Exclusive Content   Join Now

Heat it up with a freeze out!

Apr 6, 2004 2:24 AM

I recall telling you about Bill Boyd, (a member of The Seniors Poker Players Hall of Fame) legendary poker room manager of the old Golden Nugget Poker Room, and I forgot to tell you something that you may want to know.

Bill would play Freeze-out Poker for large sums of money with anyone.

A freeze-out is when each player puts up a certain amount of money and, within the rules that both players agreed to, play until one player has won all the money.

It’s similar to a regular poker tournament, except this is just between two players.

Many times during a poker game, one player will become unhappy with the way another player has played a hand and "unpleasantries" will be exchanged. Sometimes, one of them will challenge the other to a freeze-out, just between the two of them.

In medieval days they would settle the dispute with a duel. A Code Duello: The Rules of Dueling in accordance with "American Duels and Hostile Encounters," Chilton Books, 1963.

The Code Duello, covering the practice of dueling and points of honor, was drawn up and settled at Clonmel Summer Assizes, 1777, by gentleman-delegates of Tipperary, Galway, Sligo, Mayo and Roscommon. The Code was generally also followed in England and on the Continent with some slight variations. In the early Western United States the rules were followed, although occasionally there were some glaring deviations.

I have been challenged a few times and my usual response is, OK, but I get to make the rules and/or choose the weapons.

My weapon of choice is 30 paces with a wet noodle!

Remind me and someday I will tell you about one of my freeze-outs with a world champion poker player by the name of Grand Rapids Tom McEvoy up at Lake Tahoe in one of Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowls of Poker. That’s another story for another day.

Because I have too many stories started, let me see if I can pull this one together. I first wanted to tell you about one of Bill Boyd’s freeze-outs.

Both of these fellows have already gone to the big game up in the sky, so they will not be able to defend themselves from what I am about to tell you, but I will protect the other player by just calling him "Sarge."

Well, Sarge was a big, full time gambler and would bet on anything at anytime and was quite successful at winning, so much so, that the IRS wanted to be his partner and would follow him around the different casinos in Las Vegas and if they found him with any chips in from of him they would just reach down and claim them for the IRS’s part of their partnership.

Well, as you would guess after the IRS picked up the chips in front of him a few times Sarge wanted to dissolve the partnership — so one of the rules that Sarge made with Bill in their freeze-out contest was that Bill would hold all the chips in front of himself, and Sarge would call his bets out of Bill’s stack, so that if Sarge’s partners (the IRS) were to come into the casino, Sarge would have no chips in front of him for the IRS to pick up.

I watched the contest with a long time friend of mine and Bill’s (Ted Horner, who went with me and Johnny Moss to Bill’s home in Las Vegas, when Bill was inducted into The Seniors Poker Players Hall of Fame). Ted and I asked Bill how he was able to keep track of which chips were his and which chips were Sarge’s.

And Bill told us "Well fellows, Sarge wanted to play real bad and I just trusted him to give me a fair count at the end."

As I told you before, I have kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland and have a license to tell tall tales and that at least 97% of everything I tell you is true.

If I put up a line on this story, which side would you take? The line is 8-5 that it’s true. E-mail me your bet, and like Bill said of Sarge, you can trust me to give you a fair count.

Oklahoma Johnny Poker Tip of the Week

Trust the other poker players to do the same thing over and over. As they play each hand, watch them —poker players are creatures of habit. They will repeat the same things over and over again.

You can pick up tells on them, what they did, how they bet. They will do the same things again and again. Trust the players are telling you what the value of their cards are by what actions they take, and if you can, make a book on them. In football they call this tendencies but in poker we call them tells. Trust the other poker player, his tells will be the same today, and tomorrow, and you can take the money to the bank.

You’ll always take the money, if you remember to Stay Lucky.