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Hammadown (Chapter 20)

By May 6, 2024No Comments

This week: We invite a new player to the table to show us how it’s done; a monster flush meets it’s exact match; stuff once rolled neatly in a small paper magically disappear; cookies are consumed, jokes are made; Eddie and Cockman kiss and tell… but not each other… not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Dig it!

(Game Day: April 28, 2024)

“Sunday Funday”

Normally when we play on a Sunday, there’s a very super football game going on that same day. But this time, we just decided Sunday worked better than Monday, so we gathered, shuffled, dealed, and betted.
We got an early 6:30 start because that’s what time you start home poker games when the average age at the table is hovering around 60. Seated ’round the felt were Eddie Brill, Joe Mulligan, Adam Cockman, Robin Williams (nee Henley), JR (me) Havlan, and “Steve,” a brand new addition to the game who came to us via being a school parent/friend of mine.

One guy’s been at the game for 30+ minutes, the other guy for 30+ years.

Turns out Steve sat in the right seat, because the cards that kept landing in front of him were routinely the winning cards. Our new friend split the first hand with Robin and then split the second (monster) pot as well, which then lead to an entire night of him winning nearly every single pot he was involved in. That’s some way to make new friends, “Steve”! If that is your real name!
Steve knows how to play poker, but since we play a lot of weird games, Cockman spent nearly as much time explaining those games to Steve as he did losing those games to Steve. And that was a lot of time.

Eddie started the night off by opening up to Robin about a new girl he met and how much he likes her and how he talked to her on the phone for 10 hours the other night, which is how long I thought he might go on about this woman if I didn’t put a stop to it. So I did.
Good for Eddie though!

The comedy started with Eddie finally switching topics and telling us about a time he was in a crowded airport waiting for a flight and listening to the song “Spooky” by The Atlanta Rhythm Section. You know the song. He had his headphones on and the volume up. In the middle of the song, they repeat the word “Spooky” very loudly several times, which is exactly what Eddie did, very loudly, in the middle of a super crowded airport.
Anyway, that’s how Eddie Brill got put on the federal No Fly list for 7 months.
(Note: Eddie was not actually put on the No Fly list.)

It didn’t take long before all of Steve’s winning made the rest of us desperate for a break, so we went outside and smoked the weed that killed Ron and Nicole’s killer.
When we came back in, Cockman’s standard contribution to the game awaited us…

Back at the table, Cockman (now extremely high) is yet again explaining to Steve another game that our new friend most likely proceeded to win.

Steve: A lot of these rules are very nuanced.

Eddie: Actually, most of them are very oldanced.

Laughter was begetted.

Eddie wasn’t the only one trying his luck at new love. Cockman’s in on that game too. So, during Eddie’s story at the beginning of the night, Cockman chimed in to tell us about a girl he’s been seeing. He wasn’t quite as romantic as Eddie though…

Robin: Do you want to see her again?

Cockman: I want to get a piece of her.

Like Shakespeare, that guy.
So, I waited until just the right time, later in the evening, to turn to Cockman in a moment of silence and very sincerely say to him, “Tell us more about this girl you want a piece of.”
Robin lost it on that one. If she was drinking milk, it would have shot out of her ears.

Eddie, after somebody had to have something explained to them a bit too much: “What part of ‘Don’t you understand’ don’t you understand?”
A classic.

Cockman must have lost with at least 5 different full houses. That’s a pretty good hand to lose with 5 times. Just ask Cockman. Seriously, next time you see him, ask him. He loves talking about it. Then maybe ask him about the girl he wants a piece of. The guy’s a chatterbox!

Hand ‘O Tha Night

At precisely 9:55pm, after I’d already lost a string of very close hands, I finally thought I had a winner with my king high flush. Turns out Robin also had a king high flush. In fact, Robin and I had exactly the same fucking flush!

This result is what we call “Toot Uncommon,” after our favorite Egyptian pharoah (c. 1332 – 1323 BC, but you knew that.) Anyway, this meant that whoever went low took half the pot, and Robin and I had to split the other half. And that means neither one of us actually won anything.
Fun!

While dealing a game in which you can choose from a few different cards…

JR: You can have what’s behind the curtain or inside my pants.

Eddie: I’ll take what’s behind the curtain.

JR: Great! Because that’s what I call my pants.

Steve, his confidence boosted by the chips overflowing into his lap, decided to introduce a new game to our list of crazy games. Everyone gets two cards down. 4 cards go up in the middle. To build their hand, everyone gets to choose between the mystery card from the top of the deck for free or any of the cards face up in the middle of the table for a dollar.

Steve: It’s called “Dime Store”.

JR: Why the fuck isn’t it called “Dollar Store”?

From then on we called it Dollar Store.

Steve dealing the poker game formerly know as Dime Store.

The last hand was Good, Bad and The Ugly. You get five cards in your hand but if any of them come up in the “Ugly” row, you have to throw them away. Frequently, when our good friend Hank Gallo plays this game, he has a pair in his hand that shows up in the Ugly row, so he has to throw them away. We call it “Getting Hanked.” In this game, Joe had three 5’s in his hand. Yep. The fourth 5 came up in the Ugly row. Joe got “Triple-Hanked.”
I ended up splitting the pot with… drum roll please… Steve!
Who knew?!

***

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

SMALL: JR with a miraculous and unlikely Ace-high flush. Fortunately, Robin didn’t have the exact same fucking flush!

BIG: Steve’s beginner’s luck didn’t abandon him as his measly pair of kings held up to beat the easily beatable field. Welcome to the game… “Steve!”

Until next time, y’all.
Peace!

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