The cards were shuffling and the chips were stacked high as several poker players
The first-ever 'Charity Poker Night,' sponsored by Brush Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, was held at the Wayside Inn. Those in attendance paid their entry fees and started their no-limit games, hoping to make it to the final table and the prize money.
Organizers said that the event was a success and another one will be held in the future.
'We can't say enough for the spirit of the people who came out for some fun and to give to some great charities,' said Chamber CEO Sandra Hutchinson. 'It just proves that citizens truly care about the community and are willing to help the organizations that provide for the needs of our citizens.'
After 'all in' bets went wrong for some people and others found the 'miracle card on the river' to stay alive in the tournament, it was Vance Hopkins who walked away with the Brush Valley Chamber of Commerce 'Texas Hold-Em' championship.
'I had been playing poker for about 30 years now, so you really learn in that time the art of perfecting how to read tells and how to bluff,' Hopkins said. 'Texas Hold'em has only gotten popular in the last three years or so, and I learned that game much like everyone else learned it - watching it on TV.'
For taking first place, Hopkins won the lion's share of the prize pool, but also won the right to designate where the other half of the entry fees for the tournament went. He chose the local libraries.
'The libraries took some major cuts in the past couple of years, and it is getting tougher and tougher for them to survive, and that's a real shame,' Hopkins said. 'This was a great event for the chamber to put on, and I was very happy to be involved.'
The first tournament went so well, organizers held another tournament immediately following that one. Daniel Logic was the winner there, designating the American Cancer Society as his charity of choice.
While players were waiting for tournaments to finish, dealers brought out other poker games to play against each other, with the dealers taking a percentage of the pots for different charities.
'We were very pleased with all the positive feedback that we got from the people who attended the event. We will take that and work to make the event a success for years to come,' said chamber board president Tracy Varano.