Baldwin can sit at my table any time

October 09, 2007 1:45 AM
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Carol, our daughter "Oklahoma Sarah" Hale won my "OK-J 80th birthday poker party tournament at the Venetian last week.

Okie Sarah defeated some really good, well known poker players! I said to her honey write it up in your next column! She said "No Dad — people with think I brag"!

I reminded her that we have many sayings in Oklahoma and the one that comes to mind is, "If it is truth, it’s not brag."

So folks watch for "Okie Sarah’s" next column. I will get her to write about how she got lucky again and beat one of the greatest players of all time — Perry Green. The man from Alaska is a member in good standing of "The Seniors" WCOP/Poker Players Hall of Fame. It is said that no one remembers who came in second, but I will tell you Perry Green was the poker player that finished runnerup to the great Stu Ungar when Stu won the WSOP Championship.

But now folks, I would like to continue with the series of articles that I am writing here in GamingToday about the greatest poker players of my lifetime that I have had the honor and opportunity of playing a few hands of poker with.

Today’s selection is a one of a kind, Bobby Baldwin. I have played all the games with Bobby — Poker in Oklahoma and during the WSOP Championships, Gin Rummy 4,5,6, Black Jack, Baccarat, and some Baja Okie poker (aka, Texas Hold’em!)

Not to mention, which Cockroach would win the race to cross a line on the poker table!

I have known Bobby and his family in Tulsa ever since Bobby was a lad. Now I must tell you this (but do not get the wrong idea) that I did not trust Bobby!

His marker is good

One time I got lucky and busted him in a home game in Tulsa, and Bobby wanted to borrow a sum to continue to play in the game. One of my rules is I do not loan money and continue to play against money that I have loaned in the game!

I told Bobby no, but you can have all my money as soon as I quit playing in this game. Now considering that when Steve sold out to the MGM (that Bobby got a golden parachute of a few million dollars) it makes me look a little conservative in my lending practices.

I asked Bobby the other day if he had time to play a little Gin. Unfortunately we could not schedule a match. I told him,"Bobby, you are just too busy. Slow down and smell the roses!"

Now let me tell you about a hand I played with Bobby during the $10,000 WSOP Championship event. We were playing down at the old Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas, Nevada and down to two tables with only 16 or 17 players left. I had two queens and bet him $400. He has a remarkable memory so having studied for a while, threw his hand away showing me two jacks.

Then he said to me, "Johnny, last time we were in a hand you bet me $200 with two jacks. This time you have better than jacks, so take the pot!"

Years ago, I would have busted him. Now he knows me and can remember each bet I have made. He can read me like a book and most every other player he plays poker with or any business associate who sits down across the board room table from him.

As soon as he gets a little bit older, I will nominate him for membership in "The Seniors" WCOP/Poker Players Hall of Fame. No, I have never asked Bobby for a comp for me. But I have introduced him to a few bankers who wanted me to get them a tee time out at an exclusive golf course here in Las Vegas.

Tune in next week and meet another of the famous poker players of my lifetime!

Tip of the Week

Be very careful about repeating anything that you do at the poker table! "If you take off your glasses when you make a certain bet, some players will remember what your cards were and how you played the hand."

If you take a drink of water, the same thing will happen. The good winning players are watching your every move, every action, and making a book of memories of how you play.

As Bobby Baldwin did in the above hand that I played with him, good players with excellent memories will remember how you played a certain hand for a lifetime.

You must not be a pattern player. Make your bets and actions different. Learn to chew gum and ride a bicycle. Then do not chew gum when you ride that bicycle

at the same time!

And you can take the money home and count it there! Until next time remember to Stay Lucky!

Okie Gov. sites Hale

The Governor of Oklahoma signed a special Proclamation from the Oklahoma Legislature naming Johnny Hale the State’s Favorite Son on his eightieth birthday. The proclamation is also signed by Hale’s grandson Eric, the youngest member in the Oklahoma Legislature.

Hale is now in a select group of 30 other Oklahomans, including the legendary Will Rogers, who have received this honor.