Tracing hold’em’s extensive roots

Oct 3, 2005 3:28 AM

Carol, I sure do like this Oklahoma food — cornbread, beans, ribs, scramble eggs and wild onions, center-cut pork chops, fresh buttermilk, and strawberry shortcake with homemade ice cream.

Of course, we’re back at the Cherokee Casino and Resort in for my 78th birthday poker party. I plan to seve all of the poker players at my birthday party poker cake and green money.

In my last GamingToday column I promised I would send a copy of my book "The Gentleman Gambler" to the first reader that emailed me the correct name of the first ever limit Texas hold’em tournament that was played in Las Vegas.

We have a winner: Tracy Lane of Gastonia, North Carolina correctly identified that inaugural poker tournament. Tracy remembered that the legendary poker room manager, Bill Boyd of the original poker room at the Golden Nugget, was the creator of that first ever Texas Limit Hold’em tournament.

Boyd , who was the best five card stud player in the world, as well as a member of The Seniors World Championship of Poker/Poker Players Hall of Fame, designed the tournament in a number of very interesting and unique ways.

Actually, I played in this poker tournament event and it was a lot of fun.

But before I tell you how it was played, I have made you wait long enough for the answer. It was the Most Money Won Texas Limit Hold’em tournament.

Now, here is how Bill Boyd arranged for it to be played. here is how MR. BOYD arranged for it to be played!

No. 1: You could buy-in for any minimum amount in any of the limit hold’em games that was being played in his room. Yes, you could change tables or change limits, but the limits did not

change at each table. If you wanted to play higher you could move to a higher-limit table.

No. 2: You could start anytime and quit anytime.

No. 3: He signed up each player and gave each an accounting card. There was no fee, but on your card when you began to play he would record the amount of money that you started with.

No. 4: You were not permitted to add money to your stack without calling him over and having the additional amount added onto your card, which you kept with you at all times.

No. 5: Just like a live money game, you could go eat or be away from the table in accordance with the live poker playing rules. Basically, you could start and quit anytime you wished to do so.

No. 6: When you decided to quit for the day, you cashed out and the amount of your win or loss was recorded.

No. 7: Bill had three tournaments running at the same time, and you could play in any one or all three at the same time on the same record card. The three tourneys included:

”¡ Daily, from midnight to midnight, for those that were only going to be in town that day.

”¡ Weekly, from Saturday midnight to Saturday midnight, for those players who were in town for the week.

”¡ Monthly, from the first of the month to the end of the month, for the local or long —term visitors.

No. 8: The player who won the most money in those time periods won Mr. Boyd’s prize pools of $200, daily, $1,000 weekly and $5,000 monthly.

After a few months a few problems arose that couldn’t be controlled so the Most Money Won Texas Limit Hold’em Tournament had to be discontinued.

In effect, Boyd had to change and modify the event to stop the unethically dumping of chips from one player to another.

Sadly, a few bad poker players fouled up a very good poker promotion and the first-ever limit Texas hold’em poker tournament passed into history.

With that, it must be time for another slice of birthday cake.

Until next time remember to stay lucky.