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Walking on Their Hands 

The Poker Walk combines exercise with card-playing.

Forget playing Texas Hold 'Em over a stogie and a can of Pabst. At the Amherst Poker Walk, you can play cards and get healthy at the same time.

Here's how it works: Participants collect poker chips at five stations along a 2.5-mile route. At the end of the course, each walker turns in his or her chips for a set of cards. The player with the best hand pockets a cool $200.

"This is different from last year, when we handed out the cards on the route," says Joni Poli, who organized the walk to raise money for the American Cancer Society's Elyria chapter. "Then we heard of people cheating by combining and trading their cards before they got to the finish line. So we decided to do it with chips this year."

Throughout the morning, walkers can also get in on raffles for gift baskets stuffed with restaurant gift certificates, boxes of candy, and wine. But it's mostly the Poker Walk itself that'll have folks praying for a royal flush early this morning. "Keep in mind that this is not a race. You do it in however long it takes you," says Poli. "And with a little luck, you'll go home with some money."
Sun., May 21, 9 a.m.

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