Bob Stupak, aka the Polish Maverick, is a master promoter and was "the man" at the old Vegas World hotel-casino for many years, and originated many gaming promotions at his casino in Las Vegas.
Just to name a few of his innovations, Crapless Craps, wherein he changed the method of play in craps: You could not lose on the come out roll ”” when you rolled snake-eyes (or 2) or ace-deuce, or boxcars (dual 6’s), they just became another point like any other "normal" point (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10).
If you don’t remember Bob’s Vegas World, it was located where the current Stratosphere Tower now stands, and featured a crazy space-ship theme with planets, space ships and spacemen tethered to the faÃ§ade of the hotel tower.
While he had a dream, he worked to make it come true. In a sense, Bob was a modern day P.T. Barnum, a real showman.
But Bob ran into trouble with the local powers that be; the uptown Strip casinos did not like it when he used the term, The Beginning of the Las Vegas Strip. So they brought in all the local politicians to block construction of his Stratosphere, as well as federal regulators, specifically the FAA, which complained that among other things his tower would interfere with airplanes landing at McCarran airport.
Do you remember the movie, King Kong? Do you recall the ape climbing the Empire State Building in New York with the beautiful girl in one of his big hands, and then the airplanes shooting him off the tower?
Well, I had a good friend, Clyde Quick, who owned a steel company that was building the tower. And you may remember that I used to be in construction and engineering, so Clyde showed me the plans that Stupak had drawn up for a mechanical King Kong climbing up the side of the tower.
Actually, the big ape would be part of an elevator that gave visitors a ride up to the top of the tower, where there are other thrill rides.
My friend Clyde is now at the "big game upstairs," and Stupak is no longer "the man" at the Stratosphere, but it would not surprise me ”” considering all the side shows that make up Las Vegas ”” that we will live to see the monkey climb the tower, all the way to the top.
My wife, Carol, says that she still wants to be the beautiful girl in my arms when we are riding with King Kong to the top of the Stupak Tower.
Oklahoma Johnny’s Poker Tip of the Week
Always take a jacket or coat with you when you go to play poker. Sometimes you would think that they keep the butter in the card room; if you are uncomfortable or cold when you play, the cards will be cold as well.
Remember to stay lucky!
(Oklahoma Johnny is the author of "Gentleman Gambler" and founder of The Seniors World Championship of Poker and The Seniors Charities.