Crazy nights of poker


by Ashley Pitkin

The room was filled with men but the place was quiet – all thatcould be heard was the clinking of poker chips and the shuffling ofcards. Tension rose as the pots got higher, then all of a sudden,laughter broke lose. Heads turned to the table where one unluckyplayer went all in on the first hand and lost.

“That wasn’t my plan,” Mitch Lorenz said. “I had twoqueens.”

Lorenz, a freshman, has enjoyed playing poker since his youthand continues to play here on campus where poker nights are poppingup all over. Some attribute the growing popularity of the sport toits many recent appearances on television; others say the game hasalways been at Simpson.

“It’s so popular, [my friends and I] have been playing poker fora long time – three nights a week,” junior Chad Matchie said.

Matchie, along with other members of Kappa Theta Psi, put on apoker tournament, held last Wednesday night in Barker lounge, whichLorenz and other freshmen attended. Matchie said the event was away for the members of Kappa to meet new students.

“We’re trying to get the Kappa name out and introduce ourselvesto the new guys on campus,” Matchie said.

Along with Kappa, other organizations are picking up on thepoker craze and holding their own card game competitions. TheCampus Activities Board had a casino night last year and just thisweekend held a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament.

“[CAB] had a great turn out last year with casino night and itseems as though everyone knows how to play poker – it’s just agreat way to get students to stay on campus,” Tiffany Homansaid.

Homan, a junior and member of CAB, says the idea to have a TexasHold ‘Em tournament didn’t arise because of its popularity ontelevision. She believes it’s always been a part of campus life andwill continue to be.

“I don’t think people are playing more because of television butmaybe they’re noticing it around more now,” Homan said.

CAB’s casino nights, according to Homan are a great way forstudents to have fun and it’s also a way for those who aren’t sureof how to play poker to learn in a not so threateningenvironment.

“We thought casino nights was a way to target male students butwe had a great turn out last year of girls wanting to learn how togamble and play poker,” Homan said.

Many students, like Lorenz, Matchie and Homan, have alreadycaught the poker bug and it seems as though the craze will continueto run about campus, which is a good thing for Lorenz who seems toneed to brush up on his game.

“I can’t believe I lost it all on the first … and with theladies,” Lorenz said.