Poker, Texas Hold’Em continue campus popularity

by Nicki Vanhoever

Last year a gambling craze swept across campus and this year it has yet to die down. Students are still putting their assets on the line, whether it be money, food or other minor possessions.

The most common way to play seems to be a simple poker night and Texas Hold’Em is the game of choice. These games usually consist of a $5 buy-in, but sometimes the stakes get higher.

A new way to gamble has hit the scene and a few have jumped in on the fun. Online poker is no longer just for practice. There are now Web sites where one can set up an account and play for cash.

All a person has to do is download a program and put some money into an online account. The site automatically keeps track of your wins and losses.

Cashing out can be done anytime by requesting payment through the account.

Junior John Hook has found enjoyment in participating in this online game. He and a few friends at Alpha Tau Omega have taken advantage of playing against people they have never met.

“It’s fun taking money from people you don’t know,” Hook said.

Hook is like many male college students across the country. According to a 2005 survey from the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Public Policy Center, 26 percent of college men gamble in online card games at least once a month.

Hook and his friends have been successful so far in their gambling endeavors and have made more than they have lost.

“Me and Jordan do pretty good,” Hook said.

However, like real poker, they don’t always win. There’s a good chance of losing money with these online accounts.

“Sometimes it sucks because you can lose a ton of money,” Hook said.

Other members of Alpha Tau Omega don’t understand why their brothers would want to take part in online gambling.

“It’s a big waste of time because people who do it are big nerds and they have no life,” sophomore Aric Riedemann said.

Most students try to stay away from the online aspect of gambling because it can be very addictive. It seems many students just don’t have the money to support a gambling account.

“I don’t trust myself, I’d get addicted,” sophomore Brian Damman said.

Other students find it more entertaining to gamble every once in awhile. The stakes are much lower when it’s not something that’s done on a regular basis.

“It’s easier to sit down and bet five dollars every once in a while,” freshman Heidi Heil said. “I’d probably get addicted to it like I am to other online games, like Snood.”