The ‘reddest’ of red games

August 28, 2007 12:50 AM
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Carol, for the past several weeks I have been writing columns about cheating in poker and I decided to call them the "Red Games of Poker."

I know you have told me to keep still or I may have to walk into Lake Mead until my hat floats, but I am going to write just one more, then I will be quiet (maybe) for a while.

In the movies when cheating is discovered and the cheat is caught with an extra ace up his sleeve, there is usually summary justice and the cheater gets his lethal comeuppances, sooner rather than later.

In the poker rooms of old, we had a code that was used when a lady walked into the room. I will send an autographed copy of my book, "The Gentleman Gambler," to all who will e-mail me at www.Oklajohnny@aol.com and give me the code for when a lady enters a room.

Now, here it is the reddest of red poker games. This game was invented in Oklahoma as the quickest means of relieving the sucker of his poke.

At the poker games that I played in Oklahoma in the late 40s, 50s and early 60s we would play what was called "Choose ”˜em" or dealer’s choice.

Only the dealer would ante and he would deal each player two hole cards, then he would look at his two hole cards and choose the game he wished to play. He was the only one who anted and you could play or throw your cards away.

Here are some of the games you have not played that came out of those games: Poker Blackjack (31 and 45), Roll’em five card stud, Buy ”˜em and a few others, including a game that folks play today. That game is the reddest of all poker games.

The name of the game was Baja Oklahoma and Oakie Hold’em.

A few Texas boys came up to play with us and changed the name to Texas Hold’em!

From these Oklahoma games came two hit men by the name of Mr. X and Mr. Y (names withheld to protect the guilty), who took the game to the Golden Nugget in the early 50s and introduced the game to Bill Boyd, the poker room manager of the Golden Nugget.

Well, Bill loved the game and started the first ever Texas Hold’em poker tournaments.

From these games came me, who played with Benny and the boys before there was a World Series of Poker, and I managed to win the only Best All Around Player Bracelet in the 1980 WSOP ever given to a player for finishing at the final table in five different events.

From these games came other world known poker players who have won many championships in poker (e-mail me for a list of the names).

How would you have liked to play a few hands with these folks?

Now, why is Baja Okie Hold’em (aka Texas Hold’em) the reddest of all poker games?

Well, it isn’t when it is played with the Shuffle-Master poker dealing machine, which in my opinion should be used in all poker championships.

Previously I told you folks about the "red mechanic," a dealer who is a magician in dealing the poker games, someone who can pull a card out of your ear or from any place else that he may wish!

Now, in Baja Okie Hold’em or Texas Hold’em, the red mechanic does not have to worry about the whole deck, just a slug of a few cards, from which he can give you and others the hole cards that he wants you to have. Moreover with just eight cards he can control the flop, the turn and the river.

Yes, I will be 2l times 4 less 4 equals 80 years old on September the 30, and Kathy Raymond, director of poker operations at the Venetian has invited me to celebrate my 80th birthday with her and the poker players at the Venetian during a three day poker birthday party.

I would like to invite all (yes, Max, you are invited) to come and join the party in which I would like to play a few hands with all of you. This will be September 28-30 at the Venetian poker room.

OK-J Poker Tip
of the Week

Thanks to "Oklahoma Sarah" for this week’s tip.

As strong as your desire may be to play poker in a cash game after you have just finished playing in a long poker tournament, forget it — this is never a good idea.

The best course of action is to go home and analyze your game honestly and allow your brain and body to wind down.

The games will be there tomorrow. After a long poker tournament you are wound up too tight and your adrenaline is too high to make the transition to playing in a cash game; you will not feel the ebb and flow of an aggressive cash poker game.

Never be a prostitute to the game. Test your self discipline and the poker Gods will praise you the next time you play. If you cannot exercise self control and must play then play in a poker game of the lowest limit possible.

Thank you OK-S for that excellent advice. I will try to remember not to play poker soon after a tournament.

Until next time remember to stay lucky.