I promised you last week I would tell you my real name, and I will today, but first I need to tell you that I was born in Oklahoma and am the seventh son of an only son who had seven sons, and by nature of birth I am very lucky and try always to stay lucky.
My mother was a little tired when I was born so I lay around the house for several days without a name. My father said, "If you do not name that little devil I am just going to call him Bill."
But mother said, "No, he is a heavenly child." So my first name was Bill. Then mother made it H.D. for Heavenly Devil. No it was for my birth name of Herbert Dean, or H.D.
I was in a family business with several of my older brothers and we all went by our initials: W.N., J.W. and H.D., but many just called me Bill.
My mother was a very wonderful religious lady and spoke of one of my body parts as my "Johnny."
I was afraid of Las Vegas when I first started coming on junkets or for rest and relaxation (R&R). I had many fiduciary responsibilities at home and it was not good in my social and business circles to be known as a gambler, even if I were a Gentleman Gambler.
So I had three standard stories I would tell.
One was if I were staying at the Stardust; I would say that I was staying at the Hilton. When asked when I got in, I would say today. When asked when I was going home, I would say I was catching the next flight.
When asked my name, I said my name was Johnny because I had heard there were many bad people (the mob and all that stuff).
So, just call me Johnny, which by accident was the same body part that my mother called my Johnny. It seemed to be the thing to do.
So, you can call me Bill or H.D. or Herb or Herbert Dean, but most of the poker world just calls me Johnny or Oklahoma Johnny.
Las Vegas is my beat, and I like to play poker at several rooms around town. The Mirage, for instance, whose room is run by Donna Harris, does a great job. Since it’s gone no smoking, it’s hard to get a seat. Rich, the tournament director, has the tourneys working real well.
Oklahoma Johnny’s Poker Tip of the Week
You do not have to reinvent the wheel. When you see a good player and he seems to win all the time, study him, watch what he’s doing. You do not have to reinvent a way to win. Just watch and learn how the good players play. Then you too can take the money to the bank.
Until next time, remember to stay lucky.