The Rotary Club of Saipan is set to bring big-time poker action to the island when it hosts the first ever 2013 Pacific Hold'em Tournament next month.
Club vice president Laila Boyer revealed preliminary details about the upcoming event, highlighting one of the most popular forms of poker during their weekly meeting at the Hyatt Regency Saipan yesterday.
Boyer said the tournament, slated for April 20, is unprecedented in the history of poker in the CNMI and the entire region.
The venue for the event will be announced in coming days once it is finalized.
“If it becomes as successful as we hope it would be, then we will be able to continue it on an annual basis,” Boyer told Rotarians, adding that the fundraising event is targeted to rake in $30,000, which would be used to finance the various community projects of the organization.
Boyer said the 2013 Pacific Hold'em Tournament, which will have a $200 buy-in per player, is expected to attract 150 poker players not only from the Northern Marianas but also other areas in the region such as Guam and Japan.
She noted that when she recently attended the Rotary district conference, Rotarians from Japan have already expressed interest flying to the CNMI to support the event.
Boyer said that tournament players will be narrowed down to the final nine tables, from which the champion will be selected.
“Only with the final table that we'll have professional dealers from Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino come in,” she added.
The tournament champion will win the $12,000 prize pool and the 2013 Pacific Hold'em Champion bracelet, which will feature the craftsmanship and elements that symbolize the region, said Boyer.
She acknowledged the Rotary Club of Northern Guam for providing them 17 cases of poker chips, cards, and professional timers that will be used during the event.
According to Boyer, the Northern Guam chapter should've been the first Rotary Club to host the first ever Texas Hold'em tournament in the region a year or two ago.
“Everything was set but they got shut down on the night of the event. Their board heard that we're hosting a tournament and they offered it at a very low price of $700,” she said.
Boyer said interested players may avail of the early registration through their website, www.saipanrotary.com, which will become the tournament's official registration site where players can sign up by paying the buy-in through the site's PayPal feature.
The site will be launched soon, she added.
Boyer also recognized their partners for the event, which include Power 99, Marpac, Century Hotel, and Microl Toyota, which will offer a package deal for off-island players.
Rotary president Pete Shilling emphasized that the Pacific Hold'em Tournament will not be a substitute for the Las Vegas Night, Rotary Club of Saipan's annual signature fundraiser.
“In the next Rotary Year, between July and December, we anticipate to have the Las Vegas Night as well so we'll be carrying on two large events each year hopefully,” he said.
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