All in

February 27, 2008

By Jake Jones


The IUSB poker tournament has been a huge success on campus, drawing players of all different experience levels into the SAC for a night of Texas hold’em.

Friday night, the tournament started at 6:15 and took place in the SAC. The winner of the tournament received a prize of $100 and received points toward their overall standing in the campus Poker Club rankings.

The 16 highest ranking players at the end of four tournaments get invited to a fifth tournament where they will compete for the title of Poker Champion as well as a bracelet showing their status. Earning points in the tournament requires that the player be among the last half of the players standing. For instance, if there are 20 players at a tournament, then only the top 10 would get points. The points for the top ten players are determined by the order in which they are eliminated, so the first person out would get one point and the last person standing would get 10.

The ranking system is meant for those hardcore players and this is not a tournament for the poker elite. Since the tournament was free and offered a prize of $100 there were many people present who were beginners.

Bringing in new players is actually encouraged at the tournament. Anyone who brings in a new player that has not been registered with the poker tournament gets an extra blue chip (worth 50) to play with. Each table is outfitted with the rules of the game, as well as all the chip values in order to ease beginners into the experience.

After registration for the tournament closes, all the names of the players are put into a computer which randomly places them at numbered tables. The poker playing then starts and throughout the night players are being eliminated and shuffled around while imagined fortunes are won and lost.

Andrew Wearingen started the drive for a Poker Club that focused on tournament and game theory. Wearingen started two years ago but never got off the ground because of all the red tape. Finally they were able to begin the club, and the tournaments draw an average of 75 people each night with 250 people on the mailing list. Having a Poker Club is actually a new experience on college campuses and only a few other institutions have them available. Harvard has actually contacted IUSB Poker Club President Michael Renfrow and has shown interest in turning poker into a study and even a campus vs. campus competition.

However, in order to move forward with more events and future goals the club needs more involvement from club members. The poker club website is and questions can be emailed to The tournaments are free and open to everyone who wishes to participate.


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