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We regret the passing of poker legend 'Bono' John Bonetti

Jul 22, 2008 7:00 PM

Back in the Saddle by Johnny Hale | Carol, today we want to give a tip of the hat to one of our poker friends!

It is with regret that we must report the passing of a great poker player, John "Bono" Bonetti, a member in good standing of "The Seniors" World Championship of Poker/Players Hall of Fame.

John was a fearless competitor at the poker table. I’ll pass along one quick story about playing with him at The Orleans Open a few years ago.

One of John’s repeated expressions when he won a hand, and even sometimes when the other player was dragging in the chips, was "Forget about it!"

Most poker players that John played with will never be able to "forget about it." He was one of the most unforgettable poker players I ever had the pleasure of playing with.

The event was a limit Omaha Hi/Lo Tournament, one of John’s and my favorite types of poker! We were at the final table, the chips were in the pot and the winner would be the champion.

I had the big flush and John flopped a set. I raised him all in and John, quick as a wink, called me! I turned over the big flush and John turned over the big set. He began to chant, "Board to pair, board to pair, board to pair!

The turn card was a blank, but John continued that chant. The board did pair on the river. John beat me one more time, but then turned and said softly, "Johnny, forget about it."

I have never forgotten about it!

To the fellows in the big game upstairs, save me a seat on John’s left. And, don’t ever let John go into a chant or you will have to "forget about it."

To the business at hand, we did play Oklahoma Hold’em all week at the Summer Poker Rodeo in Pendleton, Oregon at the Wildhorse Casino. The Waddies up there liked the game and the head wrangler, Roland Waters, said he is considering putting Oklahoma Hold’em in the Fall Poker Roundup at Wildhorse in November.

It is an exciting game and puts some fire and life back into the old Texas Hold’Em. Here is just one of the ways Okie Hold’em can be played.

 Like Texas Hold’em, it follows the same blinds, antes, bets, flops and the turn cards. The big change is that there’s no river card. Instead, it’s an Ocean card, an Oklahoma Johnny card or simply an Okie card!

 If still in the pot when the old river card is turned up as a fifth common card, you would receive the Okie or Johnny card as your third personal card.

Players may arrange their three personal cards and the four common in the best way possible to make a five-card poker hand. This puts some gamble back into the game. A poker player may have three different blinds, four of a kind, a full house or just about any hand. A lot of the time he is the only one who holds that hand since there are very few split pots.

Try it and I bet you’ll like it!

I talked to the poker officials at the Orleans in Vegas about sitting in the Oklahoma Hold’e0m game next week! Come on out. I will bring some of my own chips and some money!

OK-J Tip of the Week

It has been said that love and laughter hold us together! I like to say, "The family that plays poker together stays together!"