Legion lays cards on the table for tourney

You may know how to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em, but can you ever play for free?

  • Sep. 1, 2011 1:00 p.m.

You may know how to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em, but can you ever play for free?

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 22 is betting you can, as it prepares to launch weekly Texas Hold’em poker tournament in Summerland starting Wednesday, Sept. 7.

The Summerland Legion is partnering with PlayNation Poker, which organizes a series of poker tournaments for all card players regardless of skill levels throughout Canada. To date, it has set up 14 locations in B.C., 15 in Alberta, nine in Ontario and one in Saskatchewan.

“They have several groups throughout the Okanagan. There’s one or two groups in Penticton, one in Westbank, one in Oliver, one in Princeton,” said Elke Bewick, the manager of Branch No. 22.

Bewick said players are able to saddle up to the poker table with no cash in hand; everyone plays for free, and the aim is to collect points instead.

“They play for points in their group or they can hop around. So if they’re from Summerland, they can play in Penticton, too, or Westbank. They’re not limited to just one group,” she said.

“The people with each group who have the highest score enter into a regional tournament, in which they can win a seat at a $1,000 table in Las Vegas.”

Those worried they’ll be fed to the sharks needn’t worry, Bewick added. Provisions will be made for those new to Hold’em.

“There’s actually going to be a table for beginners,” she said. “They’re going to get a run-through of how it works and how the game works. Anyone can come even if they don’t know the game, and they would like to learn.”

The tournament will run weekly in the fall. Games begin at 7 p.m., but registration will be held at 6:30 p.m., when dinner will also be served. Bewick said the evening is a chance for web-based poker stars to be social.

“So many people go online and play Texas Hold‘em, but you’re not really interacting with people. It’s just on a computer. But here you can do the same thing, and not even lose any money,” she said.

The Legion is located 14205 Rosedale Ave. in Summerland. For information about PlayNation Poker, visit www.playnationpoker.com, or for information about the Summerland Legion’s tournament, call Bewick at 250-494-2301 or e-mail manager@summerlandlegion.ca.