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   Friday, March 01 2024 
National Deaf Poker Tour Lets Deaf Poker Players Go All-In with Major Tournament Action

Poker may be the biggest thing on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond, but for many hearing-impaired, getting into the action has proved to be an insurmountable challenge, until now. Six deaf poker fans have taken it upon themselves to try to change this by launching the National Deaf Poker Tour, a specially-tailored poker tournament series catering to the needs of deaf players. The tour is shooting for three big tournaments per year, having kicked off yesterday with its inaugural tournament, which was held at the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City.

Yesterday's $100 buy-in No-Limit Texas Hold 'em tournament attracted approximately 200 hearing-impaired poker players. After covering the costs involved in hosting the tournament, all of the remaining proceeds were distributed among the winning players. The next event is slated to take place this summer in Las Vegas. Players' performances will be tallied throughout the course of the year, and the best player overall will be deemed the Deaf Poker Champion.

Not an easy job to begin with, National Deaf Poker Tour coordinators are faced with added obstacles. In yesterday's tournament, casino staff developed creative solutions for dealing with communicative limitations that could have otherwise disrupted the flow of the poker play. Translators were recruited to help bridge the gap between the players, who communicate mostly using sign language, and casino staff. Additionally, information was posted on each table, and paper and writing utensils were provided to further open the lines of communication.

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