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Two Texas style Hold’em poker tournaments set for next month

Date Posted: 2006-06-30

If you know when to hold ‘em, it’s time to flex those fingers and get tickets to play in a Texas Hold’em Tournament.

Marine Corps Community Services is bringing the casino favorite to Okinawa with a pair of tournaments “to test your bluff” in July. “It’s something we’ve been watching in the U.S.,” says the MCCS Deputy Director for Food, Beverages and Entertainment Services. “It’s exploded in popularity over the past couple of years.” Ruric Wester says the Texas Hold’em Tournaments originated in the Lone Star state and then jumped to Las Vegas casinos.

He says television and celebrity events have made the Texas Hold’em Tournaments extremely popular.

The Globe & Anchor on Camp Foster will host the first tournament Saturday, July 1, starting at 4pm. The Butler Officers’ Club will stage a scond tournment on Saturday, July 15th. Tickets are now available for $25 for the Globe & Anchor Tournament, with MCCS card holders getting a 10% discount. The event is open to all ranks and family members, but players must have SOFA status and be at least 18 years old. MCCS says the ticket price includes a buffet.

The tournaments are a ‘first’ for MCCS, as it had to overcome some of the legal hurdles involved playing the casino game. Department of Defense, Navy and Marine Corps regulations had specific rules regarding gambling involving money, so MCCS had to come up with a solution to what, besides bragging rights, players could be bluffing for. “Other bases were already offering tournaments as long as there were no cash prizes,” Wester says. “There were also many requests from patrons wanting a chance to play.”

MCCS will be offering prizes of gift cards up to $500 in value, plus trophies. “We thought this was something Marines and sailors would enjoy,” Wester adds. He points out players need not be poker experts. MCCS will offer instruction on how to play on its www.mccsokinawa.com website. “Experienced players like the chance to win off of those without skill,” Wster says, but notes that “beginner’s luck always gets those cocky players!”

Minimum bids will be hiked every 20 minutes during the tournament to keep it moving, “but if you are really feeling confident about your hand, “Wester says, “you can go ‘all in’ and bet all of your chips.”

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