Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

Poker Sites

Cardschat Poker Forum
Barstool Sports
Card Player
Internet Texas Hold-Em
Poker Pages


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    Tuesday, June 27, 2006

    Now THAT'S How You Play the Hammer

    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 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. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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