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He’s all in

KIMBERLY NICOLETTIsummit daily news

SILVERTHORNE – If you play your cards right in Summit, you could end up in Vegas.The Summit Rotary Club hosts the Summit Showdown Poker Tournament Saturday at the Silverthorne Pavilion. The winner moves on to compete against about 650 poker champions in the Denver finals to see if a trip to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas is in the cards.Sheriff John Minor, the official spokesmodel for the showdown, asserts he’ll win the coveted slot in Denver, so event coordinators hope to draw the maximum number of contestants allowed – 200 spread throughout 21 tables – to give him a run for his money.”Actually, I’m a lousy poker player,” Minor confessed. “It was to get people fired up.”And that’s not the only thing he did to fire up his potential competitors. Minor donned his best cowboy hat and boots to pose in a publicity picture for the showdown.”They said, ‘Why don’t you look mean,’ so I look kind of like a thug,” he said.That is perfect for the old Western atmosphere the Rotary plans to create Saturday night.”Somehow when I think of poker players, I don’t think of foo-foo decorations,” said Brenda Cameron, Rotary member. “It will be an Old West poker tournament.”Only you don’t need to wear your spurs and saunter in like you know what you’re doing. Professional dealers will teach people the ins and outs of the game from 5:30-6:30 p.m. And if you lose all your chips, side games, which aren’t a part of the tournament, offer consolation.

But if you do win, you earn a bracelet boasting that you’re the poker champion of Summit County (OK, so it’s not gold plated and diamond encrusted like the ones on television, but it is sterling silver). Before the winner takes all, the last 10 poker players will participate in a Calcutta. Winners split the pot three ways with the champion, the winning bidder (anyone can bid) and the Rotary.The no limit, Texas Hold ‘Em poker game starts at 6:30 p.m. Each player starts with $500 in casino chips. No additional buy-ins will be allowed, and players will be required to play to the finish. Casino Masters USA will provide professional poker dealers. For complete rules visit http://www.denverpokertour.com.And if you don’t play poker, you can still join in the fun by purchasing a gallery seat and enjoying dinner and such parlor games as Run Ball Run and Horse Racing. The buffet includes steak sandwiches, California rolls and game sausage. There also will be a raffle with such prizes as a golf package in Scottsdale, Ariz.

All proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Summit County and its community projects. For reservations call (970) 668-8880 or (888) 499-4499. Tickets are $50 and include the buffet dinner, a drink and either poker chips or game tickets.”It could be a kind of crazy, semi-Vegas poker room with a Summit County twist,” Minor said. “It’s going to be a blast. Come on down and see if you can smoke me.”Obviously, you’re going to have to see for yourself whether or not Minor is bluffing about his poker ability – or lack thereof.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.


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