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Gold Coast Poker Tourney Raises Money for Troupe

$4,100 Was Raised for the Sign Design Theatre Company


The Sign Design Theatre Company, a Las Vegas-based nonprofit organization that teaches young people American Sign Language, is used to giving back to the community. On Sunday, a charity poker tournament took place at the Gold Coast Casino in Las Vegas to give back to them.

A field of 58 players showed up to play in the $125 buy-in event on Sunday. There were $20 rebuys available for the first hour. By setting aside $10 out of every $125 buy-in and 100 percent of the rebuys for the donation, a total of $4,100 was raised for the company. Since $100 of every initial buy-in was put towards the prize pool, the players competed for their piece of $5,800. Robert Mercer won $1,640 for his first-place finish.

Long-time Las Vegas high-stakes poker player "Oklahoma" Johnny Hale, whose daughter used to be a member of the Sign Design Theatre, was there to offer his support. He played in the event and at the beginning stages, walked around each table and placed $25 bounties in front of his friends and family members, just to sweeten the pot.

Also, to thank the players, the Sign Design Theatre Company put on a show before the tournament started that featured the performance of choreographed musical numbers, including Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler."

"The atmosphere of the entire tournament, from the dealers to the players, was great. It was good day and a great cause," said Becki Plutte, member of the Board of Directors for the Sign Design Theatre. "People were happy and having fun with some great poker play. It was a good combination."

For more information on the Sign Design Theatre Company, visit the Web site at