Poker at the Old Silverbird Casino in Las Vegas is an independent sports news and information service. has partnerships with some of the top legal and licensed sportsbook companies in the US. When you claim a bonus offer or promotion through a link on this site, Gaming Today may receive referral compensation from the sportsbook company. Although the relationships we have with sportsbook companies may influence the order in which we place companies on the site, all reviews, recommendations, and opinions are wholly our own. They are the recommendations from our authors and contributors who are avid sports fans themselves.

For more information, please read How We Rank Sportsbooks, Privacy Policy, or Contact Us with any concerns you may have.

Gaming Today is licensed and regulated to operate in AZ, CO, CT, DC, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, MI, NV, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV, & WY.

My beautiful wife Carol and I have lived in Las Vegas for a long time now and we have seen the town change over and over again.

I am thinking today of the old Thunderbird when it was the Silverbird and then it was the El Rancho.

Then they blew it down to make room for the Turnberry Place where they are building multi-million dollar condos for the super rich from around the world who want a home on the Strip.

Last week we played at Turnberry Towers with the Hold’em Honeys, one of my fan groups of lady poker players.

When Turnberry was the T-bird I remember going there to gamble a little and seeing the hit Broadway show Flower Drum Song.

This was during my salad days and I loved to go to the Vegas lounge show and see the one and only Jimmy Durante.

You know, folks, I can still hear him sing a Do-Be-Do-Be and Jimmy would always say at the end of his act, “Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are!”

I know you will not mind if I talk about how old Las Vegas was and kissing the Blarney Stone in Blarney, Ireland a couple of years ago.

It gave me a license to embellish a story now and then. But you know 97 percent of everything I tell you is nothing but the truth, which is sometimes better than fiction anyway.

I have stories about the old Thunderbird, the Silverbird and, yes, the El Rancho. I admit there are no stories about Turnberry Place, but I am sure some of the lives of the jet set and the very rich who live there would read a little like Peyton Place.

The Thunderbird is the symbol of the fighting Oklahoma 45th Army division, sometimes called the Thunderbird Division.

This honored division has a history all of us in Oklahoma and the rest of the nation can be very proud of.

At the T-bird lounge show I would sometimes buy a drink or two for a lady or two. One of the ladies was the wife of Bugsy Siegel. Did you know that Siegel spell backward is almost Legals? Well, there is a corporation named Legals that owned a large part of the stock of the Thunderbird as well as many other casino properties of Las Vegas!

After his death Bugsy’s wife had control of a lot of that stock. Who knows, the owners of that old stock may still own a part of Turnberry Place!

Now, I am not afraid of Bugsy or any of the other old boys. I will just say I was offered the position of president and CEO of that corporation and the Thunderbird.

Since this is a poker column, let me tell a story about the Thunderbird after it became the Silverbird.

Major Riddle, of the old Dunes and other properties, became the major-domo in charge of the Silverbird and he loved to play poker. There was always a high stakes game at the poker room, which I played in.

Most of the time I stayed out of the rain but I got a few drops on me and found myself short of cash to play poker with.

One of my rules is I never borrow or loan money in a poker game. So I arranged a line of credit at the Silverbird cage so I could write markers for whatever poker chips I might need for the games.

Folks, I took out a few markers for $5,000 and some for $10,000 and it rained on me. I did not drown, but I did get a little wet.

So I had to turn over a rock or two to find the money to pay off, but the cage could find no record of my markers.

Where the large markers went I don’t know, but it was strange. I guess they got mixed up with some other large markers and other trash and were thrown out with the dish water.

OKJ Tip of the Week

Money management is of the utmost importance in a poker game. Never play in a poker game that exceeds your comfort level.

You cannot think correctly or play your hand right if you are playing over your head. If the money you are playing with will buy anything not already owned, it may be too big a game to be involved with.

Quit playing poker where the stakes are too high. Play a lower stakes game until you can say, “I already have everything that the money I am playing with will buy for me.”


Until next time remember to stay lucky!


About the Author

Get connected with us on Social Media