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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

BTDino in progress

Within the last two years, poker has become increasingly popular, dealing its way into family living rooms across the nation. Poker connoisseurs credit its revived popularity to the advancement in technology, but agree that its fan base has always existed.

Jill Philbrook, marketing director for San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino in Highland, said television shows, especially with celebrities playing, have drawn a lot more people to the game of poker, who regularly don't play.

"It" s the last two to three years that we've seen a surge in popularity," Philbrook said. "We" re certainly seeing more customers wanting to come in to play poker and a lot of customers waiting to play."

She said the casino, which has seen an increase in business, will be opening a new gaming facility in January with a poker room twice as big as the one they have now.

"There" s certainly a rise in popularity and customers playing the game," Philbrook said. "We have certainly seen an increase in interest in poker."

Andrew Hill Newman, one of the executive producers of Bravo's "Celebrity Poker Showdown," said people have been playing poker "for a long time, and now people get to see how fun it is because of the massive media coverage."

Each of that show's episodes features five celebrities competing against each other for $250,000 that is donated to a charity.