It’s nice to be ‘elder statesman’

Apr 16, 2003 9:03 PM

There is a writer friend of mine who loves to warm by my fire, and from time to time drops my name or my creations ”” "The Seniors" World Championship of Poker and its Poker Players Hall of Fame ”” in his column.

Every time he uses my name, the writer tells me that it improves the class of his Âí­column.

Gosh, with kind words like that I need to shrink my head back down to size.

His references to myself are always kindly: Elder Statesman of Poker, Gentleman Gambler, First Best All Around Player of the World Series of Poker, the only player to have a WSOP named after him, The Seniors, columnist for GamingToday, the oldest gaming newspaper in the USA.

And, of course, the husband of Carol and father of Sarah.

In Oklahoma, we have a few sayings, some from Will Rogers, who said, "All I know is what I read in the papers."

So, I think it is an honor that this writer write about me in the paper, so his readers can learn about The Seniors and The Charities.

Another popular Oklahoma saying is, "I don’t care what you say about me as long as you spell my name correctly."

I’ve told this writer as he warmed by my fire to spell my name correctly, and he has. But in recent columns I think he went a little over the top when he told all of his readers that I planned to bequeath a few things to the city of Las Vegas.

The writer told his readers that Oklahoma Johnny Hale had amassed a fortune from his marriage to Carol and from The Seniors poker tournaments and the sale of his books and logo T-shirts, caps, jackets, pennants, commemorative chips and from his online poker room.

Further, he wrote that Oklahoma Johnny would bequeath his entire estate to the city of Las Vegas.

There were a few fine print stipulations, however, that the city must adhere to in order to receive all that wealth:

1. Erect an eight-foot statue of me on Fremont Street.

2. Fremont Street should change its name to Gentleman Gambler Avenue.

3. Las Vegas Boulevard must be renamed to Oklahoma Johnny Hale Boulevard.

4. McCarran Airport should be renamed to OK Johnny International Airport.

5. Oklahoma Johnny’s birthday should be declared a National Poker Holiday.

Since the revelation of my will, I’ve added a codicil:

A. Eight feet isn’t high enough for my statue.

B. I like the sound of Gentleman Gambler Avenue, and Oklahoma Johnny Hale Boulevard has a nice ring to it.

C. The airport name should be more formal: not OK Johnny, but Oklahoma Johnny Hale International Airport.

D. The national holiday should be called Oklahoma Johnny Hale’s The Seniors World Championship of Poker.

Pardon me, what is it Carol? You think the writer I’m talking about is Max because he is a genius with aptness of thought?

Well, it is Max, but I won’t go quite that far. On second thought, I agree with you honey, but do you think we should tell him?

Oklahoma Johnny’s Poker Tip of the Week

I give credit to this week’s poker tip to by old friend, Benny Binion, creator of the World Series of Poker. I’m sure Benny is busy organizing the Big Bang Series of Poker, a really big game up in the sky. But they’ll have to deal me out for a while. I’m still busy down here winning the current WSOP.

Benny told me, "The only bad luck that a gambler ever has to worry about is bad health. The rest is just temporary aggravation."

Until next time, remember to stay lucky!