The Sailor and the Owl

Doyle, Slim, Sailor, and Johnny were the big names in poker when I was playing on the road, fading the white line on the Southern poker circuit from Dallas to Shreveport and points in between. Sailor Roberts was a famous player who did more for down-and-out players than anybody else. If a guy was down on his luck, it was nothing for Sailor to give him a bankroll at any time. Just ask Bobby Hoff, Carl McKelvey, Steve Lott, and all the other guys who played with him how many people Sailor helped out during his lifetime. He helped Bill Smith a thousand times if he helped him once, because there was one thing about Bill — he could never stay in money.

Sailor could do more with a 5-4 than any man alive. He would show you that 5-4 three or four times, and the next time he raised, …