Gold, Hellmuth among pros set to stump for charity

In the last few years poker tournaments have become a great way for charities to raise money. This August, two different charities will hold high-profile events to fill their coffers.

The One Step Closer Foundation (OSCF), a charity dedicated to easing the lives of those who suffer from cerebral palsy, is getting into the act for the first time next week with its first annual Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament.

Scheduled for noon on Sunday, Aug. 3 at Hollywood Park Casino in Los Angeles, Calif., the tournament has a $500 entry fee with unlimited $100 rebuys for the first 90 minutes. The starting stack is $2,500 in chips, while each rebuy is good for another $1,000 in chips.

Fifty percent of all proceeds from the tournament will go to the OSCF, while the remaining half will constitute the prize pool for the players.

Among the celebrities currently confirmed to attend are actor Ben Affleck, 2006 WSOP Main Event champion Jamie Gold, 2005 WSOP Ladies Event champion Jennifer Tilly, talk show host and poker enthusiast Montel Williams, The Simpsons producer Sam Simon, musician Jerry Cantrell, comedians Norm MacDonald and Colin Quinn, and Stacey Fuson, Playboy magazine's Miss February 1999.

Running concurrently with the charity tournament is a silent auction of memorabilia to benefit OSCF. Among the most noteworthy is a Vegas Package donated by comedian Ray Romano, featuring roundtrip airfare for two to Las Vegas, two nights at the Mirage, two VIP tickets to Romano's show at Mirage, and a photo and meet-and-greet with Romano after the show.

Other items on the block during the auction include a "'Til Death" package donated by Brad Garrett, an entry into Nancy Cartwright's charity poker tournament in September, a $3,000 certificate from Bradford Renaissance Portraits, and autographed memorabilia donated by Doyle Brunson and actor Kevin James.

More information is available at the OSCF's charity tournament website,

Also being held for the first time this year is the Tony & Eva Parker Celebrity Casino Night. The proceeds from this casino night and poker tournament in San Antonio, Tex., will benefit Eva's Heroes, a charity founded by actress Eva Longoria Parker to help children and young adults with developmental disabilities.

Scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, at Pedrotti's North Wind Ranch in San Antonio, Tex., the tournament has a $300 entry fee and will allow unlimited $100 rebuys for the first hour. All players will begin the tourney with $10,000 in chips and each rebuy is good for $5,000 in chips. The grand prize for the tournament is a seat in the 2009 WSOP Main Event.

Currently confirmed to play in San Antonio are tournament hosts Eva Longoria Parker and Tony Parker, NBA pros Tim Duncan and Sean Elliott, 11-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, and actors Willie Garson, Amaury Nolasco, Adam Rodriguez and David Zayas.

While the tournament is running, there will also be a casino night featuring blackjack, roulette, craps and other casino games. Beginning with $2,000 in casino chips for a $100 donation, players can buy additional chips throughout the evening and cash in their winnings at the end of the night for tickets for prize drawings.

If you plan to attend, now is the time to confirm. Space is limited and all RSVPs must be in by Friday, Aug. 1.

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