Full House at KWU Casino Night

Written by on August 22, 2023

By Elijah Resano / Staff Writer

Photo by Elijah Resano / Students chance luck while playing roulette during the KWU casino night.

On Friday evening, Kansas Wesleyan University Coyotes got to enjoy the end of their first week of school in the form of a casino night held at the Muir Gym in the Student Activities Center. The games, consisting of blackjack, Texas Hold’em (poker), craps and roulette, made students earn chips to be exchanged for tickets to enter in a raffle for various prizes.

On one side of the gym, students made cautious decisions of hitting and standing along the row of blackjack tables. Here, blackjack—a game with a certain dependence on luck—tested students’ ability to read into the future; knowing what cards may show up, as they bet their hard-earned chips with a chance to double what they’ve earned or lose to the devious dealer who delivers a painful deduction in winnings in the form of a higher hand. Students filled the seats as they anxiously played against the house.

Photo by Elijah Resano / Director of Student Housing Micah Crosley deals to students for a round of Texas Hold ‘Em.

Other casino enthusiasts tried their hand in a game of Texas Hold’em. Allowing seven players to compete against one another, it was a battle of deception and intimidation. A more casual but competitive form of gambling; players fought as to who had the better five-card poker hand through tactical betting while also interacting with others through taunts, jests and poker faces. Chips rattled as players called and raised, and fists gave tables a loud roar when a player lost. From two-pairs to flushes, students either made it out big on winning hands, or misjudged all-ins.

For those who wanted to entirely place their bets on the hands of Lady Luck herself however, many tried to go big on roulette and craps. Requiring only the knowledge of how to play the game whilst being at the mercy of a dice roll, or the landing of the pill on a spinning top, players found themselves with a chance of either winning a ridiculous amount of money or losing everything in one fell swoop.

“It’s almost like cheating,” freshman Matthew Redden said, after winning 9000 in chips in roulette. “Even though I know I wasn’t cheating. I just got really lucky.”

Photo by Elijah Resano / Jaylen Peterson poses with his new tv, gifted to him by a big winner of casino night.

The night ended with players trading in their winnings for tickets to be used for the final raffle. A wide array of prizes was raffled off to winners, from gift cards and t-shirts to Apple Air Pods. One particular player with an earning of 100k in chips received first dibs on a TV. In a show of unexpected heartfulness, they donated such prize to Jaylen Peterson who called the act, “an act of love”.

Casino night offered students a new form of engagement on campus where they could have fun, meet with friends, and show off their gambling skills. To many, it was a well-earned break from the haphazard first week of school some endured.

“I had a lot of issues, mostly tech stuff and first-time anxiety,” freshman Joshua Chelvan said. “But everyone was helpful while playing [blackjack] and I was just having fun.”

This event showcases KWU’s commitment to ensuring that Coyotes have venues where they can blow off some steam. All around the gym, cheers could be heard for landing on black, or getting a straight, or getting a Blackjack, and even when losing 2000 in chips; a gentle camaraderie within students was found in both winning and losing.

“It’s a chance to get everybody out and having a good time,” Director of Student Housing Micah Crosley said. “Everybody had laughs.”

Students walked out of Muir Gym with mixed emotions. Those few who won prizes held it high, proud of what they’d accomplished. For the rest, many headed off to continue their Friday night.

“I just hope the winners don’t get any incentive to try out real-world money on casinos after winning tonight,” Crosley said.

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