By Jack Kintner
John George of Blaine started the website for the Ladies Diamond Poker Club last month and has already had more than 11,000 hits.
Last weekend he hosted a tournament at the Tulalip Casino in Marysville that drew several hundred players, a significant increase from the 150 that attended their first effort.
And this is just the beginning, as he seems to have hit some sort of mother lode of poker enthusiasm, no pun intended.
“We don’t know quite why it’s gotten so big so fast, but it sure has. Women playing poker has gotten huge in just the last few years,” George said.
George got involved with distaff card playing last year when he happened to find himself sitting at a Las Vegas poker table with Nancy Todd Tyner, last year’s World Poker Tour champion.
The two decided to begin a website devoted to women’s poker and the rest has been a whirlwind of activity, according to George, who lives in Blaine with his wife Linda.
Last weekend’s tournament left him reeling with administrative tasks.
News stories are being run as far away as Oklahoma, and they have had another offer on the business (they’ve turned down several already) from another group known as Full Tilt Poker.
“The poker-playing ladies love us, and they want more. The casino loved us because we filled their back room to overflowing, and they want more.
“And me? I’m tired, but happy.”
George said that the appeal is based to an extent on the packaging.
“We provide an event, not just a place and a way to play poker. Each event includes pre-event training and offers discounts for groups as small as three. There are plenty of prizes, ones we draw for or win outright. Every one of the players win something.”
George said he expects to have over three million women enrolled in his club by the end of the year if the present trend continues.
For more information on the Ladies Diamond Poker Club visit ladiesdiamondpokerclub.com