Now THAT’S How You Play the Hammer

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006, 12:33 am

Been mostly playing heads-up SNGs the last few days, and I’m batting around .800. Man, I thought I sucked at heads-up play, but little did I know how bad the vast majority of donkeys are when it’s one-on-one. They lay down hands if the flop doesn’t hit them, they don’t lead out, they don’t raise enough to build a pot or protect their hands…what else? Oh, for some reason most of the folks I’ve played against show me their cards just about every other hand. This is usually a bad idea, but heads-up it’s crazy. Unless you’re trying to build a false image and think that somehow you’ll have time to take advantage of it, all you’re doing is giving away how you play. In capital letters written in red ink. Silly.

The last guy I played was about the best I’d met so far. He was capable of re-raising, he’d lead out into ragged flops, he’d slow-play. He had me about 2-1 when I was dealt the Hammer in hearts. When the flop came two hearts and queen high I led out, and he re-raised me. Tired of being bullied, I went all-in, hoping he’d cave. He didn’t, and turned over QJ. OK, I need a heart. A deuce on the turn gave me a few more outs…one of which was the seven of clubs that popped on the river. “Not the way I planned to get there” I typed, and he was a good sport about it.

I had him down to the felt, but he doubled up with KJ against my K-10, and the next hand I got him to commit while I held QQ. Thing is, he got me to commit while he held KK, and I wasn’t so comfortable any more. I regained a 2-1 lead when I was dealt Q-10. The flop came Q-7-2, and after he led out I re-raised. He pushed, and I felt there was no way he had a queen. I was right–he had the Hammer. Now, I don’t know about you, but I HATE getting beaten by a civilian wielding the Hammer. It’s like extending the middle finger…and then sticking it in my eye. Or worse.

But the Hammer never lets you down, that’s part of it’s power. It let’s OTHER people down. I had a feeling I’d wriggle off the hook, and that’s just what I did, when a brace of nines appeared on the turn and river. My two pair trumped his, and victory was mine.

Got home from some running around this evening to find two cars in my driveway. OK…who the hell are you? Turns out some people house-hunting blundered across the For Sale sign in my front yard and decided to have a gander. At my back yard. Not the first time that’s happened, and they were quite nice about it, as was I. I had to tell them that there’s already been a bid accepted, which was a nice feeling. Home inspection is Friday, so I have to get the place shipshape by then. I’ve been keeping the place spotless the last 2 months, but after the bid was accepted and I knew no one else would be barging through my front door, I’ve let it slide a bit. Tomorrow will be a tidying day.

Tomorrow I’m also shaving off the ghastly beard I’ve been growing since I got laid off. I had a goatee 8 years ago or so and liked it, but I’ve got grey in my muzzle and facial hair puts ten years on my youthful, boyish face. Ten hard years riding the rails with a bindle over my shoulder. I’ve been going grey since I was 23, but it’s right on my chin that it really shows. Come the morn, the fungus comes off.

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6 Responses to “Now THAT’S How You Play the Hammer”

  1. LASunsett Says:

    Gene,

    If you wrote about anything besides poker, I’d visit more often. But honestly sir, I do not like watching or playing it very much. But let it be known that I did visit your site.

  2. Mean Gene Says:

    Fair enough.

  3. Whaaaaa? Says:

    Gene, don’t listen to the naysayer. (And who the hell announces that they deigned to visit here like royalty right after insulting your subject matter?)

    You’re one of the best poker bloggers. Wear the crossed hammers with pride.

    (Plus, after looking at his site, that guy is one those types, like Bill O’Lielly, who bleats about what an “independent moderate” they are, but don’t disagree with a single thing the GOP pushes.

    He spends half his front page defaming Jack Murtha. You know, if he loves the fucking war so much, why isn’t HIS ass humping a pack through Ramadi right now?)

  4. Mean Gene Says:

    He and I bicker a bit over at his blog, that’s why he left the comment. I figure posting about politics here is a no-win situation. Actually, posting about politics anywhere is a no-win situation. Just like when I play poker…

  5. Whaaaaa? Says:

    Well, check out my latest, my script treatment for THE PASSION OF THE ANN[TI]-CHRIST.

    Sometimes the snark just writes itself.

  6. LASunsett Says:

    Well whaaa?

    If you have something to say, you take your carcass over to my blog and say it. I welcome all people despite the fact they agree with me or not. The only thing I ask is that you act like an adult and leave your potty mouth behind.

    And one other thing, if you really read my blog thoroughly you won’t be as apt to think you know where I stand on any given issue. Because you really do not jack about what I have done and haven’t done, as it stands now.

    BTW Gene,

    The correction post is up, as I promised.

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