little over a month ago.”
But we had to dig deep. Especially since our game’s namesake, one “Eddie Brill” was uncharacteristically not in attendance. I think he had to have a thing looked at by a guy in a place with some stuff.

Soooo… there were two newbies at the table! That’s right, a couple of Never-Played’s. Regular Greenhorns. Johnny Come Just-Nows. Catch my drift?

One was my daughter’ friend’s dad who is now officially recategorized as “my friend whose daughter is my daughters…” Oh, fuck it.
It’s Rob.
His name is Rob.
And Rob managed to fit in like a glove that would not get you acquitted.

But the majority of the table was occupied by our new house band, “Dave Freed and The Cockmen”…

That’s Freed on the left—lead singer, driver of the Winnebago—and the three mugs on the right are Cockman, Brother Cockman, and Cousin Cockman.
Cousin Cockman’s actual name is Matt. He was the other brand new player at the table. And though confusion often reigned from his seat (understandable given the ridiculous complexity of some of our games) Matt was a welcome addition to the EBPG despite his inauspicious entrance…

A sixer of Bud?!
Did Matt think he was comin’ over to watch NASCAR?!
It’s all good. Except for the fact that five of those badboys are still chillin’ in the back of my fridge…

Correction: My “Twin Cooling” fridge.

To quote my wife, “Get rid of those things.”

Hank brought badly needed new chips!

They were a gift from a family member who apparently believes that our young Mr. Gallo has a gambling problem. You know… beyond his usual problem of having the second best hand.

I, JR Havlan, being of questionable mind and body, was dealt the first ace, which means I dealt the first hand.
Our newbie #1, Rob, split the first two hands and thus began his time at our table filling his well, at least temporarily, with some of that sweet “house money.”

Dave Freed, after being absent from the table for months, came out of the gates with this doozy:

“Do you have a water machine?”

Respondeth I:

“You mean a fuckin’ sink?”

The answer was “yes.” I had a sink, with a faucet and everything. But I’ll be damned if anybody called it anything but a “water machine” for the rest of the night.
And OH how we laughed multiple times.

It wasn’t long before a Thanksgiving-level Cockman family squabble broke out, as Cockman and Brother Cockman went cocko-a-cocko in a hand, with Cockman ultimately conceding to pot-sweeper, Brother Cockman.
And that’s a lotta cock. No matter how you swallow it.

Cousin Cockman, Matt, who to be clear, was a fine addition to the evening, was frequently left with his head spinning as he tried to absorb the myriad rules of our crazier games, one of which was Hot Rod Lincoln—a game Cockman sometimes deals that would take me several extra pages to explain. When it came time for Matt to bet, he couldn’t figure out what to do, so he just stared blankly at his cards until I said to him…

“How much would you care to wager that you have no idea what you’re doing?”

In fairness, the one Budweiser he actually did drink might have been spiked.



The biggest pot o’ the night was…
Game: Good, Bad & Ugly. (Don’t ask)
Players: Rob (wins high with an 8’s boat). Hank and Cockman duel it out for the low.
Result: Cockman had 7-6-5-4-Ace and Hank had 7-6-5-2-Ace.

A squeaker!
And it was just one of the hands that caused Cockman at one point to declare…

“I’m going to put this night behind me.”

I can’t remember the details of this hand, but it’s a fine example of how confusing this game can get… Spot the best hand and win a prize!*
(*There’s not actually a prize.)

At 10:17, Freed wandered away from the table like a crackhead walking out of rehab on day 1. “I’m out a few hands,” he said as he headed over to the couch. Next thing you know, he was definitely out. As in sleeping. We all had a good laugh at this, but spared our friend the indignity of drawing a dick on his face with a Sharpie.
Later, when he finally came back to the table, one of the new guys said, “You took a half hour nap.” Dave’s response…

I took a nap?!

And there was much laughter.

In my quest to further confuse everyone, I dealt a new game I called BBBFTQ or “Biddy Bad Bau Follow The Queen,” which was a mix of two already confusing games. Cockman filed a verbal complaint, but was overruled. The game actually worked, a pot built and everything, but it’s not likely to happen again.
I was just trying to keep everybody awake!

Fortunately for Cousin Cockman, Matt, he won a few hands, and even swept a couple of pots, but he didn’t actually sweep them. He just sort of plucked the chips one-by-one from the middle of the table, piling them up and counting them before placing them gently in his well. To quote Kenny Rogers…

“You never count your money, when you’re sittin’ at the table…
Especially in front of the people those chips used to belong to!”

Not sure about that last part. Haven’t actually heard that song in a while.

p.s. – A handful of us also got together a couple weeks later for a Super Bowl Sunday EBPG, but I lost my notes and the Niners lost the game, so best we just forget that ever happened.


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

SMALL: Jacob takes it with aces up

BIG: Freed woke up long enough to go out a winner with his Puppy Feet Flush. (Clubs)

Next game is March 18th.
If you’re ever in town and want to join us, let me know in advance and we’ll attempt to get a game together while you’re here. And yes, I’m looking at you.

And finally…
Happy Dropdown Day (as he was wont to call it) to our brother from another mother and father, William “Stevie” “Weeeyum” Stephenson, born March 11th, 1957.
The number one R&B song on that day was Fats Domino’s “Blue Monday.”
Have a listen and think of our friend for a minute or three.

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