Attending my first poker tournament was an experience that I will never forget. When I arrived at Hotel Sax, I was immediately impressed with the overall layout and design of the venue. There were several bars set up with craps and black jack tables. Waiters were walking around serving tasty appetizers like mini cheeseburgers and the drinks flowed freely thanks to sponsors like Hennesey Black, Hpnotiq and Maker’s Mark. The rooms were filled with professional athletes and local celebrities mixing and mingling while spending money to support this great cause.
Once I entered the room where the poker tournament was being held, I must admit that I became dazed and confused. There was a big screen with a timer and some numbers. What did all of that mean? I always thought you just sat down and played until you lost all of your money or won all of someone else’s. You know that I am not the type of person to live a life of confusion, so I started asking some people to explain what was going on. Here’s what I learned about charity poker tournaments:
- You register with a financial donation and are given a certain amount of chips in exchange. For example, a $200 registration might get you $5,000 in poker chips
- You are assigned to a poker table and play with your group
- There are timed rounds with minimum bets. At the end of the round, the minimum increases which helps to keep the game moving along and not lasting into the wee hours of the morning.
- A player can either play until they have lost all of their chips or cash out.
- Cashing out at charity tournaments usually means that you will receive raffle tickets in exchange for your winnings. For example, you could recieve one ticket for every $25 in poker chips that you won.
- At the conclusion of the tournament, there is a raffle of prizes that have been donated by sponsors and/or supportive companies and individuals.
I know that you probably wondering who won at this poker tournament?
The students of San Miguel Schools in Chicago were the night’s winners. All of the proceeds from the evening’s event will be used to assist the students of the school. I had the pleasure of speaking with one of their teachers who was working as a volunteer. Her passion for the school’s program and the services that they provide outside of the classroom helped me to see why Azumah chose this institution. Please take a moment to learn more about their program as well as how they are using technology and social media to fulfill their goals – http://sanmiguelchicago.org/
This article is a follow up to “Giving back is sexy… featuring Jerry Azumah, former NFL Chicago Bear & founder of ASAP Foundation”