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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Casino chips

Neither Sidelines nor Clear Channel intends to profit from the poker tournament, said Price and Bobbi Gerlock, general manager of Sidelines.

At the Sidelines tournament, players pay $25 to enter and are given a certain number of chips, Price said. They are then seated at a table with seven other players, and the eight play Texas Hold 'Em until the winner controls all eight players' chips, Clear Channel's Staci Ownes said.

The chips used in the games have no monetary value, and the winner of the table is given no monetary reward, Price said. Instead, the winners advance to later rounds in the tournament.

The tournament's eventual champion will win a trip to Reno, Nev., and the opportunity to play in a World Poker Tour event there, Owens said.

Revenue from the $25 entry fees is used to pay for the administrative costs of the tournament, to pay for prizes, and a portion is donated to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Owens said.

While the hosts and sponsors of the tournaments may be careful not to take direct revenue from the games, there are still some questions regarding the legality of poker tournaments at bars, because the hosting establishment may earn indirect revenue via food and beverage sales, Wyoming Attorney General Pat Crank said.

Gerlock, however, said most poker players are not the type of people who run up big bar tabs, as they tend to remain sober while playing.

"Do we see an increase in business" on Sunday afternoons when poker is being played? "Not really," she said.