Fort Worth native Angie Box is a long-time card shark. But until recently, she’d only been able to play games with friends and neighbors for leisure, which is why two years ago – “for selfish reasons,” she said – she founded the Pocket Angels Poker League, North Texas’ first women’s amateur poker association. The league holds tournaments every Wednesday at Stumpy’s Blues Bar in Arlington.

As it turns out, Box wasn’t the only gal who wanted to get out of the house for a little Texas Hold ‘Em. The Pocket Angels currently have 27 active members; a little more than 50 have sat at the tables, however, since the league’s inception.

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“We just kind of evolved,” Box said. “It started with me and nine others. Now we’ve got grandmothers, single girls, lesbians, CPAs, and checkers who work in grocery stores playing. That’s what so nice. I wouldn’t socialize with these people on a regular basis. If I met them anywhere else, we wouldn’t be friends, but the camaraderie brings us all together.”

Dues are $130 per 10 weeks of play, a fee that covers services, provided by the independent entity Str8 Turn Poker, including tables, chips, and a dealer. Box also gets sponsors to donate prizes, like an all-expenses-paid weekend in Las Vegas with a major buy-in for the World Series of Poker Ladies’ Event or a trip on a card player cruise. The Pocket Angels are attracting interest from all over the Metroplex. “I have people call me from Dallas and from Fort Worth to ask if I would do a league there,” she said. “I have two children, so it’s hard to take on another night of the week.”

Last year, Box and fellow Angels started playing at Gold Nugget on Division Street, where only 10 women regularly bought in and another 10 watched. “People started talking about us,” she said.

The next week she had 22 people, and three bars asked her to relocate her league to their premises. (Good for weeknight business, no doubt.) As the number of Pocket Angels grew, she moved the game to Stumpy’s to take advantage of its spaciousness, as well as other things like a railing that separates the poker tables from the spectators, the club’s central location (members come from all over the region), and its large, well-lit parking lot. Every Saturday, Box also podcasts her poker show, Naughty Poker Angels, at With co-host Sharron Nix, Box discusses “porn, poker, hands from the league, any drama.” For more information, visit www.pocketangels

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