Ellendale Days deals up family fun, poker too

Published 9:15 am Monday, July 21, 2008

There were four full days of activities held during last weekend’s Ellendale Days, including music, food, sports activities, a car show and lots of fun for the entire family.

The Ellendale Liquor Store held its annual street dance on Thursday evening, as well as a special Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament on Saturday. The event included a straight poker game with the best of five cards winning the hand. Participants paid no fee to play, but all players were given $2,350 each in poker chips at the start of the game. A tournament of champions, held at a later date, will bring back the nine top winners of this event. The bar puts up a $200 purse with first prize receiving $100, second place getting $65 and the third place winner offered a $35 prize.

Tournament player Dave Hedin has been playing in the poker games over the past few years and said he enjoys the “good times” he has at the Ellendale Liquor Store. His positive comments about the poker competition seemed to sum up the overall atmosphere of the friendly competition and players seemed to have a great time dealing, playing their hands and bidding.

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The Ellendale Liquor Store actually started hosting a Texas Hold ‘Em players’ event about three years ago, which was organized by store manager Bruce Waage, who has managed the city-owned, municipal business for the last five years.

“We’ve had a steady increase in the number of players, since we offered the game,” said Waage. “We started out with about a dozen players and it has now grown in capacity to about 30-40 players with a pretty consistent crowd … and that’s about all we can hold right now. People really enjoy playing and since there is no cost to play, that makes it an even bigger draw!”

Since the store started offering the poker play, another store employee, Kirby Hannem, has taken over the organization and management of the event. He runs about eight different sessions on Saturdays (every other week/two times a month) from 12:30 until the games are done (about 4 or 5 p.m.). A tournament of champions is held approximately every eight weeks, which brings back the previous game winners. Anyone with questions about the rules of the game or wishing to participate should call the Ellendale Liquor Store at (507) 684-9422.