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Playing Poker for Charity at L.A. Café Poker Room

Written By: PokerNet.com | May 1, 2012 | Posted In Poker News

Stepping in a room full of men busy with their cards is not an unusual thing when you go to a poker club. Smoke rising up in the air, cards on their hands and blank faces worn are not very surprising; it’s what you see on those Texas Hold’ Em tournaments show on TV along with the loud clacking sound of the chips stacked into piles and the swish of the cards being dealt. Being there will just make you shrug and wonder what is so special on that certain poker club. And then someone tells you that everything there is done for charity.

Yes, charity. It sounds contradicting to “throwing” money away in gambling but now is the time to gamble and not feel bad about it when you lose.

The L.A. Cafe Poker Room, which since early March has been under the new ownership of Stephen Rogers and Ryan Isenhower, hosts charity poker tournaments four days a week. Located at the L.A. Cafe, 4460 W. Maumee St., Adrian, the business helps numerous local nonprofits raise money for their various endeavors.

Last week’s tournament, the Britton-Deerfield School District benefitted from L.A. Café’s poker players. And it’s one among the many that is supported by the poker room.

“It’s enabled us at the district to purchase a lot of things I can’t buy,” said the district’s superintendent, Charles Pelham while he watched the poker players in action one evening.

The proceeds of the card game also goes to musical instruments, wireless Internet access for the district, a rewards program for middle-school students and scholarships for graduating seniors. “It goes on and on,” Pelham said.

The tournament starts to work when nonprofits get four licenses from the state per year, with each license good for four days. Rogers and Isenhower can help the group obtain a license if needed, and will book the tournament dates.

Not all of the proceeds go to the charity of course or else only noble players would be left and there are quite a few of them so in the case of L.A. Poker, the figure is 25 percent — goes to the charity. But players have the chance to walk away with cash too, because the rest of the proceeds get paid back to tournament winners. The amount of a player’s buy-in depends on the tournament, but it ranges from $5 to $30. Mainly, the game is Texas Hold ’Em.

“People come in here to play and they’re pretty serious about it,” said Isenhower.

In fact, typical nights see a packed house, with all seats quickly filling up.

Tournaments run from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Wednesdays. Registration is open for one hour past the opening time for all tourneys.

Both new owners said they enjoy running the poker room. “The nights get really late, but it’s a fun business,” Isenhower said.

“It’s a good gig,” Rogers added. “I’m happy with it. And it’s a fun crowd. Even when people lose, you hear, ‘Well, it’s for the charity.’ ”

Source: www.lenconnect.com

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