Bob Hoffman, a regular poker player at Canterbury Park, spent six years in the military.
Did his time in the Army teach him anything about playing poker? Discipline? Courage?
“Not a damn thing,” Hoffman said.
Still, he can usually be found in the Canterbury Park poker room on Tuesdays, and he always plays in the annual Veterans Appreciation Tournament.
Canterbury Park each year around Veterans Day adds $2,000 to the prize pool for the event, in which veterans of the Armed Forces can play for free.
• 6:30 p.m.
• Thursday, Nov. 15
• Second floor tournament area
• No-Limit Hold’em
• Free buy-in for veterans; $50 for others (no re-entry or rebuys)
• Registration opens at 3 p.m. Late registration available through the break after level 3.
At the Tables
Hoffman, who played in local games in college, said he started playing poker at Canterbury Park upon the opening of the poker room.
“It keeps me busy,” Hoffman said. “I retired three times, and I like playing cards of all kinds.”
When it comes to poker, Hoffman usually plays 2-4 limit and some of the smaller buy-in tournaments. He doesn’t play in the bigger buy-in events.
“They’d chew me up and spit me out,” Hoffman said. “I’m not a very good tournament player.”
But he said he enjoys coming out to play poker at Canterbury, having made friends and acquaintances with players and staff. He singled out Casino VP Michael Hochman and Tournament Director Caris Norberg for their efforts to make players feel welcome and comfortable.
“They take care of us. They do a good job,” he said.
Hoffman, who lives in Bloomington, was in the Army for six years, ending his service in 1965.
He didn’t see it as a calling, however. After “a bad first year at Carleton” his father didn’t want to continue to pay for his schooling. So he enlisted in the Army, worked in supply and transport, and was eventually discharged as a sergeant having never spent any time overseas.
Hoffman later enrolled at the University of Minnesota, graduating with a major in history and a minor in business.
On Thursday, Nov. 15, he will take a break from the cash games and play in the Veterans Appreciation Tournament, though he has never finished in the money.
“If they had more freerolls, I’d play more tournaments,” Hoffman said.
To play for free in the Veterans Appreciation Tournament, you must show proof of your military status. Find out how.