The hand of the dead man

1 July

The hand of the dead man

If you understand about poker, you may already know that when we speak of "the hand of the dead man" we do not refer to the continuation of the Count of Monte Cristo written by the playwright Alfredo Possolo in 1854, nor to the spanish film created by Jesus Franco. We are referring to the famous combination of double aces and eights in the hand of a player.

This hand, far from being negative is quite possibly a winning hand on many occasions and a good way to start in Texas Hold'em. Gets its name from the famous cowboy James Butler Hickock, better known as Wild Bill. Savage Bill was an excellent explorer and gunman; his belt had up to 36 notches as a result of the duels he had won, including the name of Davis Tutt, whom he killed in the best-known open duel in the Old West at a distance of 65 meters; but he was also a great poker player and a cautious person. Or he used to be like that until August 2, 1976, the day he was killed at Saloon Nuttal & Mann's # 10 Deadwood while playing with Carl Mann, Charles Henry Rich and Captain Massie.

Normally, Hickok used to sit with his back to the wall, for safety and so that no one could read his playing cards. However, this day the best sites were already occupied, and in addition, the local had two entry doors, the main and one rear.

According to Frank J. Wilstach in 1926 in his book Wild Bill Hickok: The Prince of the Gunmen: Wild Bill was playing his hand while he said his last words: old Duffer broke my hand "; that was what he said just before a criminal known as Jack McCall appeared behind him and shot him in the head from his back; the The bullet fired at point-blank range ended in the wrist of Massie, who was sitting next to him; according to the sources, Wild Bill fell to the ground without releasing any of his cards: "the hand of the dead man."

It was impossible to clarify the reasons for the murder of Wild Billy because, while Jack McCall maintained that he wanted to take revenge for the murder of his brother, other sources of information, related that the brother never existed, and that McCall was hired as an assassins by the big Casinos. Be that as it may, Jack McCall was judged and sentenced to death in Deadwood for the murder of Bill. while, the legend of Bill became an iconic figure whose tomb was visited by miles of curious to this day. It's said that Captain Massie never removed the bullet from the wrist because he wanted to remeber that moment as a bif memory of this episode until the day of his death. There has been much speculation about which was the fifth card that combined with "the hand of the dead man", but the truth is that nobody is sure about it.

There are several television and film appearances that refer to the hand of the dead, such as David Milch's Deadwood series, winner of 8 Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe, a series set in 1870 that tells the adventures of characters like Billy, Seth Bullock, Sol Star, Calamity Janeo EB Farnum among others. We can also find the hand of the dead in the movie Aces 'N' Eights of 2008.


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