Poker pros need help to toe the line

May 16, 2005 3:17 AM

Carol, a couple of weeks ago I wrote a column about plugging your poker leaks and just maybe some poker players need to have a "keeper."

Then we got busy with the inaugural Centennial Charity Classic and coaching Oscar "All In" Goodman, the Mayor of Las Vegas, on the way to a second place finish.

Now, I think I can continue to tell the folks about why I think some of us poker players need a keeper.

Of course, I sure am lucky because I have you as my keeper. The point is that if you want to be successful as a professional poker player, many very good poker players have trouble with their lives and in the management of their money.

These very good cardsmiths have no trouble winning when they sit down to play poker.

But they have a lot of trouble with life and the living of it, including money and the managing of it.

They have none or very little trouble with poker, but there are so many other things out there in life that sometimes mess them up.

The makers of the movie about Stu Ungar came and talked with me about Stu, and Daddy always told me if you can not say something good about someone, just be silent.

Well, I was silent about his personal life, but I did say some things about his ability to play poker.

He had many skills when playing poker, but his greatest was courage; his second was luck; and his third was again, courage.

Stu broke my heart in 1980 when he won the World Series of Poker and took all of my chips on the way to the championship and the winning of the WSOP championship gold bracelet.

I won the inaugural gold bracelet for being the best all around poker player of the WSOP that year.

I proudly wear the only gold bracelet ever given to a player by the WSOP for being the best all around player finishing high in many of the events.

I could never beat Stu when we played poker, but I was lucky enough to beat Stu playing my game — Oklahoma Gin Rummy — but that is a story for another day.

Stu, of course, was the better gin rummy player, but I used my "OK-J" method of gin rummy play and just got lucky.

Then there are the new young whippersnappers who are winning the millions (sure hope they can handle it).

But I am just a country boy and it is funny to see them after they have won. Their nose is a little out of joint and they do not know the people that they borrowed money from last year to get into the satellites to win the million.

Yes, Carol, you are my keeper and help me, not only with my poker game, but with life and the living of it.