Love in the air at first ever Rush Poker tournament

Over one hundred poker fanatics made history yesterday when they played the first ever live ‘Rush Poker’ tournament in Newcastle Australia. A bit like a cross between a standard poker showdown and a game of musical chairs, the good natured event was held to raise money for the 1-4-All charity set up last year to promote the imaginative arts.

‘Most of us play on-line on Full Tilt Poker’ explained the organiser Andy Murphy, ‘we love the exciting new game of Rush Poker which started recently. There isn’t much live action round here and we thought it would be fun to do something a bit unusual while raising cash and awareness for a good cause.’

The action was fast and furious as players literally rushed to find new seats after every single hand with only the winners of he previous pot remaining in their seats.

‘After a while I started moving all my chips for every pot just because I was too tiered to run around any more’ joked twenty stone publican Brendan Gee. ‘It worked every time till the last!’

Players kept all their chips in racks so they could pick them up and race to find the best remaining seat as soon as they were out of a hand. To the casual observer it looked like chaos but the game played to a successful conclusion in a little over five hours.

‘When the final went short handed it got a bit ridiculous’ admitted the victorious Dwayne Albon a twenty-four year old student from nearby Nimbim. ‘To be fair I think my size and fitness had more to do with it than my poker skills. I’ll take it though…I’m the world Rush Poker champ!’

As well as fitness, speed and the normal poker skills, players claimed there were special tactical consideration when choosing your new seat. ‘Mate, in this game position is every thing.’ explained poker fanatic Fady Alam. Most people were fighting to get the button every time, but my mate is a real fish and I just spent the whole game chasing him round the room.’

‘Full Tilt Poker has always tried to recreate the the atmosphere and excitement of the live game .’ said event sponsor Howard Lederer. ‘And now things have come full circle with these guys playing a live version of a game that started in cyberspace.’

Some of them even got into the spirit of things by dressing as their favourite avatar, and the final table featured two hooded ninjas as well as a giant frog.

Perhaps if was all the adrenalin and close physical contact but it seems that for at least two of the players love blossomed during the heat of the game. ‘Every time I took a seat, there he was right next to me.’ Beamed thirty-one year old Amber Nektah from Sydney as she held hands with blushing six-foot-four fireman Nunca Drinkwater. ‘At one point we went for the same seat and I found myself on his lap.’ ‘You could say that broke the ice!’ quipped Nunca.

‘He was a real gentleman though and insisted on giving it to me, even though there was so much at stake’ said Amber. ‘That’s when I knew he was someone special.’

So, will the first ever Rush Poker tournament lead to a shot gun wedding?

‘We’re planning it already’ says Amber. ‘The guests with be changing pews all through the ceremony.’

So they’ve named the day? ‘Hold on mate where’s the fire?’ says Nunca. There are some things you just can’t rush!