Those once in a lifetime friendships seem to happen to me more often than anyone deserves. My ten-year friendship with the “Hold’em Hotties” from Tulsa is
no exception. Having met this group of fun, amazing, smart, and talented women during a visit to Tulsa about a decade ago, our adventures and travels
together continue and are always punctuated by laughter, much home-cooked food, and poker. Just this week we concluded one of our semi-annual trips to
Branson, MO, the Las Vegas (without the gambling) of the countryside and Heartland.
Jan Fisher and I flew to Tulsa, OK, where we were met by our dear friend Diane Hughes. She picked us up at the airport and took us to her beautiful new
home in the suburb of Sand Springs. A newlywed of one year (I had the honor of performing her ceremony on a Card Player Cruises poker vacation last year)
she generously insisted that we take the master bedroom for our overnight stay before gathering the rest of the gang and heading, via caravan, to Branson
for our three nights of fun. Since her husband was away, we sheepishly took this beautiful master suite and never wanted to leave. It’s a good thing we
knew of the good times that lay ahead, otherwise we might have stayed there enjoying the hospitality and comfort.
Early (for us) the next morning, we met up with the rest of our group, Karen, Judy, Deena, Cheryl, and Jane at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino/Tulsa, and
began our journey to Branson, stopping along the way for our usual Cracker Barrel lunch. Arriving in Branson to our lovely cabins at the Thousand Hills
Resort, we hurriedly unpacked so we could set up for a quick satellite and home cooked meal before heading into town for our first of three shows, the
music group SIX. Known for their full sound without the use of instruments other than vocals, we were wowed by their talent and entertained when Jan took
the stage to assist in a “dance off’. In my opinion, she won!
Amid shopping, more food, and two more shows, including “Million Dollar Quartet” and “Clay Cooper” (both of which were wonderful) we headed back to
civilization and to the Hard Rock for two nights of poker and fun. The first night, they scheduled a game (with a 5pm start time) of $20/40 EO with a half
kill. We played late into the night with a cast of entertaining characters. Good times, for sure. We were hosted to a nice lunch with two of the HR executives the next day before heading off to play in the “Sol Game”. That is a game invented by one of the regulars, and a good friend
of mine, Sol Bayouth. It’s a $10/20 full progressive kill game. If you don’t know that that is, it’s ok. Reason being, you likely shouldn’t be playing in
it! The kill keeps getting bigger and bigger if the same person scoops the pot on successive hands. You’ll want a seat belt for this game.
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