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Televised poker event from Middletown, Ohio?

Televised poker event from Middletown, Ohio? 0001

Regional TV station "TV Middletown" could be the latest organization to jump on the Texas Holdem poker bandwagon.

Station board member and volunteer Leonard Robinson said he is likely to go before Middletown City Council next month and propose televising a poker tournament from "TV Middletown" as a fund-raiser.

"We need to come up with some cash fast," Robinson says after the City Council cut the station's funding by one-third, in order to balance Middletown's $27 million general fund budget, for 2005.

The city's total spending was cut about $7 million from the 2004 general fund budget, including TV Middletown's budget, from about $150,000 to about $100,500.

Robinson said station leadership is considering several options to increase long-term funding and contributions, including the poker tournament.

TV Middletown is funded through the city by its franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable.

A televised Texas Holdem tournament could feature the same close-up and hidden camera angles that have made celebrity and professional poker games a hit on channels ranging from ESPN to the Travel Channel, Robinson said.

Robinson said details about how the tournament will work and who will play need to be finalized, but he hopes to have a proposal for council at one of its December meetings.

Poker tournaments and casino events have become popular and lucrative fund-raisers for many organizations, including schools, church groups and sports teams.

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