Poker is often played within a haze of low-lying cigar smoke in a dank room with men peering through one squinted eye, trying to decipher their opponent’s motives, only to lose the mortgage money in the end.

But it isn’t always this way.

Sometimes it’s played aboard small dinghies in a harbor over the course of an entire day where players have to travel to destinations to pick up the cards for their hands and meet up later over a barbecue to see if they would come out on top.

Such is the case for the recently held Dinghy Poker Run benefit sponsored by Andersson Marine and hosted by the Pacific Mariner’s Yacht Club.

It was the sixth year that the poker run was held and it has grown in participation through those years, generating more money this year than ever before for whichever charity has been selected.

The recipient of the Poker Run’s winnings this time around was County of Los Angeles Fire Station #110 on Admiralty Way in the Marina.

In honor of the station firefighters’ heroic participation in the 9/11 tragedy, the money was donated for the purposes of upgrading and obtaining more modern rescue equipment that isn’t, at this time, allotted for in the county budget.

Poker players all paid a $20 admission fee to enter the game and this allowed them a chance to win a brand-new Hypalon dinghy donated by Andersson Marine.

The best hand would take home the dinghy, but there were other prizes donated by local retailers for second and third place hands.

The Poker Run raised $5,000 for the station, which delighted the men of the local firehouse.

In addition to the acquisition of equipment, the money would also be used for some added essentials at the station’s living quarters that ordinarily would be paid for out of the men’s own pockets.

“We were real happy for the fire department,” said organizer Kent Andersson. “We did what we should.”

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