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Poker Story

The Hammadown (Chapter 4)

By March 11, 20206 Comments

This fine edition of The Hammadown is lovingly presented to the public on the anniversary of the “drop-down day” of The Hammadown’s original editor-in-spleef, Weeeyum Stephenson. It contains stories of wrong dealings, joke tellings, pizza deliverings, antics havings and an ending so shocking you’ll have to read it to believe it.
Spoiler Alert: It’s actually a pretty standard ending…

(Game Day: February 25, 2020)


‘Zackly sixty-three years ago today, William Whitfield Stephenson II and his lovely wife, Grievance, set their eyes upon their new baby boy and in nearly the words of Stevie Wonder, said to each other, “Is he lovely?”
Time would tell.

All these years later, the old guard didst thou filleth every seat at the table for the latest installment of The Eddie Brill Poker Game – emphasis on “old” being that the average age at the table now exceeds the amount generally sitting in even the largest pot. Oh, but the stories we have to tell!
For the second game in a row we dealt the first hand to a full table of mooks. In attendance from the get-go were Eddie, Jason, Joe, Pat, Freed, Hank, Cockman and I, Sir Havalot of Nueva Yorkshire. The scene was set, but the first hand started out with quite a twist: the cards were dealt in the wrong direction. Pat Dixon continued his quest to make America ass-backwards again by dealing counter clockwise and insisting that we’ve always done it that way.
So convinced was he, in fact, that he had the rest of us briefly questioning the direction in which every poker game in the world is always dealt. Even in fucking Australia! The political metaphor was not lost on any of us.

We were graced with our second visit of the year from Jason “Jercinovic” Jercinovic, the man with the name so nice you’ll never get it right until you hear it at least twice… or perhaps thrice.


For legal reasons I can only say that it may or may not have been he who brought some very powerful (legal in some places) marijuana cigarettes cleverly packaged as what looked like a deck of cards… but obviously with marijuana cigarettes in it, which are cigarettes that are filled with marijuana.

Marijuana Cigarettes: Just What the Dr. Feelgood Ordered

Jason also shared the fact that he knows a guy by the name of Richard Smallwood who actually goes by the name Dick. Dick Smallwood. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for just a smidgen of Mr. Dick Smallwood’s confidence.

I said something funny to Freed.
Freed: I think you’re a really funny guy.
Me: I wish I could say you’re not alone.

You can ask why until you’re blue in the face but I will never divulge the answer to how we came up with the idea of releasing a DVD of me rhythmically jerking-off to all your favorite TV theme songs. Will I make it all the way through the super funky theme to “Barney Miller”? Buy the DVD and find out.

For the past few games, Cockman and I have noticed that 9’s have been shockingly kind to us. The trend continued, specifically for Cockman who swept a huge pot early with quad 9’s. In a nutshell, if you’re playing against me or Cockman and we’re betting with even just one 9 on our board, prolly best to just fold. Or not. Yea, definitely don’t fold.

We got some pizza delivered. Eddie gave my apartment number as “1-P… like in psoriasis.”
Pat insisted on 1 of the pizzas having Kalamata olives. Not just “olives”. Kalamata olives. That was very important. As inexplicably as most things that happen at the table, somebody asked Pat if he prefers his Kalamata olives “pre-sucked”, which, with further inexplicability, led to the notion of a vendor at a baseball game selling pre-sucked olives.

Vendor: “Get your olives, here! Your pre-sucked olives!”
Customer: “I’ll take two.”
Vendor: “Just two?!”

If these hands could talk… we’d all know sign language

I recently added some Sonos speakers to the list of things I have at the house of Hav. The one in the living room is set to use Google Assistant, which, of course, opened the door for a variety of inappropriate requests not the least of which was, “Hey, Google. Play porn.”

Pat had us all reeling with a bit from comedian Rich Carucci about “the old way” of getting rid of crabs: “They shaved half your shit, set the other half on fire, and you had to jab ‘em with an ice pick as they ran by.”
He followed up with an intriguing bit of dialogue from what I assume is his never-to-be-produced detective drama: “I’m Pat Dixon. I’m here to take a shit and check for prints. Not necessarily in that order.”

That led to another bit of unprovoked dialogue provided by Cockman, I believe, from what we assume was a dreadfully unsuccessful first draft of Casablanca: “Of all the Klan meetings in all the towns in all the world… she walks into mine.”

The showdowns were dramatic, as usual, and both went to… drum roll please… Hank!

Hank: “That’s only happened to me twice!”
The Rest of Us: “Fuck off.”

The next game will be soon, since I waited until the ol’ boy’s drop-down day to release this particular edition. Happy 63rd birthday, William Whitfield Stephenson III, ya dead dummy.



The Hammadown is brought to you by COVID-19.
COVID 19: Because COVID’s 1 through 18 were just a fuckin’ warm-up


  • Greg Meeter says:

    Great stuff!

  • Susan Gouveia says:

    What a great way to end my day! So glad I chose to read this instead of checking in with the current BS that is circulating in the media now. Thank you, J.R. for taking time to write & share your stories. Lots of smiles and LOL on my end 🙂 That poker table is sacred. So honored to have visited it. What a lovely way to create magical moments & connection with community. Keep up the great work!

    • jr_havlan says:

      Thank you, Susan!
      Your visit brought you together with one of my best friends and created a wonderful relationship. I couldn’t be happier for both of you!

  • Jon Keim says:

    Nicely done!

  • Gladys Simon says:


  • Michael Seiler says:

    Loved the latest Hammadown.
    Reminds me of a game I used to be in years ago minus the Emmys and the weed.

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