Last Call: Wednesday, February 2, 2005
Stingray’s Sports
Café
5600 Rufe Snow Dr,
North Richland Hills
817-428-5006

Star Lounge
503 E Hurst Blvd, Hurst
817-282-2226

Manhattan’s
2501 E Lamar Blvd, Arlington
817-652-4655
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Texas Hold Up

Last Call doesn’t always “get” fads. Wearing trucker ball caps, watching Queer Eye, listening to rap — they’re all just part (I’m convinced) of The Man’s ploy to make your columnist feel even more un-hip than already.
Then Last Call recently caught wind of one particular flash-in-the-pan phenomenon that might — just might — be up my dorky alley.
The famous Poker-iffic card game called Texas Hold ’Em is everywhere — on tv, in movies, and now, by the grace of our innate ability to bandwagon, Texas Hold ’Em is happening in bars.
The best part: You don’t have to be either hip or rich to play.
One local hot spot that hosts regular Texas Hold ’Em tournaments is Stingray’s Sports Café, in North Richland Hills. The place itself is worth a visit — a jukebox that hasn’t been updated since 1988, high barstools, and on one recent outing, a decent mix of young and old folks.
The games also apparently attract pretty OK-sized crowds, sometimes more than a dozen players at a time. While Last Call, a pauper in any part of the planet, likes the idea of money-less hands of Hold ’Em, your columnist empathizes with folks who say there’s no sense in playing what may very well be a fun game for three hours — for no money. In the words of local high-dollar gamer Robert McKee: “It’s the same thing as drinking non-alcoholic beer or decaf coffee. Where’s the buzz?”
Of course, the fuzz is to blame. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, according to various reports, has recently begun cracking down on poker games/tourneys with a vengeance. Some joints are already feeling the sting. At Yorkshire Pub in Houston, more than 60 people were given citations for “buying into” a poker game there.
The Star Lounge in Hurst is taking a different approach, by letting the Amateur Poker League handle the tourneys. The players play for points, in the hopes of winning a seat at Las Vegas’ annual “Poker Millionaire Challenge.” (APL provides airfare and hotel accommodations.)
“Our members don’t pay a dime to become a member of our league or to come sit down and play,” said APL area league director Mike Gilley. “We’re just a poker league, like a dart league or a bowling league. When we give away a trip, it’s totally separate from the bar.”
Manhattan’s, Last Call’s favorite Arlington meat market, is taking an even different-er approach. A winner of a Texas Hold ’Em tourney there might find his tab a few dollars lighter — if you “get” my drift.

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