You know men. They’re scientific. Analytical. Let ’em loose on an algebraic problem and they’ll have it cracked in five minutes. But ask them to expound on the use of allegory in a Frost poem and they’ll jump off a bridge.
And you know women. They’re emotionally attuned. Masters of psychological warfare. They can squeeze out every hidden meaning in “Did we pick up sour cream at the store?” and know how to get you to turn off ESPN when the Notebook is on another channel.
Except those are worn-out stereotypes, and they don’t accurately define Connie and Alex Hausmann at all. This Colorado couple plays poker to their strengths, not along obvious gender lines.
Connie is a number-cruncher, a strategist; no wonder she works as a certified public accountant. Alex is more interested in psychology, reading tells and creative play; no wonder he works as … well, he’s also an accountant. (But he’s a musician, too, so you can get the creative thing there.)
The Hausmanns live just outside Colorado Springs and play about every four or five weeks in the Black Hawk/Central City casinos, always low-limit hold’em, though. “We’re working up our courage to spread our wings a bit,” Alex said. Connie’s mom lives nearby and baby-sits their grade-school son, Alex Jr., when they hit the casinos for a three-day weekend.
Alex got into poker about three years ago and became “just totally obsessed,” as he describes it. Connie was unimpressed at first: “I hardly ever played card games. We played Uno when I was a kid. I didn’t really ‘get’ poker. But I started watching (Alex) play online and I got addicted.”
Each did pretty well online in those days pre-Black Friday, though Alex admits Connie has a much better feel for calculating odds and value than he does.
“I can do it, but she does it so much faster. … I’m playing and she’ll wander into the den and watch me play, and she’ll say, ‘You’re 4-to-1 to call, what are you waiting for?’ Human calculator.”
Both played online for a couple of years before venturing into live play, where Alex’s skill emerged.
“Live, you get so much more information,” he said. “I get a huge buzz from finding a player’s Achilles’ heel and exploiting it.”
Connie added: “He’s helped my play a lot from how he studies players. … I used to get scared off from any table with a maniac, but now I look for that. Every player has a weakness you can exploit.”
Though they play in an occasional home game, the Hausmanns never play at the same table in a poker room. Said Alex: “It’s too easy for someone to accuse you of collusion, of soft play if a hand happens to go that way.”
Different as they are, Alex said, one thing is true of both Hausmanns: “We both hate to lose.”
— Rick Gershman is Ante Up’s Colorado Ambassador. You can email him firstname.lastname@example.org.