Winner Takes All

The stakes are high at Paddlers free poker tournament.

By Brandon Roberts

The chips await their fate with the flop of the card. It doesn’t cost a thing, but it gets the heart racing. Odds are weighed and the competition eyed, captive to the luck of the draw.

Poker is back at Paddlers and a crowd of 27 players testing their luck at last Tuesday’s opening night. These card sharks are earning points toward a seat at the final table on June 7. This free contest includes one round-trip vacation to Las Vegas, hotel accommodations, and a tournament buy-in of $1,000.

Paddlers provides the Molokai community with a poker tournament that is a legal outlet for fierce card competition. The points are there only for those competing for the grand prize, but any and all are welcome.

The three month tourney is hosted by Loke Kamakana, and she has been ready for poker to return to Paddlers. “We are here to have fun,” she said with a smile. “It gets people out of the house.”

Each player begins the night with $2,500 in chips and a chance at accumulating points. Any player who is in the top ten will earn points toward the final table.

For future contests, Paddlers would like to attract corporate sponsorship, which would give the winner a seat in the World Series of Poker.

Until that sponsorship comes, all prizes are donated by Kamuela Kamakana, proprietor of Paddlers Inn.

Players are only required to be 21 and have a valid i.d. Tournaments are held every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 9 p.m. If there is entertainment on a Saturday, play will resume Sunday at the regular time.


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