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The Blue & Gray Press | February 21, 2018

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Gamblers win big for a good cause

Fueled by a seemingly endless supply of Mountain Dew and pizza, over 40 Mary Washington students gathered in the Great Hall to play Texas Hold ‘em poker.

The Community Outreach and Resources’ (COAR) Seventh Annual Charity Poker tournament took place on Feb. 12.

Admission was $5 ahead of time and $10 at the door. Two additional buy-ins were available for $3 a piece.

The tournament’s proceeds will help fund COAR’s Alternative Spring Break trips. This year, students are going to Foley, Ala., Pickens, S.C., and Wilmington, N.C. to build houses in association with Habitat for Humanity.

Some of the event’s proceeds will also be donated to the Fredericksburg area’s Habitat for Humanity.

The tournament started at 1 p.m. and was filled with participants ranging in experience, from students who had never played poker before to pros who play biweekly with friends.

“Everyone [who] came had a good time,” said COAR member junior Sarah Krechel. “We had a really good turnout.”

By 7 p.m., the group was narrowed down to four participants.

The final four agreed to a tie, allowing them each one of the four remaining top prizes, including an Xbox Kinect, a Kindle, a Flip Camera and $100 gift card to Amazon.com.

Last year’s champion junior Justin Mullen said the prizes had improved this year.

Ashby Bowles, also a junior, said the extensive variety of prizes provided students with the incentive to participate in the tournament.

Freshman David Chambers said he entered the game because he “wanted the adrenaline rush of playing a gentleman’s game.”

Senior Becky Battle, on the other hand, came out for more philanthropic causes.

“[I got] to play and help people out,” Battle said.