As I turned the corner, I could feel the excitement coming from down the hall. Everyone was getting ready for what could be a long night if they managed to stay ahead of the 50 person field, in what was one of the first large-scale organized tournaments on campus. I didn't stay long. I played a cash game on the side, and left after a couple of hours. I was mainly there to get a feel for the level of play, and quality of the tournament organization. It was fun to be there. Students had their sports jerseys on, and were wearing caps from their favourite online poker sites. There was a lot of story sharing. One student was reminiscing the thousand dollar swings in his bankroll of the past week, as other students eagerly listened, and asked how they too could get involved. "Oh, it's easy, just go online and sign up." "How much money do I need?" "A $500 deposit should be fine." The entrepeneuring students were giving out phone numbers to help connect others with the various cash games going on in the residences, or referals to the online poker site they play on (a lot of these sites have bonuses if an existing player can recruit new ones). It's incredible how popular poker is on campus. I mean, it's somewhat expected, but it's still incredible. For the concerned parent out there, think of the hundred or so worse things your kids could be doing rather than playing cards.
This sports illustrated on campus report provides some more insight: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/sioncampus/04/25/poker0428/
I'll be going to more of these, and hopefully reporting back. The entertainment is worth the buy-in itself.
How's the poker scene on your campus?