Darrell Hughes has been in the poker industry for nearly a decade, working as a tournament director and now owner of Little Vegas Sports Lounge.
“I was a tournament director for Go All In,” said Hughes. “I would travel around to different fire halls and sponsor different tournaments.”
Since opening his poker lounge about a month ago, Hughes has already held a charity night for the Frankford Public Library, and he will be hosting another on Jan. 5 from 6 p.m. to midnight, and again on Feb. 2.
Hughes said that those who wish to attend can call in advance to reserve a seat, or simply show up that evening. Little Vegas boasts five poker tables and one seven-card stud table. There are areas for people to sit and watch the game on one of the two flat-screen televisions, as well as a dartboard and even an old school Nintendo system.
“I’m trying to provide a small, friendly home-type atmosphere,” said Hughes.
Food prepared by Hughes himself will be available free of charge, and sodas will be for sale for $1 per can.
Hughes hires dealers and even provides on-site training for those who are interested in working for him. Participants may buy in for a minimum of $20 in chips, up to $150, per state law.
“Then, whatever table is available, there’s a seat at the table they can go and sit down, and good luck to them!” said Hughes.
Currently, Hughes is looking for area charities to which he can donate a portion of the proceeds of the lounge’s pot.
“It’s spread between the charities and the business,” he explained. “For the Jan. 5 night, Frankford library will receive 60 percent.”
““He just called up and asked if we’d like to do that, as well,” said Elizabeth Hamilton, director of the Frankford Public Library. “The Little Vegas business replaced another similar thing that was going on in the same place last year. One of the necessities, according to the Gaming Commission, is that they have to be giving part of their profits to a nonprofit.”
Hughes said he believes it is important to give back to the community and local charities, as he and his family have benefited from such organizations.
“I have two children that live in Indianapolis, Ind., and they are both autistic. They benefit a lot from charitable organizations. People don’t realize how they can benefit from different charitable organizations. I would rather see the money go to a charity than go to a casino where all they do is profit,” he said, adding that he is happy to be helping the Frankford library. “There are so many children that go there. They could receive more books, build a bigger library.”
Hamilton said that the money raised at Little Vegas will go toward the library’s building fund, which has grown with the help of a Longwood Foundation grant in the amount of $150,000 and a Crystal Trust grant in the amount of $50,000.
“The building fund is doing alright. We have some money from the State, and we have a couple of private grants. Then we have individuals giving donations and folks like Little Vegas. We just got a check from NRG for $1,000,” said Hamilton. “We probably need about another $50,000 — in total, approximately $800,000.”
The Frankford library was established in November 1931, has moved locations numerous times and now has a lot of Green Street, where they hope to have a permanent home. In November of 2012, the library broke ground for its expansion and Hamilton is hoping the building will be completed in June of 2013.
“The building is supposed to cost $741,000,” said Hamilton, adding that extra money would go toward change orders and purchasing other items, such as furniture. “We don’t have the furniture and equipment that we’ll need for the bigger library.”
Hamilton said that, with the expansion, the library will be able to double in size.
“Where we are now, we don’t have room for people to really be able to browse the shelves and sit down and look at a book. We have seating for five in the front room and one table in the back room. When we do any kind of a program, we either have to do it somewhere else or we do it here and crowd as many people in as possible,” she said.
“We will increase that exponentially in the new building. We’ll have a meeting room that is setup for 50 people now. We are increasing the amount of space. We’ll have twice as much more space than what we have now. It will just allow us to serve the users we have now better and allow us to attract many more users.”
Hamilton said that the community support has been nice but difficult to get over the years.
“It has been good. We have had a number of people make contributions. This is a lower socio-economic area here, and most of our contributions have been small.”
She added that a dine-and-donate event would be held at the Cottage Café near Bethany Beach on Jan. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m., at which 15 percent of the money earned will be donated to the library.
“So come on over and eat!” she said with a laugh.
Little Vegas Sports Lounge is located at 34407 N. DuPont Boulevard (Route 113), Suite 8, in Frankford. For more information, call (302) 387-9434 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Saturdays and Sundays features a seven-Card stud cashgame, while Mondays and Tuesdays are a Texas Hold ’Em cash-game nights. Wednesday and Thursdays are Omaha cash-game nights, and Fridays are Dealer’s Choice nights.
Those who wish to donate to the library’s expansion may do so online, through PayPal. For more information on the library or how to help, visit www.frankfordlibray.org or call (302) 732-9351.