The Poker Pub's games play out in more than a dozen bars and taverns on both sides of the state line. With facial expressions that managed to be stoney yet somehow welcoming, players at a recent Texas hold-'em tournament at Johnny's Tavern in Overland Park told us that the games are a beery, laughter-filled opportunity to meet new people and socialize with old friends. The competition is all in good fun, with prizes ranging from various gift certificates to a 500-piece chip set, and entry is free, so there's nothing to lose except your reputation should the cards fall in the favor of a novice. (Serious players can look forward to qualifying tournaments that end with an invitation to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.) "It's really not so much about the poker. It's about hanging out with everybody," says Kate Miller of Overland Park. "It's the first sport in my life that I can go out with a bunch of guys and beat the shit out of them." Miller and Jenny Beal, also of Overland Park, agree there is a subtle thrill to raising the good-looking male competitors at their tables. In fact, they tell us, men outnumber women by a large margin here, making Poker Pub tables fertile ground for single women looking for potential mates.