The Wyoming Hotel That Was Lost In A Poker Game
The Occidental Hotel, Buffalo, Wyoming. A long list of fame has slept in those beds. Presidents have stayed there, before they were president. Hemingway wrote part of a novel those rooms. Butch and Sundance and Calamity Jane spent the night more than once. It's where The Virginian got his man.
The Occidental Hotel has had many owners for many different reasons. A cowboy poem by Dan Hess refers to the night the hotel changed owners in a poker game:
"She was lost one night, in a Poker Game
By a man with a Second-best Hand."
At one time, The Occidental was known for its high-stakes poker games.
One visitor in the early days called the Occidental Saloon, "a regular gambling hell," where high-stakes poker games sometimes continued for days.
Buell owned and operated the hotel until 1919, when he lost it in a high-stakes poker game to J.R. Smith. But Smith did not seem so interested in running the business venture himself. It was Smith’s daughter-in-law, Margaret, who ran the hotel for 59 years.
I've done a lot of digging on this story and, sorry to say, not much is written about that night other than what you have already read above. There was a game, Buell lost. That's it.
Imagine being there that night in the old west saloon where the tension in the room was as thick as the cigar smoke, just before the cards were laid out on the table and the winner was revealed..
BUT - is there anything to the poem above by Mr. Hess? The winner was the man with the second-best hand? If true, then the winner of the hand was bluffing. -- What do you think?