True Grit returned on September 29, 2012, to the Old Blanco County Courthouse upstairs courtroom. This time, however, it was not the film crews for the making of the Coen Brothers’ version of the movie ‘True Grit,’ but the hosting of the Third Annual Blanco True Grit Texas Hold ’Em Tournament, benefiting the Old Blanco County Courthouse Preservation Society (OBCCPS) and its mission to protect, enhance and preserve the venerable old 1885 Blanco County Courthouse. The event was part of the annual fundraiser Gala sponsored by OBCCPS.
Nearly 50 participants gathered in the upstairs courtroom to determine who would become the Blanco True Grit champion. After several hours of heated exchanges, a final table of nine would-be champions emerged. Thanks to generous sponsors, including Hawk Golf Club, Vaaler Creek Golf Club, Redbud Café, Papa Joey’s and Zocalo’s Café, the fourth through ninth place finishers received a prize for their efforts.
Finally, the field was narrowed to three players, including Mable Rollins, who was last year’s first place winner, Jon Brieger, and Rick Harkinson. After several additional rounds of play, Jon Brieger emerged victorious, beating out last year’s champ Mable, with Rick Harkinson taking third place. Thanks to the generosity of the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Jon and Jan Brieger will enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas with a luxury suite in the hotel for two nights, a limo to pick them up and return them to the airport, and a dinner in the famous Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse. The prize has a retail value of $1,300.
Mable Rollins will enjoy a hotel room for two for two nights at the Horseshoe Hotel and Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana, plus dinner for two at the Binyon’s Steakhouse, valued at $500. Rick Harkinson, the third place winner, received a cash prize of $300.
Also, as part of this year’s tournament, a raffle of a wagon filled with donations from area distilleries, breweries, and retailers raised over $800 for the Courthouse. The wagon was donated by Tractor Supply, and the contents were donated by Hill Country Liquor Blanco, Garrison Bros., Dripping Spring Distillery, Real Ale Brewing, Republic Tequila, and Enchanted Rock Distillery. With over 800 raffle tickets sold, the lucky winning ticket holder was Jeff Harkinson.
This year’s event utilized a local event coordinator and local dealers. Overall, the event was a huge success, but next year’s tournament promises to be even bigger, with the goal of filling the courtroom with over 100 participants. This year’s co-chairs were Mable Rollins and Jeff Harkinson.