For the tens of thousands of soldiers serving in Iraq as members of the United States Armed Forces, the great American pastime of poker is just what Uncle Sam ordered. While fighting in war-ravaged countries like Iraq, these men and women need a fun, competitive, and positive way to blow off steam. Screaming Eagle Poker provides that escape from the daily hazards of life as they know it in the form of poker tournaments.
Felix Gutierrez envisioned a regular poker tournament league in which his fellow soldiers could participate and enjoy themselves when they weren't risking their lives for their country. After thirteen years of service, including deployment in Bosnia and two terms of active service in Iraq, Gutierrez had seen enough soldiers in war zones, missing their families and yearning for a leisure activity that satisfied their needs for fun and camaraderie. Thus, he shared his idea for the league with fellow soldiers, Matt Davis and Brian Buschor, and they became the founding members of the Screaming Eagle Poker Association.
Meeting on a weekly basis, the games involve a rapidly growing group of service men and women who play poker for points and sometimes non-monetary prizes. Since the Army discourages gambling for money, the tournaments were implemented with a leader board where status is the objective and emotional release is an added benefit. According to the official website, "Poker is a game of positive expectation, and that is exactly what our organization plans to bring to our soldiers."
One of the goals of Screaming Eagle Poker is to sponsor fundraising events for the soldiers, which is done as they are able. Further, to broaden the scope of the idea and involve more people, the organization has opened membership to the general public. Not only does it make civilians feel closer to the soldiers who are in harm's way overseas, it also allows people to give to a worthwhile cause and help boost the morale of the troops.
Membership costs $25 per year and include perks such as a Screaming Eagle Poker t-shirt, 33% discount on a 12-month subscription to Bluff Magazine, 20% discount on Poker Tournament Manager software, and 15% discount on all purchases from Card-Sharx.com, DiscountBikerShades.com, and Choppers Apparel.com. The added bonus of becoming a member is that 20% of your membership fee is donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing mental and physical support to Armed Forces service members wounded during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Screaming Eagle Poker wants to raise public awareness about the aid needed to assist service members who struggle during rehabilitation and the transition back to civilian life.
Gutierrez is now President of the organization and sees his wishes being fulfilled. Besides allowing his fellow soldiers to be involved in constructive competition with each other and safe from harm for a period of time each week, he is also able to help members of the Armed Forces with much needed attention and assistance.
According to its mantra, "The Army is a reflection of society, and today's soldiers love to play the great American game of poker." And that is the bottom line. At ease.
For membership information, please visit screamingeaglepoker.org.