Stop studying, start playing poker

Like many people who read my blog, you may be a college student who is interested in gambling. Well, if you are, the 2nd Annual College Poker Championship might be for you! Or not. It’s free to enter, which I guess means that it’s not technically gambling (and therefore presumably not a violation of the Wire Act). Of course, I’m neither a lawyer nor an employee of the Justice Department, so I wouldn’t stake much on my opinion. Anyway, here’s the press release, which showed up in my email inbox this morning:

Los Angeles, CA (September 28, 2004) � Finally, weary college students have a legitimate excuse to take their next study break, all while keeping a college tradition alive and competing for thousands of dollars. The online College Poker Championship tournament series has taken the poker phenomenon to the next level in its search for the �Best Texas Hold �em, No Limit College Poker Player in the World.� University college students worldwide now have the opportunity to compete against each other for scholarship awards in excess of $100,000, plus a seat at the Land Based Grand Final, an all-expense paid trip for two to Cancun, Mexico and V.I.P. tickets to the exotic College Poker Championship spring break party. The College Poker Championship tournament is entirely free, providing students with the opportunity to play their hands at the hottest game around and vie for cash awards, all at a price that any college student can afford.

Hosted by Lou Krieger, co-author of Poker for Dummies and Internet Poker: How to Play and Beat Online Poker Games, The Annual College Poker Championship Land Based Grand Final, to be held on March 16, 2005 in Cancun, Mexico, will determine $84,500 in scholarship awards, with the winner laying claim to the �Best Texas Hold �em, No Limit College Poker Player in the World� title and taking home an astounding $40,000. In addition, charitable donations amounting to $10,000 will be made to any charity or organization designated by the winners. All events are played with tournament chips and no purchase is ever required to qualify for any award.

�From fraternity houses to off-campus cigar shops, colleges everywhere have a fine poker-playing tradition. It seems natural to hold a poker tournament where students from all colleges can come together and test their skills, while competing for huge scholarship awards,� explains Krieger, renowned professional poker player and best-selling author. �College Poker Championship gives any college student the chance to be a champion and walk away with thousands of dollars!”

The tournament runs for just over six months, awarding $500 in scholarship awards each week. The top 10% of players from the 25 qualifying rounds, known as �Super Satellites,� will move on to the �Satellite Event� to compete for $5000 in scholarship awards. The top 20% of players from this round secure a place in the Online Final, in which players who place 11th to 80th will share $5500 in scholarship awards, while players placing 1st to 10th will each win a seat at The 2nd Annual College Poker Championship Land Based Grand Final, a trip for two to Cancun, Mexico, where the tournament will be held, and V.I.P. tickets to the College Poker Championship spring break party.

College Poker Championship is a non-profit entity that receives sponsorship funds and tournament support from For more information, please visit

Is poker your ticket to a better life? The probabilities say no. Is this worth taking even one second away from studying? I don’t think so. But if you’ve got the time and the inclination, you might as well give it a shot.

Of course, you do have to download the “free” software to participate. I’m leery of downloading any software, particularly gambling software. One or more of the student workers at Special Collections has installed online casino software on the student computers, and we had to basically reimage the hard drive to get it off. I really liked that every time someone accessed a page relating to gambling (something that we do a bit here), we got a flood of online casino pop-ups.

Of course, if you access the Internet from a public computer that is reimaged with every new user anyway, you wouldn’t have this problem. Still, I would guess that if you’re sitting at a computer lab or library computer during finals week playing poker while people have research papers to write, you might not be the most popular person on campus.

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