In poker, hang long enough to generate luck

March 11, 2008 6:00 PM
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Back in the Saddle by Johnny Hale | Carol, in the game of poker there are many things that determine who the winner of a live poker pot will be and who will be the victor of a poker tournament.

Over the course of the past 70-plus years that I have been playing the game of poker, I have enjoyed and/or suffered, the lucky win, the skillful win, the unlucky loss, the bad beat, a loss or win due to dealer error, a win without cards, losing tournaments because of a Poker Director’s ruling and decisions, winning the poker pot and losing the money!

And, many other moronic situations!

Now I will tell you the poker story of losing with the best hand, caused by dealer error. The Greek Deal, if you will.

David Sklansky is an excellent mathematician and a very good poker player. David and I have played poker as friendly opponents for the past 30 years or so. Both of us are guilty of a bad case of narcissism. I have had a few conversations with David about little things like integrating differential fractions and calculus, quantum mechanics and why things are as they are!

I have also been told by many, including Bob Stupak (creator of Vegas World and the Stupak Tower now the Stratosphere), that David has a brilliant mathematical mind.

Bob gives David credit for creating for him crapless craps and no bust blackjack. I have played these games at the old Vegas World.

David and I are the last two players remaining in a lowball poker tournament that was held back in the ’80s at the old Stardust.

This poker tournament was called the Stairway to the Stars and was created and directed by my friend Bob Thompson, The Silver Eagle.

David made me a 13-10 favorite to win the bracelet and we have settled the money. I get $13 for each $10 that David receives from the tournament prize pool.

The game is California Lowball (with the joker) and I have David all in. I have the joker and a steel wheel draw of one card. David also draws one card. The Dealer deals backward, a Greek Deal, incorrectly giving David my card and me David’s.

I have the best draw, but it’s David’s card. And, he has mine.

We call Bob Thompson over and we agree that a card is a card. David is all in. We turn them over and David wins the bracelet. I win the most money (13-10)!

OK-J Tip of the Week

Most of the time, to win a live poker game you must have enough skills to stay around long enough to find luck. You must be smart enough to get up and quit a winner.

To win a poker tourney requires many, many things.

• Enough money to get into the tournament. There are many more skillful poker players standing on the rail than you.

• Know the rules and have all the skills of the game.

• Be lucky enough when starting the hand with the best draw. Make it one that will stand up and you will win all the important pots!

When your opponent starts with the best hand, make sure you will be lucky enough to outdraw your opponent at least three times in the tournament. If so, you will defeat the best hand by catching a miracle card. I have over a 101 additional requirements to win, but the above three are the most important!