Deaf Hold'em tournament a first for Illinois

At this poker game, hand signals at the table are encouraged. On Sunday, players at the first-ever Deaf Texas Hold'em tournament in Illinois will communicate using sign language.

All deaf or hard of hearing participants will be accommodated, but otherwise the event will unfold as usual.

The buy-in is $65, with both the winner and the runner up landing a seat and paid travel to the Word Series of Poker. The tournament plays out in River Grove, Ill., from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. this Sunday.

"Our organization encourages deaf and hard of hearing individuals to communicate and interact in activities the same as hearing people," Ed Glennon, chairperson of the West Suburban Association of the Deaf event said in a release.

"Many deaf and hard of hearing persons play in major tournaments in Las Vegas, some in the fund raising tournaments we've sponsored the last four years at Chicago area banquet facilities."

Charity poker events in the area have been known to draw anywhere from 300 to 500 people.

One of the nonprofit group's objectives is to encourage members to participate in sports, as well as social, recreational and political activities.

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