Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Devil's Hand

We all have our favourite hands, and we all have our favourite names for those hands. Some nicknames have been around forever ("Rockets","Cowboys") while other names have been coined more recently and have caught on to some degree. The poster child for that would of course be Grubby's "The Hammer", but here are a few more which I enjoy:

"Snowman Tater-leg" aka "SMTL" : 8-3. I still don't know what the hell a "tater-leg" is, or how a 3 is obviously one, but dammit it's a sticky name.

"The Canadian Hammer": I have heard this referred to as 6-2, 8-2 or 8-3. As 8-3 is obviously SMTL and 6-2 can make a straight, I like 8-3 here. I don't have official word if s00tedness disqualifies it. I say no.

"Kournikova": Now here is some controversy. We all know these cards look good but never win, but is it A-K or K-Q? I have seen references to A-K, but F-Train and Dr Pauly make it clear that they feel K-Q suits the moniker more appropriately. I am on team K-Q, if for no other reason that this hand scares the bejesus out of me. It is particularly enticing if it is s00ted... much like Anna in a big tournament in a short skirt.

Do I have any of my own? Well, I haven't really come up with snappy names, but let's dig into my private vernacular:

"The Devil's Hand": A-Jo. Some know my particular distaste for A-Q, but A-Q is still a hand I will go to war with (well, at least make a guerilla raid with). A-Jo is a hand that I am sick to my stomach with, on par with K-Q. It's a hand that looks like it should be played, but in my experience is a hand that quite often looks way better than it actually is.

"The Hand of Death": This is SoxLover's nickname for the Hilton Sisters, good old Q-Q, probably because he has run it into A-A too many times. "The Hand of Death" is also vulnerable to A-K, another one of those hands that most will go to war with - and it's pretty frustrating to run it into A-K and lose the coinflip while realising that 2-2 vs A-K was pretty close to the same odds. Extra points if a 2 hits the board. I actually managed to make a third of my stack disappear last night with this hand by first not re-raising enough to get two limpers out of the pot, then surrendering like a French soldier when a King and two clubs hit the flop.

"Motherf%^$ing Ducks": OK, this is a very specific example from a 180 SnG I played on the weekend. WeakPlayer was sweating me, and in the first hour I got 2-2 on four occasions. Even worse, it was technically the best hand I had seen up to that point. I then proceeded to get 2-2 twice more. Number of times I flopped a set, in those six occasions? Zero. I was threatening to go postal, while Weak egged me on by sending me links to various pieces of weaponry (thanks Weak!) A little later on I got 3-3 in late position, and limped in. "Here comes a 2 on the flop!" says Weak. *BAM*, there it is. I think I blacked out at that point. I am considering calling 3-3 "Plastic Ducks", to celebrate their artificial similarity to 2-2.

"Plastic Ducks": You know what, I'm giving 3-3 the name.

"Presto": OK, we all know this is 5-5, I just wanted to put this here so I could regale you all with the tournament where I was dealt it twice in a row, flopped a set twice in a row, and tripled up. Yay!

And then there is A-Q. Last night the following events occurred during a 180 SnG: First, I made what was generally regarded as a pussy move when I raised just over 3xBB one off the button, only to fold when the button (who had me covered) pushed instantly. Secondly, I defended my blind after I had just tripled up when the button rerose about 4xBB, and we got all the money in... and my A-Q defeated his A-10 sooted.

After those actions, I'm looking for a name for A-Q. A link found via Google says that it can be referred to as "Big Chick" (a good description of my first play with A-Q), and that in Texas it is referred to as " The Doyle Brunson" (OK Texans, we all know T-2 is the Doyle Brunson, so let's drop it, OK?). "Big Chick"? I dunno... I also see "Walking Back to Houston". Does anyone out there have a good name for A-Q, preferably non-Texas centric? Oh, and feel free to stick your favourite/pet names for other poker hands in the comments. Or just make fun of me for the number of hands I described as scaring me. Or both.


  • AQ - Posh spice. So pretty, yet so awful at the same time.

    By Blogger Wes, at 1:05 PM  

  • Sorta dull, but people will know what you mean:

    Mrs. Slick.

    By Blogger SoxLover, at 1:07 PM  

  • Hehe. I like Posh Spice. I was always partial to Sporty anyway.

    By Blogger Garthmeister J., at 1:25 PM  

  • You're a tool.

    -Johnny FlopBoot

    By Blogger Roberto Roundtree Rogelio, at 1:30 PM  

  • Glad to have you aboard, Johnny, and glad you read the good Doctor as well.

    By Blogger Garthmeister J., at 1:33 PM  

  • KQ is a crappy hand. AK needs to be played correctly to win with.

    AQ is "Anna Kournikova" bitches...

    By Blogger DP, at 10:18 PM  

  • Garth, according to TJ Cloutier's championship holdem book, "Walking Back to Houston" is AK, not AQ. Because in the old Dallas games, people used to overplay big slick so badly that they would end up losing everything and having to walk back to Houston. I haven't heard AQ called this before, but some might.

    For AQ, many people do call it the Doyle Brunson because Doyle claims he NEVER plays this hand. Problem is, I've seen him play it on multiple occasions in televised action alone, so I think the hand is worthy of another nickname.

    I prefer "Little slick", because the hand has all the weaknesses of AK, but it loses to the big slick as well. Otherwise I think it makes more sense to call AQ Anna Kournikova because this hand is even prettier than KQs, and yet basically just as deadly.

    By Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo, at 10:48 AM  

  • I'm late to the party but:

    AQ - the interview. As in the Q&A. First question is why are you playing that weak hand like it's AK?

    KJo - Hand Lotion. Say it slowly outloud if you don't get it - Jack King Off.

    By Blogger Meek, at 8:43 AM  

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