One of the unexpected benefits of winning a World Series of Poker bracelet this past summer is the influx of invitations to charity events. I've actually had two extended my way, and while I have to miss the All In for Wishes in upstate New York in October (I'm going to work the European Poker Tour London), I was able to accept a spot as a "celebrity" bounty at Ho-Chunk Nekoosa's 3rd Annual Pulse Punding Poker Tournament on September 28 and 29.
The tournament is held in memory of Kevin Abbott, a man I did not know personally but have heard nothing but great things. Kevin was a former table games employee at Ho-Chunk Gaming Nekoosa, which is a small casino located in central Wisconsin. I'm very excited to take part in this tournament not only to play for a great cause, but because it's right in my backyard. Poker in Wisconsin is as strong as in any other state, and there are some great players that both started here (i.e. Phil Hellmuth, Trevor Pope, Phil Galfond, etc.) and still play here.
The Pulse Pounding Tournament event started in 2011," Nekoosa's poker room manager Adam Estes told me. "The previous year, we had a co-worker and friend named Kevin Abbott pass away. He loved poker, dealing and talking to people. We wanted to create an event to honor his memory and raise money to donate to help others in need at the same time. We chose the Foundation at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield as our charity because Kevin had spent time there the past couple years before he passed."
The proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the Foundation of Saint Joseph's Hospital to the Cardiac, Cancer and Diabetes Funs, and I am honored to be one of their celebrity players. As such, there will be a $200 bounty on my head, which ought to make things interesting. I plan on having a good time, conversing with the other players and hopefully win some money. In the instance that I do, all of it will be donated to the charity. I don't expect every player to donate their winnings, but I do encourage them to donate a portion to the charity to help make the event a success.
"Our main goal is to fill as many of the 150 seats as possible," Estes explained. "That would allow us to raise the most money we can for the charity. A high turnout would also be a reward for my staff to see that their hard work over the past couple years has paid off. Players will not be disappointed with the experience. Hopefully word will spread that these tournaments are something that players don’t want to miss. It will give HCG-Nekoosa a good reputation and be a place more players would visit often."
The Pulse Pounding Poker Tournament will start on September 28 at 11:15 a.m. and conclude on September 29, 2013. If anyone is interested in more information, please feel to reach out to me on either Facebook or Twitter. I also recommend you like Ho-Chunk Nekoosa's page on Facebook for updates and pictures from the event.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ChadAHolloway for more poker articles, stories and musings from the tournament trail.