Pubs And Poker Is A Winning Hand

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Warsaw’s Main Street was a hot spot on Saturday evening, March 30, as crowds enjoyed the first Pubs and Poker event in the city. About 100 people registered for the fun night out that was a fund raiser by the Benton County Tourism and Recreation for marketing efforts and the promotion of tourism. 
Participants checked in at the Landing Bistro and Lounge around 4 PM where they were given a poker sheet and signed up for door prizes. Then, they visited each of four pubs (including The Landing) to enjoy entertainment, special drinks, and collect a poker card. Those who pre-registered had a wild card to add to their poker hand. Their completed poker sheet had to be turned in by 7 PM at the Landing where three winners with the best hand were announced. The Landing Bistro and Lounge, Primitive Olde Crow and Winery, Corner Gardens Bar and Grill, and The Dam Restaurant and Bar took park in Pubs and Poker.
The Landing was a hive of activity as participants of Pubs and Poker arrived to turn in their poker cards toward the end of the day. There were approximately 80 guests in the lounge as WildCarl from Kansas City played, customers mingled, ate dinner and sampled special drinks. Guest chef, Ron Swamby, of Swampy’s BBQ, prepared smoked Barbeque that was a big hit, and local poet John Weber presented a poetry reading. Door prizes were awarded about 7 PM, and winners of Pubs and Poker were announced. Darryl Fisher won first prize of $75, Mark Howell won $50, and Annette Vogel won a $25 third prize.
Participants were in high spirits, full of laughter and seemed to enjoy running into old friends and meeting new ones. One participant, Frances Gatlin, said that she enjoyed meeting Chef Swampy and listening to Poet Weber, who she said “spoke to our hearts.”
“I have lived here for 10 years and my husband and I love it,” said Gatlin. “I am more than happy to support Benton County and love everything that it does.”
Another participant, Chuck Allcorn, said that he enjoyed helping the community, and events like these are a lot of fun. He said that a lot of people come out and it is a good time to visit.
The Landing owner, Jamie Lux, said that some customers were followers of WildCarl from Kansas City. The band played to benefit Global First Responders. John Weber presented poetry during a band break, and was part of a plan by The Landing to work with the Benton County Arts Group.  According to The Landing’s Facebook page, guest chef, Ron Swamby, has won awards for his cooking. 
Debs KrazyKaraoke appeared at The Corner Gardens Bar and Grill during Pubs and Poker and on into the night. Customers were offered $2.50 well drinks, $2.50 beer, large pizzas at $2.50 off, and $1 off special drinks. 
Primitive Olde Crow and Winery offered six house wines, plus Adam Puchta wine, from Hermann. There were $2 beers; three, free house wine samples, and 10 percent off salsa and jams. Warsaw team member for the Winery, Sara Boley, said that there was live entertainment provided by Wayne Thomas. This Warsaw branch of Primitive Olde Crow and Winery opened three years ago, and has a larger affiliate in Clinton.
The Dam Restaurant and Bar had a happy hour during the Pubs and Poker evening and a special shot.
Benton County Tourism and Recreation Executive Director, Lynette Stokes, reported that all four pubs did very well, and that there was a lot of interest from the pubs and participants in holding another poker run in Warsaw.