Back in the Saddle by Johnny Hale | Carol, in the world of poker it is the best and worst of times.
The World Series of Poker is in full session and it seems as if everyone has come to Las Vegas for the brass ring. Every poker room in town is receiving the overflow from the WSOP.
I visit various places around Vegas and play in different tournaments. This is a fun time of year for poker players, but it is also sad when dreams do not come true and the players’ bankrolls disappear!
It was the worst of times for my friend Dr. Jerry Buss (member in good standing of "The Seniors" World Championship of Poker/Hall of Fame and Los Angeles Lakers owner), whose team lost in the NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics.
But Jerry will be here soon to enjoy the best of times, while playing in the WSOP tournament called The Seniors at the Series!
There will always be next year!
My method of play is to compete in a few satellites and win my way into some of the majors of the WSOP. My first effort was a success and for an investment of $340, I won four $500 buy-in chips. So I played another and for $125 I won two more $500 buy-ins.
I sold two of them for $1,000 dollars and was now on the plus side just over $500. It’s good to be king!
I invested three of the remaining chips in the Razz tournament. My record at the WSOP in Razz is three third place finishes and many final tables. So I can sleep a little and play Razz.
There were about 460 Razz players and I knew a lot of them. I played with some degree of luck and skill as the tournament started at 5 p.m.
They called a halt for the night at about 3 a.m. There were 106 players remaining and I had averaged chips of $11,300.
I misunderstood the restart time. Being tired and needing a little sleep, I went home, took a sleeping pill and woke up at 5:30 p.m.
I took my shower and arrived at my seat, but there were only two chips left in my stack. With some 60 players remaining in the Razz tournament, I was roughly 12 players out of the money.
The restart time was 3 p.m. and all my pretty hard earned Razz chips had gone the way of the Dodo bird. It is bad to oversleep!
But in the heart of a poker player there is resilience, and I still had the $1,000 in my pocket. At 7 p.m. they were having a WSOP nightly $340 No-Limit Hold’em tournament.
So I had supper and then bought my way into the No-Limit event.
On my first hand, I played a 5 and 6 of clubs for a $50 big blind call!
Several players were in the pot and the flop was good – 8 of hearts, 7 of clubs, 4 of clubs. I had flopped a straight with an up and down straight flush draw.
The turn card was another 4 and I know by the action that one of those other players now has me beat with a full house. I check. Maybe they do not have a full house.
The final river card was the 3 of clubs making me the straight flush. I made a little bet of $1,500. The raiser shows down an ace high flush in clubs, while the other one has the full. I have the baby straight flush.
I went on to win No-Limit Hold’em wire-to-wire at about 4 a.m. Money, but no bracelet in a field of 260. All from oversleeping.
OK-J Tip of the Week:
When playing poker, don’t fear going broke on each hand!
Practice kindness and intelligence, but know those along with skill will not always omit pitfalls. Danger is part of the game.