MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
The Single Marine Program held its monthly Texas Hold’em poker tournament at The 5th Street Zone, Sep. 26.
This poker tournament has been held on the last Friday of every month for the past four years. Every month, the tournament attracts Marines from several units aboard the Combat Center of varying ranks.
“From the time I have started [playing] I have seen about 25 to 35 people every time,” said Lance Cpl. Nick Rosen, combat engineer, Combat Logistics Battalion 7. “I have seen privates up to gunnery sergeants in here.”
Instead of gambling, this free tournament has a prize for the winner of the event. The prize this month was a laptop. Marines of any age are able to participate in the game.
“I have seen them give away Xbox consoles, PlayStation 3’s, Samsung tablets, now they are giving away a laptop,” Rosen said enthusiastically. “I have never seen that before so it’s interesting.”
This event brings serious players as well as players that are just looking for a fun game to play with some friends.
“I have seen people that put in their headphones or put on their sunglasses because they’re really into it,” Rosen said. “I have also have seen people just trying to have a fun time.”
The people at The Zone enjoy the poker tournaments just as much as the Marines do.
“I love sitting in there and seeing how the guys play and how they talk trash to each other,” said Darryl Elliott, recreational attendant, The Zone. “It is pretty funny.”
This month there were some new poker players at The Zone.
“There are a lot of people here that came for the tournament,” Rosen said. “There were also some British Royal Marines here this time.”
For service members stationed aboard the Combat Center or units who come for training, these events and others are a way to enjoy some time after work and unwind from the stresses of the day.