Playing both sides of the coin

Sep 18, 2006 5:19 AM

Even though it’s taken awhile for this epic to reach its dénouement, just like Paul Harvey I’m ready to give you the rest of the story.

As you recall, I left off last week after I’d just made my first million and was paying off the banks and the bootlegger.

I got one/half of my capital from the banks and the other half from Oklahoma’s kingpin bootlegger, Big Mac.

I went to see Big Mac, who had received his pardon for tipping the sheriff. He had been in prison for toking a sheriff when his liquor trucks were stopped on a run from Kansas into Oklahoma.

The governor of Oklahoma had issued him a pardon on the gov’s last day in office.

I told Mac, "I got it done and made a little money and I want to share it with you. I want to pay you what you lent me and give you some of the profit."

But Mac wouldn’t have any of it. "No, Johnny, you helped me with my boy and I owe you a lot. Do you remember what you took down?"

I told him yes, but that he should let me share with him. " I couldn’t have pulled it off without your help."

But he said no. "Just give me what I lent you, that’s all I want right now. But I am going to retire from the liquor business and I want you to invest my money in some legit business."

I told him I would look around for something; that I was thinking of the wholesale plumbing business that might be good for Mac.

But the following week, Big Mac was gunned down by the other bootleggers. They did not know that Big Mac was retiring and that I was going to invest his money in a legitimate business.

But that’s a story for another column.

Making my first million required two different kinds of luck, two different kinds of smart.

With the bank, everything was strictly business — with mortgages and all kinds of

paper work — the college smart kid got that done.

Then there was the bootlegger who would take no interest. This was the street smart kid that got that done.

I walked on both sides of the street: The silk stocking neighborhoods of South Tulsa where the highest stakes games of poker were played; and the pool room side of the street, where all the bookies played gin rummy for a hundred thousand dollars in a 100-point game gin game, and poker was good and life was good and I was lucky!

OK-J Poker Tip of the Week

When you are playing poker never wake up a sleeping dog — he may bite you.

If a player is losing and losing, do not say anything to him in any way about how he is playing or that he is losing; do not tease him in any way.

You may wake him up and he may get mad at you and change the way he is playing.

Until next time remember to stay lucky.