Falling for Niagara

Jan 30, 2006 5:06 AM

Carol, we have arrived at the beautiful new hotel here in Niagara Falls, which is only four blocks from Niagara Falls.

The hotel is so new that we are the first to sleep in these rooms. The hotel will be 23 stories high when it is completed, but they have finished only the first 15 floors and are working now on the final top eight floors.

They will have the hotel completed before we come back next year.

This is the Inaugural of the Seneca Niagara Casino’s World Poker Classic, Jan. 24 through Feb. 2.

I am honored to have them name one of the events for me: "The Oklahoma Johnny Hale Poker Championship" of the Seneca Nation of Indians in Niagara Falls, New York.

Yes, folks this is the opening day of this future classic, and all the poker players received a welcoming statement to New York, The Empire State, by Governor George Pataki, and Mike Gainey, the Seneca director of poker.

I wish to thank my friend Byron Liggett of the publicity marketing department of the Seneca Niagara Casino for some of the information and comments in this column about the inaugural of the Seneca World Poker Classic.

The World Poker Classic is like a tribal gathering. They are all here, the wise old chiefs, aggressive young warriors, and a lot of Indians and some cowboys!

Yes, the good, the bad, the want-to-be’s and the beautiful Oklahoma Sarah, who will sing to the poker players.

It is going to be quite a pow-wow with Mike Gainey acting as Sitting Bull, the most respected tournament chief in the whole poker nation.

It is going to be a big hunting party and every poker player is on the prowl. The big game they will be after is the wampum and the trophies to hang on the wall — there will be a winning poker trophy from each of the events.

Poker can be a mean game, with it’s agony and ecstasy, delight and despair. Poker can make grown men cry and wonder why, It can make you pray (and mean it) and it can — as Clint Eastwood said — make your day.

Poker is survival in a hostile world of flying chips and cards, where the odds do not always work correctly and justice is sometimes a coincidence.

Remember, poker is not a day care center. Some of the players may throw a tantrum, but nobody is changing diapers and the wads in the pants are just wads of cash.

Over the next 10 days, there will be attacks and assaults, stand-offs and yes, poker shoot outs.

Was I born 60 years too soon? No, I like it just like it is. After all I have had my 15 minutes many times over — and the clock is still running.

Oklahoma Johnny Poker Tip of the Week!

A tournament poker player must be focused to win every minute of the tournament. If you sleep or day dream you will wake up broke.

A tournament poker player must be ready and willing to try to win each pot that he puts his chips in.

A winning tournament poker player must have the courage to risk all of his chips and win or go broke on every hand that he selects to play, if it is a no limit tournament.

You do not run away to play another day. You win today or you die!

Until next time remember to stay lucky.