Charity cashes at memorial poker tournament for former Yankee

Poker fans decked out in Cory Lidle jerseys swamped the Hollywood Park Casino Sunday to honor the fallen Yankee, raise money for charity and play a little Hold'em.

Lidle, a 34-year-old Major League Baseball pitcher, was killed when his airplane crashed into a Manhattan building in October.

To pay tribute to the athlete - who pitched for seven teams in the big leagues, most recently with the New York Yankees - family members organized the inaugural Cory Lidle Memorial Poker Tournament to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The event donated $60,000 to the charity, raised by 270 players putting up a $205 buy-in and a successful sports memorabilia auction featuring signed goods from baseball and football's top athletes.

Among the players from the professional poker world who showed up to compete were Freddy Deeb and Annie Duke.

But it wasn't a pro who would take down the tournament's first-place prize. Chris Welch, a friend of Lidle's former teammate Mike Lieberthal, sweated out nine hours at the felt to win $12,560 and the title.

Lee Jett, a Lidle family friend, finished in second to make $6,535.

Lidle's twin brother, Kevin, also competed in the tournament dressed in Cory's Yankees jersey. Lidle's widow, Melanie, kicked off the action by announcing players could, "Shuffle up and deal!"

Best Poker Sites - Editor`s Pick

Latest Blogs »