The three-year-old Nautica Charity Poker Festival
has returned to the Flats, and runs every Thursday through Sunday, when card sharks fill 24 tables to play either poker or blackjack. The rules are fairly clear-cut: You must be at least 21 years old; keep your cards above the table during the game; and don’t cuss out the dealer when you’re losing. “Otherwise, they’ll throw your ass out onto the parking lot,” says regular Kathi Von Kaenel.
Because gambling is illegal in Ohio, the tournament skirts the law by funneling all the bets to nonprofit groups. (This weekend, the games benefit the Garfield Heights Booster Club, which maintains the city’s baseball, softball, football, soccer, and wrestling programs.) Games run from 4 p.m. to midnight today and tomorrow and 2 p.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday at the Powerhouse, 2000 Sycamore Street on the West Bank of the Flats. Bets range from $2 to $100. Call 216-861-4982 for more info. -- Cris Glaser