Brandon Bellis Crowned College's 'Poker King' in Well-Attended Tourney

Published 04.25.2007

Student News

Penn's Inn was the place to be for exciting Texas Hold'em Poker action Tuesday night.

Danielle Coakley, Penn College off-campus community assistant, planned the program, which was a huge success. "We had students lined up an hour before the tournament began just to get a seat," she said, "and we had filled all 40 playing spots 20 minutes before we started." Many students had to be turned away because of the seating limit.

The free Poker Tournament was just one of many programs planned by the new Community Assistant leadership position this year. The goal is to provide greater outreach to off-campus students and help build more of a sense of community in the neighborhoods around Penn College. While the tournament was open to all students, nearly 70 percent of the players came from off-campus. Coakley stated that the off-campus students were from all around the area: West Fourth Street, Vine Avenue, Grace Street, Second Street, West Third Street, Memorial Avenue and Eighth Avenue. "It was truly a community program," she added.

"I think it was an incredible program," said Elliott Strickland, special assistant to the vice president for student affairs, "the guys who played met a lot of new people, and I think some pretty good friendships were started. Everyone asked us when the next poker tournament would be scheduled, so we may have started a pretty good tradition."

After almost four hours of play, three players had risen to the top. Wyatt Frantz (a collision repair technology major from Pine Grove) was the next to go out, winning a Cardinal Professional Poker Chip set for finishing third. Kyle Foust (computer aided product design, Easton) finished second after a bold all-in move. He left the table with a Cardinal Professional Texas Hold'em Poker Set.

Outlasting all the other 39 players was Brandon Bellis (plastics and polymer technology, Pen Argyl). Brandon took home a Cardinal Deluxe Aluminum Case Tournament Poker Set.

"All the guys at the final table played great all night," Strickland said, "we have some great poker players here at Penn College."

"None of this would have been possible without all of Danielle's hard work, planning and execution," he added, "She had done a ton of work for our off-campus students this year, and I think that positive impact is clear." Students can learn more about the off-campus housing services provided by the college online .