Seniors tourney’s one for the ages

Dec 2, 2002 10:04 PM

   The Seniors World Championship of Limit Hold ”˜em Poker was held last month at “The Wonder of it All,” Foxwoods Resort Casino out in the woods of the state of Connecticut.

   The Championship was held as a part of the 2002 World Poker Finals which is held each year at Foxwoods.

   My wife Carol and I were invited by Kathy Raymond, Director of Poker Operations, to return for the second year to host The Seniors at Foxwoods. The event is sponsored by The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

   The Seniors players and followers are the best customers that a casino could ever hope to have because they have money to spend and time to spend it. Moreover; the Seniors never cause any trouble as they are very easy going and have stood the test of time.

   My wife Carol, who is president of The Seniors Charities, and I have been hosting The Seniors poker events all over the world for over 10 years, and during all of these poker tournaments, the events directors and staff have never had to issue a warning of any kind to any of The Seniors players for misconduct.

   Just a time or two it has been necessary to wake them up when it is their turn to play because at The Seniors we do not take the usual breaks each hour or so during the play. We just take a senior moment or two — you know, I was just resting my eyes of course, I was not asleep!

   The Seniors Limit Hold ”˜em Poker Tournament began at 10 a.m. which is real good for seniors because we get up early each day and are ready to play and as a matter of fact, you can almost set your watch by the time some seniors come into their home poker rooms to play. They are the first ones there in the morning to help the card room manager and staff get the poker games of the day going in the cardrooms, and most cardroom managers recognize them and have doughnuts, sweet rolls and coffee ready and waiting for them each morning.

   I am not going to name all of the seniors players, but it would read like a who is who of the poker world and some of the kids try to sneak in under the wire and are counting the days until they too can play in The Seniors, but of course some of The Seniors do not want everyone to know that they qualify to play as a senior, but I will name a couple that there is no question of their age. I have been playing with Amarillo Slim for so long that he must be a senior, and Barry Shulman of the Card Player Magazine has a boy Jeff that reached the final table of the World Series at Binions’ a couple of years ago so I don’t think he will mind being called a senior.

   But the rules are that you must be at least 50 to play and collect money in a The Seniors event. If you cannot prove that you are 50 any prize money that you may have won would just be donated in your name to The Seniors Charities.

   At last years The Seniors poker tournament at Foxwoods there were 115 seniors that played. This year Foxwoods added $2,000 to the cash prize pool and we had an almost 40% increase because 158 seniors put up $300+40 to play.

   Yes, Kathy has already invited my wife Carol and I to return next year to again host “The Seniors” World Championship of Limit Hold ”˜em.

   Top Ten Tournament Results for November 15, 2002 “The Seniors” Championship $300 Limit Hold ”˜em.

1.      David Fox, $16,796

2.      Alan Fidellow, $9,880

3.      Betty Robinson, $4,940

4.      Stanley Walkanowski, $3,705

5.      Henry Olszewski, $2,717

6.      Leonard Levin, $1,976

7.      Michael Butler, $1,482

8.      William Hammel, $1,235

9.      Phil Cooper, $988

10.  Richard Ohmann            $741


   “The Oklahoma Johnny” poker tip of the week:

   When it’s your turn to act on your hand, you may call or check but be sure that you consider the third option. Always raise the pot at every possible opportunity. Remember that it is often cheaper even if you lose the pot to have raised it than just to be a calling station. The raise is the best tool in your poker toolbox, so use it and you will like the results.

   Excuse me, I have to go up to my ranch up in Arizona. It is up in the high country and I have to close it down for the winter then I will go on down and see Michael at Fort McDowell in Phoenix and play a few hands of poker with him.

   Until next time remember to Stay Lucky!

   Oklahoma Johnny” is the author of the book “Gentleman Gambler” and the founder of “The Seniors” World Championship of Poker and “The Seniors” Charities and can be contacted at or e-mail him at [email protected].