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January 16, 2007 > Pajama party serves up Bunco

Pajama party serves up Bunco

By Julie Grabowski

The Newark Chamber of Commerce livens up the New Year with their First Annual Bunco Tournament and Pajama Party Friday, January 19. Co-hosted with the Newark Hilton, the event promises an evening full of exciting play with raffle prizes, food tasting, music, and a prize for the best pajamas.

For those still puzzling over what Bunco actually is, it's a dice game played in rounds of six per set by tables of four players in two competing teams. Players accumulate as many points as they can in an effort to win each round. Points are scored by rolling three dice and trying to achieve the given number amount for the round. A point is awarded for each die that rolls the given number, and if all three have the number, the player receives 21 points. 5 points can be scored for rolling any three of a kind number. Players keep rolling until they fail to score any points, then the dice moves to the left and the opposing team.

Teams at the Head Table try to score 21 points, which wins the round and stops play. All table play ceases when the Head Table finishes, and each lower table team with the highest score wins the round. Players change seats at the end of the round; winners from each lower table move up a table, and losers from the Head Table go to the lowest table. Partners are also switched at this time, so no one ever plays with the same person twice in a row.

Players have personal scorecards and are responsible for tracking the number of rounds their team wins and loses, as well as their individual number of Buncos scored. Wins/losses and Buncos are tallied at the end of the evening and prizes awarded.

Chamber CEO Linda Ashley says the idea to host a Bunco event came from a night of channel surfing when she happened upon a Bunco tournament being held in Las Vegas. Ashley knew of neighbors and friends playing the game, and thought it would be something different and fun to use as a fundraiser. Pajamas are not a must; just whatever fits one's own idea of laid-back fun attire. "Comfortable, that's the name of the game," says Ashley.

Local restaurants will provide food tasting, including samplings from the Hilton's own menu, Cattlemen's, Fellini O, Red Robin, Robeks, W Silicon Valley Newark, Newark Unified Gourmet Catering Co., and Super Suppers. And for players or spectators dreading a late drive home, the Hilton is offering an overnight stay with breakfast for two for $75 plus tax.

The tournament cost is $50 per player, and spectators are welcome for $20. Registration begins at 7 p.m. with the start of the competition following at 7:30. Game play and festivities last until a winner emerges. The nights' Bunco champion wins a trip for two to the National Bunco Tournament Finals in Las Vegas, including airfare and accommodations at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Deadline for registration is January 16 or when sold out. For more information or to request a registration form, call the Newark Chamber of Commerce at (510) 744-1000.

Bunco Tournament and Pajama Party
Friday, January 19
7:30 p.m.
Newark Hilton
39900 Balentine Drive, Newark
(510) 744-1000
Tournament $ 50, Spectators $20.

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