“No one is good at poker, but they have a wonderful time.”
—Anne Underwood, charter member, The Poker Face Girls Club
Meet the group of women raising the stakes on charitable giving in Raleigh: the Poker Face Girls Club. These fun-loving ladies gather throughout the year to play poker benefitting charitable organizations in our community. The club was founded in 2014 on a gamble, but charter member Anne Underwood says she knew it would pay off. “I served for many years on various boards and love nonprofit work, but I wanted to create something for women where we give to the community, but really have fun.” Underwood settled on poker as the money making method, a game she had long wanted to learn. It was not to be all fun and games, however. She set up the club as a 501(c)(3) public charity and signed on friends Annette Anderson, Winnie Stephens, and Jane Jordan. They formed a governing board, and from there, the group has since grown to 35 members.
The club rules are simple: Poker Face Girls meet nine times a year to play poker at the home of Annette Anderson. No experience is required—Anderson’s daughter and son-in-law serve as in-house tutors. Every game night has a $35 ante, collected in a lump sum at the beginning of playing season. The money is divided equally into ‘pots’ of $1,200 for each of the nine meetings. The women gather for dinner and drinks, a brief meeting, and then break into groups of 6-8 to play rounds of Texas hold ‘em. At the end of the evening, whoever has the most chips wins, and that winner selects an accredited charity of her choice to receive that night’s pot. The list of recipients include: Backpack Buddies, Boys & Girls Club, Dress for Success, Green Chair Project, Interact, Transitions Life Care, and the YMCA. To date, the club has donated over $19,000.
Underwood says her vision for the club was to multiply in numbers, which seemed logistically impractical, until her friend Virginia Parker asked if she could start a Poker Face Girls Club in North Raleigh. Parker’s club, the Queens, became a DBA sister organization. Today, there are at least three clubs in the works as the Poker Face Girls Club continues betting on our community. Underwood says that the group’s motto is what drives the group. “We like to have fun and give back. —Katherine Poole
Interested in starting your own club?
Contact Anne Underwood at pokerfacegirlsclub.com