Going all in

Man balances multiple chairs on his chin.

Glamour, glory, wild entertainment and free money — lots and lots of money.

Well, fake money.

These are just a few of the things that were ripe for the taking on Saturday night, when the Student Program Board (SPB) held its annual Casino Night as part of the Welcome Week program.

The main floor of the Oakland Center was temporarily transformed into a vibrant casino full of colored lights, loud music and students ready to show off their poker faces. Nearly 2,000 students came to bet at slot machines, pose in a red carpet-themed photo booth, and enjoy the carnival-centered decorations and activities.

“The atmosphere was like a real casino,” sophomore Austin Davis said.

Beginning at 7 p.m., students could receive free fake money and gamble it in games like European Roulette, Texas Hold ‘Em and Poker.

The games were manned by members of the housing staff, many of whom learned to play those games the night of the event.

“Everyone was willing to help each other learn how to play,” Megan Bastuba, a Texas Hold ‘Em dealer, said. “It was a fun and exciting atmosphere.”

Players could win or lose money, and when they decided they were done with the games, they could trade their money in for tickets to submit in raffles for high-end prizes.

These prizes included: a PS4 bundle, a 40-inch Hitachi Plasma TV, tickets to Chicago, an Xbox One bundle, a Samsung Tab 4, a spring break trip to New Orleans, and Disney On Ice: Frozen tickets.

“I put my tickets into the New Orleans spring break,” sophomore Austin Davis said.

If students weren’t interested in gambling, they could enjoy other games, such as Pac Man or a one-on-one reflex challenge game. There was also a show in the Banquet Rooms by the Detroit Circus, in which three entertainers juggled with swords, contorted bodies and performed seemingly impossible balancing acts.

Before and after the show, other circus performers wandered the building on stilts and giant rubber balls, posing for pictures and joking with students.

“It doesn’t hurt after practice,” Matt, the show’s juggler and contortionist, said. The audience had the chance to vote for what three objects he juggled out of a sawblade, a machete, an axe and a plunger.

After the circus show, the raffle tickets were pulled and the winners were announced.

“[The raffle] was our way to give back to the students,” said Arkeem Scott, SPB’s annual events director. “It’s about having fun and enjoying yourself.”

To learn more about the SPB and its schedule of events, visit www.oakland.edu/spb.