Winningtakes sweat, some smarts

Dec 7, 2004 12:18 AM

I have pointed out that at least 97 percent of everything I tell you in this column is true — but I must tell you that when I visited the wonderful little country of Ireland and while there I went to Blarney Castle and climbed up the winding rock stairs to the top ramparts of the castle tower and while lying down on my back and leaning out into space I kissed the Blarney Stone.

By doing so I received a license to embellish and enlarge a story now and then. So it will be up to you the reader to determine whether the other three percent of the story has a little blarney in it or not.

But seriously, I am happy to write a column each week about Poker, Poker People, Poker Stories, Poker Tournaments ”” the good, the not so good, how poker is today, how poker was in the past, and how to make poker better in the future.

As many of you know, I am the seventh son of an only son, which by the luck of birth, makes me the luckiest person you will ever want to meet.

I have found that by being the first one to work in the morning and the last one to leave at night, made me the luckiest person in the office, so lucky that I wound up owning and running the business. It has always surprised me how lucky I get when I work hard.

I have run toothpicks up into sawmills and have cut some really big logs along the way — had to take a lumberman hook to some of them old moss covered logs and roll them over and underneath the logs there was just great big bunches of money.

I first came to Las Vegas in 1938, with a mattress on top of the car on the way to the fruit fields of California. I was 11 at the time but I remember the old Vegas town with the wooden sidewalks, gravel streets, and one-arm "Bandit" slot machines.

We came across the Boulder Dam (since changed to Hoover Dam) but I still remember the dam as Boulder Dam. We came down Fremont to the train depot (where the Plaza Hotel stands today), turned south on the old dusty gravel road and came out along what is now the fabulous "Las Vegas Strip."

The Hale family had been forced to leave Oklahoma to get something to eat during the great depression.

Yes, I have lived on a dirt floor, with no electricity and no running water. The bathroom was two holes and a path. Do you remember the song "Hey Arkie, have you seen Okie? Tell him Tex has got a hob for him, out in California."

But don’t feel sorry for me, I made my first million before I was 21, lost it, and then the next time I made it I locked it up so that I would never be hungry again.

Yes, I was a part of the great John Steinbeck’s book "The Grapes of Wrath."

I know how big a dollar can be when it is your last one and yes, I could have bought a lot of Las Vegas land, for a very few dollars per acre, but we did not have the few dollars to spare. We had to save gas and food money to get to the promised land of California.

Now I will give you my poker tip of the week:

Don’t play with scared money; scared money never wins!

If the money you are playing with will buy you anything that you need, that you do not have, then get what you need first before you play. Don’t play with scared money!

In future columns I will tell you how to play, how to win, and how to have fun while you play, where the best poker action is in Las Vegas, where you get the best and most comps, and where the best poker promotions are being held.

I enjoy writing this column and hope you get a chuckle now and then and that it will help you have a great poker day.

Remember to, stay lucky!