Binion's menu: Fun and stew

Jun 23, 2009 5:03 PM
Back in the Saddle by Johnny Hale |

My wife Carol was playing in "The Seniors" World Championship of Poker which started Monday. It’s a three-day event in which I will award the WCOP/WSOP gold bracelet on Wednesday.

I’ll detail the poker happenings in next week’s GamingToday, the oldest gaming newspaper in the world. For now I want to write about some fun I have been having at the old Binion’s downtown playing poker with the whippersnappers and a few of the old folks.

Yes, I have been winning a little money, placing in the money four times at the Binion’s third annual Poker Classic that runs May 25-July 8. I have not won enough to burn up a wet mule, but enough to buy gas and take a little out of my poker bankroll.

Binion’s must have kept some of the old methods of cooking. I remember when the poker banquets at the World Series of Poker were free and the best around.

I am very happy that Binion’s did not sell the "how-to" of their famous cooking along with the WSOP.
The Hobo stew is the best in the world and they have a different bean soup every day. My favorite is the Navy bean. Come on down after The Seniors event at the WSOP and I will treat you to a bean and cornbread dinner.

All of the events that I have played in have been good size – some 200 or more with a cash pool of over $30,000. Now that’s not millions, but it is something good for a lot of folks.

In addition to making new friends with the young whippersnappers, I am happy to tell you that some of the names of poker have been dropping by the old Binion’s stomping ground where we played poker together many, many years ago.

To name a few, I ran into Barbara Enright, Susie Isaacs, Robert Turner and Amarillo Slim. We got a chance to tell some old stories and some of them were even true!

Slim once said that if a woman ever won the WSOP, he would cut his own throat with a dull butter knife. And he still remembers saying that.

One time Slim and I were negotiating the terms of a heads-up poker match between us for $1 million when I said to him, "You cannot even beat my little girl, "Oklahoma Sarah!"

The match was on at the Oklahoma Johnny Open poker tournament in Tulsa and yes, Sarah beat Slim head up – twice. Sarah is playing in the main Championship $10,000 event in the WSOP and I get to be her coach!

Barbara and I are both in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. She is pictured laying on a poker table and I am sitting on a vintage car!

The Smithsonian heard about the inauguration of "The Seniors" World Championship of Poker and sent a crew to take pictures of the open event at the old Oceanside Card Casino in Oceanside, California. They had heard that we were all old and about ready for their Museum.

Turner, "The Chip Burner," once offered me 35 percent of him in a satellite tournament when I had the chip lead. That’s 35 percent if he won. I would give him 25 percent of me if I won. Bobby won the event and I got 35 percent of his cash prize. I finished second, but got all of second money!

OK-J Tip of the Week

Remember that a player has very few chances to win a poker tournament, but his odds improve if the player selects his parents very carefully! There has never been a great poker player, who did not have a great mother!

Next year when playing with me in "The Seniors" event at the WSOP remember that after 60, one’s rule should be never to waste time over things one doesn’t want really bad! Until next time remember to Stay Lucky!!

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Johnny Hale