- Associated Press - Sunday, May 11, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Though a bit dejected by two straight losses in dominoes, Richard Sullivan readily relinquished his spot at the corner booth inside the White Castle on E. 5th Avenue.

“I’ve got to wake up,” said the 67-year-old resident of the Linden neighborhood.

With no one else waiting to play, the newly arrived Bennie Woods slid into the open seat at the table - eager to try his luck against Charles Douglas and Jonathan Mills.

“I’m ready,” said Woods, 81, of the Olde Towne East neighborhood. “I slept in this morning.”

The clock hadn’t yet struck 10?a.m., but the competition - predictably - was already coming and going at the fast-food joint, which stands a stone’s throw from I-71.

“The low man gets up, and someone else sits down,” said Douglas, 80, summing up the “musical chairs” that takes place for hours on end.

The scene, in fact, changes little from day to day.

“We had nothing else to do and were always sitting around drinking coffee,” recalled Douglas, who, like Sullivan and Mills, lives in nearby Linden.

“One day, we decided to start playing dominoes.”

More than 10 years later, the routine continues.

“We enjoy it,” said Mills, 67.

And how.

Although just three people compete at once - a single set of dominoes is used - the revolving nature of the play gives the seven or eight regulars multiple turns.

The group favors All Fives, a version of “bones” that allows scoring only when the open ends of the dominoes layout add up to a multiple of five.

A game - typically consisting of several rounds, or hands - ends when a player reaches 250 points. (And then the player with the lowest score makes room for the next challenger.)

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