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A daredevil in the poker room!

Dec 18, 2007 3:19 AM

Carol, I want to give a tip of the hat to a poker player and world-class daredevil, Evel Knievel, who has played his last poker hand, made his last jump in this life and put his name on the waiting list to play a few hands of poker in the big game in the sky.

In my youth, just a few years ago, I worshiped a lot of super heroes — Superman, Batman and Robin, The Fantastic Four, Rubber Man, The Lone Ranger, Wild Bill Hitchcock, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Babe Ruth, Joe Louis, Mickey Mantel, Joe Dimagio and many others.

I especially loved the way they dressed up in their super uniforms!

I admired the fact that they were all dedicated to truth, fairness, helping the helpless, and all were super patriots of America and the American Way of Life.

Each and every one of these super heroes could and did become role models of the younger generations.

I even went so far as to put on my cape and ride my bicycle very fast and pretend that I was a knight on a quest for the Holy Grail, to slay the dragon and save the fair ladies.

Yes, I even did dangerous (foolish?) things, like jumping my bike over ditches and standing up at high speeds!

Yes, I was a little bit of a daredevil, but of course mother never knew that I was practicing to become a super hero. But she did learn some of it when I volunteered for the Navy at the age of 17 just out of high school during World War II.

Fast forward some30 years and hear the song Mrs. Robinson: "Where did you go, Joe Dimagio ”¦ iilting Joe has gone away."

But then I was at Caesars Palace in the early 1960’s and saw a real life daredevil attempt to jump the fountains. His bike was bigger than mine, but his red, white and blue all American uniform was just like I wanted mine to be!

I identified with this young man, Evel Knievel.

I realized that this real life hero was doing the things that I had only dreamed of doing!

Fast forward another 20 years to the Maxim Hotel and Casino here in Las Vegas where my good friend, "The World’s Best Unknown Poker Player," Don Williams, was the poker room manager. I was invited by Don to drop by and help him with his efforts to create a world class poker room. At this time Don Williams was on the top ten list of money winners in the World Series of Poker.

When I sat down to play in Don’s room, he introduced me to a real live daredevil, Evel Knievel.

I enjoyed poker with Evel and put him on my list of the most unforgettable poker players that I have had the good fortune to play with in this life.

I visited with Evel several times and never grew tired of his explanations and telling me of how he carefully planned each of his world famous daredevil jumps.

Yes, he played poker just like he jumped his bikes — it was a wild ride anytime he was in a hand. But he would rather have a drink and talk and you folks all know that I like to talk a little bit also.

So it is with joy to have known Evel, and I give him the tip of my hat as I say good bye for me and all the poker players who had the once in a lifetime opportunity to play a little poker with him at the Maxim here in Fabulous Las Vegas.

OK-J Poker Tip of the Week

Luck is a just a four letter word.

But lucky is a five letter word.

Poker is another five letter word.

In the successful playing of poker there is another all important five letter word ”¦ skill.

  When you are playing poker, in the long run we all have about the same amount of luck!

  We do not all have the same amount of skill, and most of your success in playing the game of poker will be when you use what skills of poker that you have to help you stay in the poker game long enough for your fair share of luck to find you.

I always tell you stay in the game until luck finds you and then you can take the money home and count it there.

At the end of each column I tell you to stay lucky. So you must use you skill to change a four letter word, luck, into the five letters of lucky!

  Remember until next time to stay lucky.