Poker Tournament Helps Promote Community Action

by Zamna Avila
Friday Sep 12, 2008

Buffalo girls, and boys are invited to a Texas hold’em poker tournament, starting at 2 p.m. Sept. 20 at Freakin’ Frog’s Whiskey Attic.

The event, hosted by the Women’s Empowerment Network, will serve as a fundraiser for the organization’s charitable, community and longevity goals.

"A lot of women are interested in playing poker but may not necessarily be able to or they may not have had the opportunity," WEN co-chairwoman Desiree Duncan said.

But women are not the only ones invited to the tournament

"We also are opening up the event to everyone," said Trisha Martin, Freakin’ Frog director of operations and WEN leadership committee member. "We are inviting straight allies, men and anyone who is curious to see, hear or participate and play poker."

The Whiskey Attic is on an upstairs floor of Freakin’ Frogs with three game tables. The area is semi-private, so as to not have many interruptions to the games.

The Women’s Empowerment Network of Las Vegas formed in May 2007. The group strives to unite and empower diverse lesbian, bisexual, straight and transgender women within Las Vegas through social events that promote personal growth and development.

WEN’s goal is to "advocate women’s issues and get more women involved in the community," Duncan , 34, said.

Promoting advocacy and activism is one way the group provides the resources to pursue women’s and LGBT rights.

In its short life WEN has hosted several affairs, such as a public awareness event at the Beauty Bar downtown with Erin Davies and her "Fag Bug" that drew attention to the inclusion of LGBT Americans in federal hate crime legislation; an evening with Sister Spit: The Next Generation, a posse writers and spoken word performers who travel cross-country; a public forum on faith, religion, spirituality and the LGBT community in collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign and the Northwest Community Church; and an L Word Season Premiere Party at the Freakin’ Frog hosted with the HRC and Showtime.

In 2009, WEN would also like to lend their assistance to Support Women Artist Now Day 2009, a festival that includes music, spoken word and art.

"It enables us to participate and our put on community events, donate to good causes and support other people’s good causes," said Martin about WEN.

For details and reservations: e-mail

Thus far, most of these events were offered with a small budget, in-kind donations and the volunteer work of the group’s members.

"Different opportunities came to donate money... and we realized, we had no money," Martin, 33, said.

That’s when the idea of poker came to mind.

"We were thinking of different ways to raise money to support our ventures," Duncan said. "A lot of people we know enjoy poker, so we thought it would be a good fit."

The women hope to raise about $500 for future endeavors. Moreover, other local organizations had successfully hosted similar events, Martin said.

"It’s what goes on TV, so a lot of people know ... about the rules," she said. "It seemed like a fun, easy fundraiser."

Fun being the key word, Duncan said.

"We are hoping get women in the community to help a cause while having fun," she said.

The WEN Poker Tournament will be held at Freakin’ Frog’s Whiskey Attic, 4700 S. Maryland Parkway in Las Vegas.


$5 buy-in gets a learning table seat and one drink ticket
$40 buy-in gets a table seat and two drinks ticket, with $30 of the proceeds going to WEN’s fundraising total and $10 to the prize pool.

Number and amount of prizes will be determined by the amount of participants. The event is limited to 10 seats.


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