Staff Sgt. James Morris went from ‘shuffle up and deal’ to ‘hurry up and wait’ as the grand prize recipient of the U.S. Army Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em Champion finally reaped the rewards of his poker success Thursday.
Morris beat all local players in the Fort Lee MWR-sponsored event back in March and did the same during the championship online event June 2. After using his poker savvy to outlast about 2,000 other competitors from installations world-wide, Morris won an all-inclusive home theater package, with Bose speakers and 42” TV. Morris said it took a little while getting hold of the event coordinator, Family and MWR Command in Alexandria, to claim his prize, but it was worth the wait.
“This is great,” said Morris. “I can’t wait to get home and set this up before my wife and son sees it.”
Having the winner come from Fort Lee was great, said Doriann Fengler, business consultant with FMWRC business programs directorate.
“It’s nice to be able to come from Alexandria and actually meet the winner face-to-face,” said Fengler. “You could imagine the difficulty had the winner been in Germany.”
Fengler and David LaPradd, represented FMWRC to present Morris with his prize, as well as a free year membership to NetFlix. An informal ceremony was held at Morris’ office building where he works as a radio and communications security repairer under CASCOM. His colleagues, the company first sergeant and commander were in attendance to congratulate his success.
Morris has been on a lucky streak of sorts. He said that prior to winning the poker tourney, he had first been placed on the E-7 list, and then shortly after, made the warrant officer list. He plans on attending the warrant officer course in the near future, but hopes to get one more poker game in at the Regimental Club prior to departure. Maybe, he said, being the poker champ will earn him a free buy-in at the next tournament.
“My wife didn’t know I had to pay to play in the first tournament,” said Morris. “But after I told her what I won, I had to tell her the truth. She didn’t mind after hearing we won the entertainment system.”