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Friday, August 12, 2022

Strip poker tournament collects clothes for charity

UF junior Garrett Kramer wasn’t playing to win the Caribbean cruise, the limousine ride, the $100 tab to 101 Downtown or the gift certificates to local stores. 

He felt like a winner because he gave the shirt off his back to charity – and then some.

Kramer, along with about 80 others, attended “Taking It Off for Charity,” a strip poker tournament organized to benefit St. Francis House and Goodwill Industries International Inc. Five hundred pounds of clothes were collected.

Kramer said he’s all about helping those who are less fortunate.  He donated about 20 shirts, four pairs of shorts and two pairs of jeans to Pledge 5 Foundation’s poker charity drive.

“The clothes were hung up in my closet, color-coordinated and not being worn,” he said.

The no-limit Texas Hold ‘em tournament was  Friday at 7 p.m. at The Vault NightClub.

The Pledge 5 Foundation, a local non-profit organization that coordinates charity drives for other non-profit organizations, is entirely goods-based, according to Jason Bowman, founder and board member.

“Students don’t have a lot of money to give right now, and nobody has a lot of time. We encourage them to give as much as they can,” Bowman said.

He said he had never seen an organized strip poker tournament and thought it would be a fun way to get people involved in the community.

“I’ve worked downtown for years. I know a lot of homeless people and want to help as much as I can and find a way to keep them warm,” he said.

At each blind transition, participants below the average chip stack lost an article of clothing but were not allowed to undress to anything less than a bathing suit. Participants  could play for free. Or for $15 and a clothing donation, they received a VIP wristband, which included an event T-shirt, Hooters wings, beer, priority seating and raffle entry to win a blue and orange Cyclops scooter.

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