First Tee of Fort Smith held a Texas hold’em poker tournament Saturday night (Nov. 2) at the Knights of Columbus in Fort Smith. The event managed to attract 40 players, exactly enough to fill five tables of eight players each.
Marvin Chapin, vice president of First Tee, said he was pleased with the number that showed up, stating “we need to fill two tables to cover expenses and every bit of the rest goes to First Tee.”
The First Tee program works to teach children and young adults core values needed to succeed in life. Their nine core values are honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment. These values can be applied to both golf, other sports, and any future endeavor these kids may pursue.
“First Tee is more than just golf, we teach values, skills like a proper hand shake, and give scholarships. We are developing the citizens of Fort Smith,” said Kris Scott, executive director of First Tee of Fort Smith.
The program also helps to teach children to be healthy physically through energy, playing, and safety and emotionally through perspective, mind, and family. They also teach to maintain healthy relationships with friends, school, and community.
“My daughters have been out there (First Tee) and it has been the best thing for them, one got a scholarship,” Chapin said.
In addition to the poker tournament there was also a 50/50 raffle and silent action, together raising about $500, and door prizes. Fred Jones won a First Tee yearly membership valued at $300 and Brenda Taylor won the Casino package valued at $500 from door prizes. Several major sponsors included United Way, Regions Bank, Chick-Fil-A, and Choctaw Casino. Food was provided by La Huerta and Brenda Taylor handed our goodie bags at the door with small things from the sponsors. After expenses and everything the poker tournament raised around $2,000.
The tournament was set to last up to four hours. Competition was tough with the first player eliminated within 17 minutes and by the halfway point 10 players were out. The rules would changes slightly as time progressed making the stakes higher and the bets larger. Everything was computerized, including the seating arrangement, to take any human error out of the equation.
With the success of this tournament, Chapin said they are looking to hold another tournament in March of 2014.