The poker Club 52 and the Men’s Club of Sun City West were hosts to the Tri-City Poker Tournament this past month. The tournament involved poker clubs from Sun City and Sun City Grand who were invited to SCW to participate in a competition of the best men and women poker players from all of the poker clubs. Tournaments similar to this had occurred about 10 years ago. It was decided to re-create this Tri-City Tournament and bring back the excitement, competition and camaraderie that we had previously experienced with our sister communities.
Rudy Velasquez, president of poker Club 52, was the motivating force of this large undertaking. First the SCW Men’s club had to be on board as a co-host, since we share our meeting facility. Next the SCW Rec. Center had to give their approval and finally it all had to be coordinated with the poker clubs of the other communities. These clubs plan on reciprocating in kind at a later date and hopefully continue this tradition.
The Tri-City tournament was an immediate success, selling out to capacity in just a few days. Nearly 150 players bought tournament chips to qualify to play in the game and win a portion of the “Prize Money”. Tournament play was paused at about the halfway point so players could enjoy a meal catered by Memo’s Bistro and share “bad beat stories”.
After the break, play continued with players gradually being “knocked out” i.e. loosing all their chips, until only 14 players remained, who were all “in the money”. After a brief celebration, play continued. The next goal was to survive to be one of the ten at the final table and then to go as deep into the prize money as possible. One by one, more players were eliminated, until the final three players decided to “chop” the remaining prize money. The final three players were: 1st, Leo Rieder, Sun City; 2nd, Lou Helstrom, Sun City West; 3rd, Tom Vaughn, Sun City West.