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The (Very) Hideous Hog

Rather than dilute the fine thread on the Caplan win vs. Struhl in the Spinny with tales of the departed and ignominious "Hideous Hog", aka Ron Andersen, the admittedly excellent player and entertaining vugraph analyst, I thought to start a thread on the Hog for those who have tales of getting the upper hand on him, since he was also one of the most hideous players in the game - a loudmouth, an intimidator of weaker players, and an all around asshole. 

Let me start proceedings with a two-part tale of his charming personality:

For three years, back in my salad days in Toronto, I edited - with fine help from a young Fred Gitelman - the daily bulletin of the Toronto spring regional. I was given the job after Eric Kokish, who had perhaps tired of having to work until the wee hours every night, decided he'd rather spend his days playing instead of sleeping. Similarly I was able to play only on the last day of the tourney, in the Swiss team event.

The Royal York hotel was the scene, and the hotel was good enough to allow me to keep my dog - a Bichon-Frise I called Pooh Bear - in my room. Not only that, I took the furface with me during my play in the event. She was welcomed at every table; every one that is until we sat down against the Hog. He was on my left, as was my dog, with kibitzers ringing the table. Immediately he started bitching and moaning and demanding that my dog be removed.

"I'm allergic to dogs!" he fumed.

"That's all right," I said. "She's a Bichon, and is hypoallergenic and doesn't shed."

"I don't care, and I don't like dogs. Get rid of it!"

"I do care, and I don't like people who don't like dogs, so, no."

"Director!!!" he screamed. (I mean literally - screamed.) This is the point where I asked him if he had graduated Magna Cum Laude from Asshole School or was born naturally talented. He turned bright pink and gave me the Jimmy Hatlo "if looks could kill" stare.

The director appeared, and the situation revealed. After the Hog had finished bleating I told the director that the dog was peaceful and trained only to redouble should the Hog have the temerity to put the boots to one of my contracts. He laughed, and suggested the compromise of Pooh Bear lying next to me on the other side, away from the Hog. The Hog grimaced and acquiesced, and played the entire match flapping his cards on the table and sneering.

I'd like to report that we won, but we were nipped out by four Imps. Drat. But at least the Hog knew that his tactics weren't about to work with me.

Part two came at the Reno year-end regional, where I was playing in a pairs game with one of my erstwhile wives. We were a traveling pair, and near the end of the session came to the table of none other than the Hog. The table was surrounded by no fewer than a dozen kibitzers watching the Hog and one of his clients. He recognized me instantly, and glared at me as he sneered "Where's your mutt?"

"Barking up a more pleasant tree," was all I could think to say.

The first hand passed quickly as the Hog declared a baby 3NT. On the companion hand his client, my right hand opponent, opened a weak 2 and I declared a spade partscore while holding AQx. The Hog led his side AK as I tickled the third round of the suit and went about my business, finding the client with 10 HCP's which included the trump ace, the QJ and the K. When he switched belatedly to the J it was apparent that the Hog held the K, and since my dummy had three small it was equally apparent the king was stiff. That was when I noticed the round clock still had six minutes on it.

So I went into my "stew" act. I pouted, I knitted my eyebrows, I closed and opened my cards almost as often as Jobu as he works out what could possibly go wrong in a hand. As the minutes ticked by the Hog grew more and more impatient. He actually squirmed on his chair, trying to make his fat ass more comfortable. When the clock finally wound down to a single minute I looked up made eye contact with the Hog.

Then I smiled and played the A. He slammed the king down with undisguised disgust.

"Woof," I said, as we left the table.

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