Homework assignment leads to poker tourney, Playstation 3

Without camping out in a parking lot or paying upward of $1000 on eBay, chances of scoring a Playstation 3 this year are pretty slim.

But there is one exception: The winner
of a student-run poker tournament will walk away with one of the season’s most-demanded items at the cost of $35.

Pop those eyes back in your head and get your poker face ready.

Be prepared to outplay more than 100 people in a poker tournament organized by senior tourism and hospitality majors Trent Merritt and Eric McDade. The event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. at the Fox and Gittis Foyer located inside the main lobby of the Liacouras Center.

For their senior seminar course, Merritt and McDade are organizing a poker tournament fund-raiser where the grand prize is the hottest video game consol on the market – Playstation 3.

According to Merritt, the proceeds from the event will be given to the School of Tourism and Hospitality for a good cause.

“Eric and I took it upon ourselves to hold this event, and we thought it was a good way to help our class fund-raising committee,” Merritt said, while he sat behind the welcome desk of the Liacouras Center taking early signups.

“We want to raise extra money to give to scholarships, and give back to the school and create endowments for the school. So we are doing this as a fundraiser.”

After camping outside of Best Buy for several days, they have a Playstation 3 in their hands, ready to award the tournament winner. Contestants must pay $35 to enter the day of the tournament. Any poker fans with a passion for Texas Hold’em should act fast because seats are limited.

“We have 100 people who have replied saying they will be playing in the tournament.
We plan on closing it off between 150 to175 people,” he said.

Managing a poker tournament with this many people may be difficult, but Merritt
and McDade plan on making sure the event is fair for everyone competing.

Those who expect a complete casino atmosphere should think again. The first couple of rounds may seem more like a house game than a live tournament.

“We plan on having levels, meaning every
15 to 20 minutes, we will raise the blinds and every two hours we plan on having a break so people can use the bathroom and so on,” Merritt said. “We are going to keep tables at eight people as much as possible. This way there won’t be a table with a shortage of players, which would be unfair to everyone else.”

The interims will also give people a break from dealing.

“The only real problem we have is that we have a lack of dealers,” Merritt said. “For the first few rounds the players will have to deal themselves.”

For those who don’t have more than $1000 to spend on a PS3, here is an opportunity
to get one cheaper than any marketed price in stores. To sign up, e-mail Trent Merritt
at trent.m@temple.edu.

For all who are interested, but scared of just missing the grand prize and coming in second place, the PS3 will not be the only prize awarded.

“We plan on giving the second place [finisher]their money back and a case of poker chips and then third place will get just a case of chips,” Merritt said. “But it’s really all about first prize -the Playstation 3. We plan on being here until there is a winner, even if that means going until late in the night.”

Dan Cappello can be reached at dancaps@temple.edu.

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