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Don’t be an
April Fool!

Apr 1, 2003 4:01 AM

As you know, today (Tuesday) is April Fools Day, but you know I would never try to fool you or mislead you in any way. At least 93 percent of everything I tell you in this column will be true, so to keep the bar high and keep it up there, I will just skip the April Fool’s jokes and be really serious today.

Las Vegas is my beat and I love Las Vegas, for many reasons.

First, it is a 24-hour, seven-day town that never shuts down. You can always find action. The line on this is off the board.

Second, there is honesty and honor among the poker players. I would rather trust a poker player than a doctor, lawyer, politician, police officer, preacher, teacher, president or Indian chief, or the French foreign minister to the United Nations. Or, for that matter, any high muckety-muck that you can name.

Unless the high muckety-mucks are also poker players, then you can trust them to always be honorable in every way. April Fools? The line is 8-5 that I mean it.

Next, everything in Las Vegas is based on ability, skill, hard work and effort, and has nothing to do with whomever you may know or what muckety-muck may be a close friend or who you sleep with, or who is your brother-in-law, or whether or not you have juice and/or money.

This town is pure, that’s why I love Las Vegas, and that’s why I’ve made Las Vegas my home. The city is true blue and always honest and believable. April Fools? The line is 100-1 that I believe this.

Excuse me just a minute. Yes, Carol? Oh, you want to know where I dreamed up "muckety-muck?" Yes, dear, I will tell you.

Years ago, the Chinook Indians of the Pacific Northwest were avid travelers and in the course of their history, a trade language developed that came to be known as Chinook jargon based on a combination of Chinook and other tribal languages along with English and French.

The Chinook jargon term (hayo makamak) meant "plenty to eat" and by a process called folk etymology, in which a word of another language is transformed to a more familiar sounding term, hayo was identified with "high."

The spelling and meaning of the entire phrase was then transformed so that beginning in the 19th century, the term "high muck-a-muck" referred to a self-important person.

Since then the expression has taken on several variations including "high mucky-muck" and "high muckety-muck."

A Carol, nowadays, the "high" is often dispensed entirely. April Fools? The line is 5-1.

Carol and I just got back from our annual trip to the Reno Hilton, where we hosted "The Seniors" No Limit Charity Poker Tournament.

It was a wonderful tournament, and I will tell you all about it in a future column.

The next "Seniors" event will be held on May 4 at the World Series of Poker at Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas.

I hosted the inaugural Seniors at the World Series in 2001, and was pleased that 340 of my senior friends came out to play.

Then last year, at "The Seniors" IX World Championship of Poker at the World Series, I was happy to host 396 senior players.

Carol will have to be the hostess out at the Second Chance No Limit Charity Poker Tournament at The Orleans on May 20-22 because I will still be busy winning the Big One at the World Series of Poker! I have already won my seat by playing in a Binion’s double shootout satellite, and plan to be the oldest man to ever win the $10,000 final poker championship event.

Carol says that if she has 200 or more players that she plans to award $100,000 to the winner of the second chance.

Then on July 17, Carol and I will be hosting The Seniors at the Orleans Open.

Oklahoma Johnny’s Poker Tip of the Week

Do not daydream or take a "The Seniors" moment when you are playing poker. You must concentrate when you are playing poker.

If the cards break even and they will, it will be an even contest. The player with the best concentration will almost always win and you can take the money on home.

Until next time, remember to stay lucky.