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  • NHL Face-off Organized by Playground Poker Club Raises $50,000 for Charity

    Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 by Nadia

In the NHL Face-off organized by Playground Poker Club recently, $50,000 were raised to go towards cancer research. The poker charity tournament, which commenced on 10^th September, brought players from two fields to the felt – poker and hockey. This three day tournament was held in Kahnawake, Quebec. The key aim of the tournament was to raise money for charitable organization Jodi Taiger Lazarus Fund, which supports research on hereditary breast cancer.

*Tournament Tables Packed with Hockey and Poker Players*

Five teams played on Day 1A of the tournament. Each team had a captain from the National Hockey League (NHL). Some of them were Guy Carbonneau, Bobby Dollas, Steve Shutt Guy Lafleur and Mike Bossy. On Day 1B, Josh Gorges, Carey Price, PK Subban, Pete Mahovlich and Travis Moen – Montreal Canadians – were among the many NHL players at the tables.

The hockey players were accompanied by some of the best poker players in the industry. One of them was Gavin Smith, player of the year in the World Poker Tour Season 4. A few other players were Jennifer Leigh and Trishelle Cannatella. Pascal Lefrancois, a bracelet winner at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and Jeff Madsen, the player of the year in the WSOP held in 2006, participated. At the end of Day 1A, the chip leader was Antonio Esfandiari.

*Unique Tournament Format*

A few of the poker players were in the role of assistant captains. The tournament featured a unique format which permitted players from the NHL to discuss game-play and strategies with poker players. This created some top-level action at the felt. It also gave the NHL players an advantage that they needed, as most of them were quite unfamiliar with poker tournaments. An instance of this was when Steve Shutt, an NHL player and team captain, called on his team mate and professional poker player Marc Karam for a hand analysis. He acted on Karam’s advice and went all-in with his pocket tens. This resulted in Shutt’s stack increasing by twice as much as when the hand was dealt to him.

With a prize pool worth $120,000, the tournament attracted a field of 293 players. By the end of the tournament, $50,000 was generated by the players. The money went to the Jodi Taiger Lazarus Fund. The player to lift the NHL Face-off Cup was Jason Smith. He also bagged prize money worth $25,000 and a gold bracelet in the Playground Poker Club Champions. The team that won the tournament had Carey Price as captain and Pascal Lefrancois as co-captain. This earned them the chance to enter a $5,000 Free-roll tournament in which the winner takes all.

Early this year, another charity poker tournament was held. It featured some of the legendary poker professionals in the world. Phil Hellmuth, Jordin Sparks, Kevin Sorbo, Don Cheadle and Steve Martin were among them. The tournament was initially structured to include players from the National Football League (NFL). However, its players were banned by the NFL from entering the event.

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