BOLC Student Wins Poker Tournament

Those on hand for the dramatic conclusion to the No Limit Texas Hold’em Tournament held last week at the Regimental R&R were witness to a breath-taking win by 2nd Lt. Ian Black, Company E, 244th Quartermaster Battalion, 23rd QM Brigade.

“I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest giving away my final hand,” said Black, Basic Officer Leadership Course student.

Fort Lee’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation sponsored this tournament, with semi-finals being held at the recreation center each Wednesday in October. About 18 players vied for the chance to be one of the two top players tapped to return to the final table event Nov. 7. Eight players advanced to compete for an arrangement of prizes, with the top finisher winning a 32-inch flat panel high-definition television.

Over a four-hour period, the table eliminated players until it came down to the final two. The two players left to battle for first place were Black and Staff Sgt. Brandon Schmitt, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

After several hands of going back and forth with the blinds, Black forced Schmitt in the position of calling his “all-in” bet. Schmitt took significant time to process his odds, while looking at the community cards on the table which showed a three, king, ace, three and seven.

After studying his hand, Schmitt calls the bet. Black smiled with relief as his opponent mucked his cards, once he saw Black’s set of threes.

The winner was happy to be taking home the flat screen TV, having earlier announced that he was surely the one who wanted it most.

Schmitt, who is currently attending the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course, did not walk away empty-handed.

As second place finisher, he received a $250 gift certificate to AAFES. “The $250 gift card is great because it gives me a chance to find what I want, instead of winning a prize that I may want to trade,” Schmitt said. Both players agreed the tournament was a fun way to spend their Wednesday nights.

The order of the other players that competed was third place, Tamie Gonzales; fourth place, Alberto Soto; fifth place, Kenneth Luciani; sixth place, Norman Apt; seventh place, Tim Cooper; and eighth place, Chris Mann.

MWR will be holding a variety of tournaments in the coming year. Visit for announcements and event registration schedules.