Poker craze has swept into East Otter Tail country
Poker-mania has swept the nation, from the cable television stations to Main Street Perham. Area establishments are gearing up for poker league, but this year--management and staff will be prepared. "When the idea of forming a league came up last...
Poker-mania has swept the nation, from the cable television stations to Main Street Perham.
Area establishments are gearing up for poker league, but this year--management and staff will be prepared.
"When the idea of forming a league came up last year, we almost didn't do it," said Tom Helcl, owner of T-Bonz, where poker play has been steady for the past year.
"We just didn't think it would be that successful...But it really caught us off guard," said Helcl.
T-Bonz has expanded from one to two leagues, with an average of 40 players per league.
"We may have to limit participation, it's so popular...it's become one of the best promotions we have," said Helcl. T-Bonz may be the site for the regional tourney, which is played at the conclusion of the league circuit.
League play starts September 10 and Sept. 14 at T-Bonz.
Other area clubs participating in poker league include the New York Mills VFW, Billy's in Vergas, Playtime Sports, and the Wadena Elks--among others.
The top 20 percent of the cardplayers can qualify for the regional tournament, said Helcl. At the state level, one of the grand prizes is a trip to the Bahamas and the World Poker tour.
"But this isn't just for the serious, hardcore poker player. It's really a social event for a lot of the people," said Helcl. "The more experienced players help the new people, it's really intended to be fun."
Local leagues are affiliated with a state and national organization. For information, the website is mnpokerleague.com.
Local poker is not just for squinty-eyed, intense players "like you see at a casino...everybody loves to laugh and clown around," said Helcl. "We have players that don't drink, so they come and drink pop and just have fun with the game."