Texas Hold ’em Poker groups are a popular form of recreation in the Valley of the Sun. Some play for fun and some play for money.Texas Hold ’em is a form of poker where the individual player is dealt two hole cards and the table is dealt a five-card hand.
The object is to attain the highest possible five-card hand, whether it’s a high card, pair, two-pair, straight, flush or full house.
Israel Bentley and Jasmine Hobeheidar run a game at their home in Gilbert every Tuesday night at 9.
“The game isn’t illegal because the house doesn’t take a profit,” Hobeheidar explained.
It’s a $10 buy in tournament style game, where the winner takes most and second place brings home a smaller cash award.
Points are also allotted for the top four finishers, one point for fourth place and so on up. The points are amassed over an eight-week season with the person with the highest total receiving free buy-in at the $30 buy-in final game of the season.
“My friends play on Sundays,” said MCC student Brooke Milton, who plays in a Sunday afternoon winner-take-all game.
Milton’s game is a more friendly game, without the point totals and separation by seasons.
“Me and my roommates play a small cash game whenever we’re bored,” said Mesa resident Amanda Hiatt.
“It’s fun, and if you win, it’s a couple bucks, and if you lose, it’s only a couple bucks,” Hiatt said.
Poker took prevalence as an alternative sport when ESPN started airing the World Series of Poker in 1996.
“I love just hanging out with my buddies playing cards,” Bentley said. “You know once everyone starts getting jobs and careers you can’t party every week like when you’re a kid, but poker gives us a chance to hang out, catch up and be social.