Whatever happens in Vegas-Stays in Vegas. But here is a different line-What happened in Vegas-started in Oklahoma then it came to Las Vegas. And then the bottom line is: What happened in Vegas- Started in Oklahoma, Came to Vegas and now is returning back home to Oklahoma.
Yes, it started in Oklahoma. I was born there-worked my way through the University of Oklahoma and attained a degree in math and civil engineering, got lucky, created a lot of things, made a little money and got tired of being the CEO, CFO, Chairman of the Board, Janitor, Cook and Bottle Washer. I did all the jobs-whatever was required-20+ hours a day. SO I SAID-"THIS GAME HAS BEEN PLAYED." I retired in 1975 right on top of everything and left them laughing. Then for the next 5 years...
After marrying my wife Carol, we looked the world over, went everywhere and did everything. Then here is what happened in Las Vegas. In May of 1980-twenty five years ago-I came to Las Vegas to play in the World Series of Poker, and I almost won everything, except the WSOP championship-which lost to Stu Ungar-but I won the best all around player award of the WSOP for being the best all around poker player in all the different poker tournaments.
I am the only player who will ever wear a WSOP gold bracelet for being the best all around poker player! And I won a new name-"Oklahoma Johnny" Hale-I was dubbed OK-J by a very famous poker writer by the name of Tex Sheahan, a feature writer for Poker Player.
My first poker nick name was "Crazy Johnny," because when I won a pot, I would just "toke" the whole pot to the dealer. But Tex said, "He's not crazy-he is crazy like a fox-he is the man from Oklahoma-He is "Oklahoma Johnny" Hale!" Another famous poker writer wanted to change my poker name to "Brooklyn Johnny!" But I am an Oklahoma boy-so I rejected that name.
In Las Vegas I have created a few more things: "The Seniors" World Championship of Poker, "The Seniors" Charities and "The Seniors" WCOP/Poker Players Hall of Fame. I merged my "The Seniors" WCOP logo with the WSOP logo and created the only tournament event of the WSOP to be named for a poker player, OK-J's "The Seniors" @ the WSOP. I became a poker columnist and wrote for Poker Player and many other publications. Yes, I know it has been said that you can never go home again-but I am going home again... Now the final chapter- back to Oklahoma!
The CNE-Cherokee Nations Enterprises-have invited me back to their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a birthday poker party that they want to give me on September 30, 2005. This will mark #78 for me. Yes, folks you can crash the party-I will say you are with me-come on and join me at my birthday poker party-We will have poker cake and green money. They want their home to be my home and have my signature poker event in their poker room in Oklahoma. Yes, a poker tournament television show-with a first place prize of 1,000,000.
"The Oklahoma Johnny Hale Open Poker Tournament." There will be a Golf Tournament/Gin Rummy and a televised 1,000,000 first place Poker Tournament.
Sorry, too much for one column-You folks come on back next time for more of The story of Oklahoma to Vegas & back to Oklahoma.
Until next time, remember to STAY LUCKY!!!