A tribute to gentleman Kenny Flaton

Dec 28, 2004 4:56 AM

Today, I would like to get down out of the saddle, take my hat off and say farewell to a true gentleman of the game of poker.

A few years ago, I wrote a book "The Gentleman Gambler," in which I tell a little bit about Kenny Flaton and how I respected him for being a true Gentleman of the game of poker.

I also tried to tell just how much of a family man he was.

Kenny was a great father to his son Aaron and a wonderful husband to his wife Crystal.

Let me quote from my book what I had to say about Kenny: "I’ve been told that professional poker players sometimes have difficulty in carrying off a successful relationship over a long period of time, and that may be true, but Kenny was an exception.

I was gratified not long ago when I received a telephone call from Kenny Flaton. It was just before Kenny was to be inducted into "The Seniors" WCOP Poker Players Hall of Fame, and Kenny had a special request of me.

It is a tradition that each new inductee into "The Seniors" Hall of Fame gets his picture engraved on a commemorative poker chip. Knowing this, Kenny asked, "Johnny, could you please put my wife Crystal on the chip with me?"

Sadly, I could not do this, but I did tell Kenny that perhaps he could have her introduce him and be his inductor into "The Seniors" WCOP Poker Players Hall of Fame.

There aren’t many things that a poker player can fall back on in life, but when everything goes bad at the tables, he can go home to his wife ”¦ and either love her or beat her.

Obviously, Kenny had chosen to love his wife and I think that is admirable.

I believe that players with a loving attitude toward their wives are probably much better poker players than those who abuse them.

An important part of a poker player’s life is feeling comfortable with himself.

To become a consistent, long-term winner, a poker player has to like what he sees in the mirror everyday.

Some players can talk a good game, but they have trouble playing and living it.

Kenny not only talked the talk , he made the walk. Kenny lived a good game.

It is an honor to have known and played poker with Kenny and to have called this gentleman gambler my friend. Kenny, rest in peace.

Oklahoma Johnny Poker Tip of the Week

Today’s tip comes to us from Kenny A chip and a chair is all you need to win!

Twice, not once, but twice I was at the final table with Kenny in major poker tournaments and Kenny was down to one green $25 tournament chip.

I have been at the final table with Kenny three times —I got lucky once — but twice Kenny was down to one green $25 chip and a chair and he won both of those poker tournaments.

Kenny, please, save me a seat in the big game and thanks for the memories.

Until next remember to stay lucky.