The best seat in the house!

May 4, 2004 3:05 AM

Yes, Carol, it is good to get back home to Las Vegas, where I sure want to play a few satellites and win my seat in the Big One at the World Series of Poker.

I told the folks that I was going on a poker trip to Tulsa and them down to the home of "The Seniors" World at the Grand Hotel in Tunica, Mississippi.

You can take a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. You can take the boy to the city, but you cannot take the country out of the boy.

Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and all of the heartland of America is so beautiful in the spring.

I have learned to love it here in the desert of Las Vegas, but I was born in Oklahoma and the roots go deep.

Last week I teased the folks a little bit about choosing a lucky seat when they sit down to play a few hands of poker.

But I have so much to tell you and the folks ”” especially about playing with Chris Moneymaker (the defending champion of the WSOP) at the inaugural TV poker series, "The River Poker Tour."

I have been asked to be a consultant to this new production and to help with the color, announcing and carrying the money to the bank.

More about the show and playing poker with Chris a little later. But right now a promise made is a promise I want to keep! Last week, I told the folks I would tell them a secret about how to pick a lucky seat when they sit down to play a few hands of poker.

I received a lot of response about the answer; some of them were close to the answer, but no one won my book, "The Gentleman Gambler."

Now, first you know that I do not believe in levitation or the power that the mind can sometimes have over inanimate objects like poker cards. But I do believe in luck and I do believe in math.

Let’s first take a look at a casino game that I love to play — blackjack ”” now if I could pick the lucky seat in blackjack, it would be the dealer’s seat!

In the buying and selling real estate you want location, location, location. And in poker you want position, position, position.

All blackjack players must act first on their hands ”” stand, double down, split, surrender or hit. In the making of all those decisions each player has the chance of being right or wrong and of being lucky or unlucky.

The second best seat at the blackjack table is third base or the last player to act before the dealer acts.

I say all that to illustrate a little bit and to explain to you the importance of position and first and last action.

In no limit hold’em, and in most poker games, you want the aggressive players ”” not the callers, but the raisers ”” you want these poker players on your right so that they take their action first.

So, the lucky seat is always to the left of the aggressive or players who are always raising the pot.

When I go fishing I want to put my line in just as close as I can to where the last fish was caught.

Oklahoma Johnny’s Poker Tip of the Week

Let’s look at how poker cards have a certain rhythm or sequence or rotation.

Poker cards seem to know who respects them and they come back to visit certain seats. They return to the same seat sometimes for hours and hours during a poker session.

The math on receiving two aces in hold’em is: 12-to-1 that you will receive an ace on the first card and then 51/3 or 17-to-1 that you will receive another ace on the next card.

The odds of getting two aces becomes: 17 times 12 or 204-to-1.

Then the odds become 204 times 204 or 41,616-to-1 that you will receive two aces in back-to-back hands.

In a fast-moving poker game, you will play about 30 hands of poker in one hour, so you can figure receiving back-to-back pocket aces, 41,616 divided by 30 or approximately once every 1,500 hours of play.

  Fortunately, the cards don’t know these odds and back-to-back pocket aces will return to a lucky seat  many times in a 4- or 5-hour span of time!

It’s hard to come up with a reason, but it has to do with the way the cards are picked up and reshuffled by certain dealers. In any case the frequency of repeating cards is a fact.

I have observed this rhythm of the poker cards  for many  years, and the cards will fall on a certain seat more often than on the other seats. This may sound crazy, but crazy or not it does happen. I have seen this rhythm of the cards and I go with it.

  If the money is flowing to one end of the table, I want to be on that end of the table. If one seat is winning an inordinate number of hands and if that player is winning I want to request his seat.

  When the winning player gets his sack full and quits and  goes on home, I  want to move to that winning seat so I can fill up my sack before I go home.

You can tell a hunter by the skins on the wall; you can also tell a lucky seat by the chips that the player has in front of him.

I have even bought a seat from another player ”” I will pay money to move to a seat that is winning. I will also put my name on the change list for seat change to a seat that is winning and when that player quits I will be allowed to move to his seat.

  They say that if the wheel is not broke, don’t try to fix it. I give you my Oklahoma Guarantee that this wheel is not broken!

  Then after I win the money I will go home and count the money there. You can do the same.

Until next time remember to always stay lucky.