Tourists don’t like ‘fold’em’

Apr 4, 2006 2:52 AM

Carol, time to pack the bags again — we are off to Oklahoma, the heartland of poker!

You know, dear, that whatever happened here in Vegas ”¦ started in Oklahoma!

We are going to host the Oklahoma Johnny Hale Open Poker Tournament at the Cherokee Casino and Resort in Catoosa, Oklahoma, April 6-9.

The 35-table poker room is only a few minutes from Tulsa International Airport.

There will be a ladies tournament, a Seniors World Championship of Poker tournament and then the Oklahoma Johnny Hale Championship.

I want to invite all of our friends to come to the Sooner State where we play something besides football and fish; we also play a lot of poker.

Yes, we even play wild poker games: those that are not played in the Las Vegas casinos.

Let me tell you about one of them, No Fold’em Hold’em poker, which was actually played at the Orleans here in town.

We have all played Dr. Pepper (10-2-4), in which all of the tens, deuces, and fours are wild cards — and some of this concept is used in video poker machines, where deuces are wild.

That is one of the reasons why people sometimes play the video poker machines, because they get to play more hands and can make bigger hands of poker with the use of wild cards.

In Oklahoma, at our kitchen table poker games, we have all played Spit in the Ocean and any other dealer’s choice game that someone could dream up, but in a serious poker game, we try to stay away form the use of wild cards.

Winning poker requires a great amount of expertise, patience, time, experience, and knowledge of human nature.

Winning poker sometimes can be very boring, mundane, and time-consuming. On the other hand, losing poker can be a lot of fun until the losing player loses his bankroll.

A winning player who is all business sits patiently waiting for good starting hands, but the losing player has a lot of fun and enjoys himself by playing lots of marginal hands. He knew that he was going to lose when he started to play, so the winning players should entertain him and try not to embarrass him or make him uncomfortable in any way.

It is good business to take care of the producer. I have heard so many times about tourists who come to Las Vegas to play some poker with "Oklahoma Johnny" or some other known player, and say that they brought only so much money to lose.

So, let them lose it and enjoy themselves.

They did not come to play "fold’em" poker. They came to play hold’em poker, so let them play and let them make all the mistakes they want to make. They are having a good time, and that is what they came for.

If you embarrass them, not only will you hurt their feelings and make them quit playing with you, and make yourself a lifelong enemy, you will hurt the game and your chance of winning.

Now, I said all of that in order to tell you a little story about a really wild, fun no-fold’em poker game.

I always like to work in a little poker before I eat, to try to win enough to cover the toke. I get a lot of comp dinners so I do not have to worry about the check.

But dad always told me to be good to the cook, so I try to leave a nice toke.

So I am trying to win a toke and yes, a little bit for gas money as I take a seat in the $10-$20 limit hold’em game out at my favorite poker room — I play a lot at the Orleans.

I bought in for $500. I had just gotten situated in my seat, had put in my blind behind the button, and had introduced myself to the tourist on the button.

Well, when the tourist was dealt his first card, it accidentally tipped over; it was the 4 of hearts. (The dealer stated that it was the player’s fault that the card had turned over, and that he would have to keep it and play it as part of his hand.)

The pot was raised before it got to me, and I had to add $10 more to the pot, which I did (I had the 10 and 5 of clubs).

I already had $10 in the pot, and since this was a big hand for me — I could make straights, a flush, two different fours of a kind, and lots of full houses — I followed my half-in rule (in for an ounce, in for a pound).

Now, the tourist on the button turned over his other card, which was the 5 of diamonds, and said, "Well, I already showed you players one of my cards. I will just show you both of them and raise the pot!"

The pot got capped, and I played for the full $50. With five-way action, there was $250 in the pot already. The flop came off rainbow Dr. Pepper, 10-2-4.

I was sure that the other three players had name-brand hands — you know, the Class A hands like aces, kings, queens, or A-K suited — because they each had put $50 in the pot before the flop.

Well, it was bet and capped, and I had put in my $50 because the tourist with his exposed 5-4 was one of the raisers, and I had him beat because I had a 10.

The turn card was a 5. It got checked all the way around to the tourist with his exposed two pair, fives and fours. He bet the $20, and I’ll be darned, because the pot was so big now, the aces, kings, and queens all called. So, when it got back to me, I slipped in a raise myself!

I had two bigger pair and I could see that the tourist was going to raise it again, and I didn’t want the other three players drawing, as they could hit an ace, king, or queen to make a set, or a deuce to make bigger two pairs — and the pot was too big to let them draw without paying.

They all folded, because they knew it was going to get capped again and they had all of this that they wanted.

Well, I have a little heart left, so I don’t re-raise the tourist. He is playing his hand open with the two pair.

The final card comes off, which is a 3, and I check it to the tourist I am trying to be friendly I do not want to take advantage of his open hand, and I am ready to check it out.

But the tourist takes it the wrong way, thinking that he has the best hand, and bets out.

Well, I didn’t want to do it, but the devil got into me and I raised. We then got into a raising war until all of my original $500 was in the pot.

I had tried not to take advantage of the tourist by not re-raising him on the turn after the other three players were gone, and he took it the wrong way and tried to punish me. So, I just let him punish me — until he got all of my money into the pot.

It is the code of the West that you should let a tourist enjoy himself when he gets the chance. I now had toke money for dinner, so I gave up my seat, as there was a big waiting list and a crowd watching the game.

When I came back after dinner (I left a nice toke), I couldn’t believe it when I saw that the tourist had almost all of the money in the game — and I couldn’t get a seat.