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‘Unlucky’ No. 13 suffers
from a bad reputation

Aug 17, 2004 7:27 AM

Carol, today is Friday the thirteenth.

A lot of poker players are a little superstitious and will not want to play poker on Friday the Thirteenth. They think it is unlucky.

Yes, I do believe in luck, but I think we all get the same amount of luck!

It is just that some of the time, some of us get our (ice) luck in the winter when we do not need it and some of us get our luck in the summer when it is needed the most.

I think that luck is a combination of things, and we sometimes can help luck along.

I remember when I was young, I would be the first one in the office in the morning and the last one to leave at night. I was so lucky by doing this that after a few years I owned the business and those not lucky enough to get to work on time or were the first ones out of the door at the end of the day were so unlucky that they became my employees.

There is a great old movie, "The Postman Always Rings Twice," but luck does not always ring twice — you must see the chance and take it.

Just step up to the plate and swing at the ball. You may get lucky and hit a home run. But if you do not swing at the ball you will never be lucky enough to hit a homer.

A lot of poker players will carry their lucky rabbit’s foot when they sit down to play a few hands of poker. But I would never think that could be lucky. The rabbit was sure not lucky; he now has only three feet left.

There are many hotels here in Las Vegas that have no 13th floor, and along a three-mile stretch of Broadway in Manhattan it is a fact that more than half of the hotels do not have a 13th floor.

Honey, you know that I love words. Try this one — triskaidekaphobia — which is a noun that means the fear of the number 13.

It is almost impossible to say just how or when the number 13 got such a bad reputation.

There are a number of theories, of course. Some say it comes from the Last Supper, because Jesus was betrayed afterwards by one of the 13 present.

Others trace the source of the superstition further back to ancient Hindu beliefs or to Norse mythology.

The first mention of the fear of 13 dates back to the late 1800s. By around 1911, however, it was prevalent enough to merit a name, which is formed by attaching the Greek word for "thirteen" treiskaideka (dropping that first "e") to phobia (fear of) and you have the jaw breaker triskaidekaphobia.

I am going out to The Orleans tonight on Friday the thirteenth to eat some chicken in a pot and then I will find Tom Reese (tournament director) and buy my way into the no-limit poker tournament!

I will swing at the ball and I think I will win, and if Descartes will forgive this misuse — I think I will win, therefore I will win!

Oklahoma Johnny’s Poker Tip of the Week

  Lazy poker players lose. The player that is lucky enough to stay alert when he is not involved in the pot (he has already folded his hand) and spends his time wisely by studying the habits of the other players who are still playing in the active pot — he will get lucky and learn the playing habits of his opponents and he will be lucky enough to take the money home and count it there!

Until next time, remember to stay lucky.