Proper training for poker players

Sep 30, 2003 12:42 AM

Carol, last week I was talking to you and the folks about how important it is in sports, life and poker that we train our minds and bodies to be ready to play. I would like to continue to talk to the poker players about Training Like An Athlete, as my:

"Oklahoma Johnny" Poker Tip of the Week

Winning poker players require energy, stamina and most of all oxygen for the brain. When you are playing poker you will not have a coach at the table. But you can have a teacher-adviser or coach while you are getting ready to play.

You will need to train to get focused, to get your mind right!

Now let me tell you a little story about one of my poker training camps. This was about 1980. I had just retired from all of my business activities and was getting ready to win at poker.

About two months before the beginning of The World Series of Poker, Carol and I went to the Hawaiian Islands to train, to get ready and to get my mind right.

Carol Ann called it a honeymoon. But honey, you know that nothing is going to get in the way of poker.

I told you that you could be my coach and help me get into shape for the upcoming WSOP and you folks can guess what a great coach Carol was.

Our late dividend, Sarah Margaret Hale, is living proof. Our 21 year old daughter is just one of the happy results of that training camp.

I met Tommy Huffneagle on one of the islands. Tommy is one of the world’s greatest professional poker players.

Tommy was also in training and getting his mind right for the upcoming WSOP.

Folks, Carol and I loved the garden isle of Kauai and we stayed for about six weeks in Princeville, one of the wettest places on earth.

We would pack a lunch and hike for miles up the old Hawaiian trails of the Na-Pali coast, and from up high on the mountain overlooking the beautiful Pacific ocean we could watch the whales at play.

Thru the rain and the slosh of those old Hawaiian mountain trails we would hike. I was getting my body and mind ready, getting oxygen into my brain, oxygen that no one else had ever breathed before, upon top of the mountain where the winds blew fresh and pure.

Well, that poker training camp sure worked out well that year. In addition to Sarah, that year at the WSOP I was awarded the only gold bracelet ever to be given to a player for being the best all around player of the series.

This award is not given any more. I have the first and only gold bracelet ever awarded for being the best all around player of the World Series of Poker.

A few years later I was honored with another first and only at the WSOP. I am the first poker player to ever have an event in the WSOP named after them.

The Oklahoma Johnny’s "The Seniors" No Limit Hold’em World championship of Poker for simplicity it is just called "The Seniors."

So this was a very successful training camp. If you want to be a winner, you have to train like a winner and get your mind and body ready to play winning poker.

Until next time remember to always stay lucky!