Friday, April 6, 2012

Honey Badger Don't Care

I suppose I should strive for some occasional poker content in this here poker blog...

Last weekend I played quite a bit all at the MGM and all involving related activities.  First up was Day 1 of the first AVPT event and the next day I played in the AVP XV Meet Up tournament.  I took some video while I was there so expect that in a few days.  As a teaser I will tell you that the AVPT day I played was the toughest group I have ever played against.

For today I thought I would talk about a certain poker hand.  I've come to appreciate the power of so called "trash hands".  Trash hands is a misnomer because while these are starting hands that the untrained eye regards as having little potential for showdown value those wise in the science art science/art of the power of "trash hands" know better.

The pioneer in this field is of course, Dr. Grump who was the first to unlock the mysteries of Duo Quattuor.  As with many areas, further advancements were spurned on by what are most likely highly classified government operations working under the deepest cover.  Of course, I am referring to the Ironman of Poker.  Sadly, these men advanced perhaps too quickly in the field.  They simply did not have time to fully consider the ethical implications of their work.Sadly, if they had such time available, they might not have unleashed the Spanish Inquisition on the poker world.

Now up till very recently I was one of those naysayers, the ones who disregard these powerful poker tools.  Recently though, my eyes were opened - and it was all due to, the Honey Badger.  You see, every time the Ironman travels through Las Vegas, another powerful signature hand is unleashed upon the town.  Each such signature hand has a nom de guerre and this most recent trip it was to be 52 aka, the Honey Badger.

Now here is the interesting thing.  Long before this past IMoP trip I had been exposed to the Honey Badger, just not by that name.  You see, at my local casino 52 - or fiddy deuce as they like to call it is know as the nuts.  It's a point of pride among some players to felt someone with fiddy deuce and yet, I was never one of those who got it.

The moment it all coalesced for me was when I played in one of the Ironman tournaments from their last trip. The Ironmen all descended on the Aria for their daily tournament and I settled in hoping to see some hilarity ensue.  Deep down, I knew I should be looking for opportunities to deploy the Honey Badger, but still I resisted.

In fact, I was even presented with a golden opportunity to do it.  An early position raise ... a call ... folded to me on the button and I squeeze up the cards to gaze at 5 of hearts, 2 of hearts ... a Honey Badger sighting.

Now of course, the first rule about the Honey Badger is, Honey Badger Don't Care.  Mere pocket Aces?  Please.  In that moment, I would like to report to everyone that I felt the spirit of the Honey Badger move through me and that I called, or perhaps even was brave enough to throw in a substantial three bet.  Alas, I could not pull the trigger.  I played smart poker, conserved chips and sent my cards to the muck.  On to the flop then:




Yup, Honey Badger would have hit Donkey Kong.  Now you might think this is the part of the story where I talk about seeing the light and appreciating the power of the Honey Badger.  Nope, we're not even there yet.  You see after the action of the hand completed and as we were preparing for our next round of combat, the rather striking young Asian lady on my right uttered these words, "Huh, I folded five two."

There is no doubt in my mind she spoke the truth, she and I folded the same hand and then watched as one of the last two fives and both of the last two twos in the deck came on the flop.  Ladies and gentlemen, I'll defer if the Grump wants to correct my math but I believe that is about a 5000-1 shot.

OK, I may not be the quickest on the uptake, but even I can take that hint.  Just to make sure I got it though, the Poker Gods saw to it that immediately after disrespecting the Honey Badger I began the process of stack implosion.  OK OK, I learned my lesson.

I'm happy to report that since then, I have deployed the Honey Badger on several occasions with much success.  Plus, when you take a big pot off of someone and they start asking how you call with that, you get to look at them and say, "What?  I had the Honey Badger."  For some reason, hearing about that vicious furry bugger just makes people smile and maybe even helps them forget the beat they just suffered.

So, fair warning, if you ever find yourself at a table with me and the board is favorable to the Honey Badger, tread lightly.


  1. One day there will be a table Full of the likes you you, Grump, Myself and some others and people will be value betting the hell out of the likes of 88 on a AJKXX board because we will all know that no one plays hands with those crappy high cards.

    However the first time the board gives a low paired flop you'll see someone check down AA because that's just some scary Sh*t out there man.

  2. When they start value betting 88 on the AJKxx board is when you slip em the flat tire.

    What's a jack for? A flat tire.

  3. Replies
    1. Hey Mrs L - Enjoying the new identity?

  4. @ Grrouchie: Your proposed game would be hilarious to play in, particularly if you let a bunch of nits join the action. :)

    @ Missing Flops: The Ironmen found the Honey Badger to be ... less than profitable ... this past IMOP. However, it did occur to me that the Honey Badger treated me well on a prior IMOP outing:

    1. Excellent story - see you were doing cutting edge research on the power of the HB that trip. As for less than profitable results on this last trip, perhaps it was just what my grandfather used to say when a day out fishing off the Oregon coast wouldn't yield any salmon, "must not have been holding our mouths right".

      Of course rereading that story also just reinforced my urge to actually get my hands on some of that Templeton Rye all you mid-westerners are always fussing about.