Green felt meets diamond to benefit vets

Last year Coors Field unexpectedly hosted the World Series after the Colorado Rockies went on an unprecedented tear to cap off the Major League Baseball season. This year it will host Poker at the Ballpark, a tournament to benefit the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

The event is to be hosted by the Poker Players Alliance and should draw some big names from the poker world, as they ante up to help the growing number of American veterans who've sustained spinal cord injuries while serving in the military.

"The Poker Players Alliance is honored to host this charity poker tournament and looks forward to raising a lot of money for these American heroes," says former senator Alfonse D'Amato, chairman of the PPA.

"This is a great opportunity to harness the popularity of the game of poker in order to raise much needed funds for those who have fought to protect our country and our individual freedoms - paralyzed vets."

The Poker Players Alliance is a nonprofit membership organization made up of 1 million online and offline poker players and enthusiasts from around the United States who have joined together to speak with one voice to promote the game and to protect poker players' rights.

Those who are confirmed to play in the Colorado event include actor-turned-donkey Ben Affleck, Andy Bloch, fresh off yet another braceletless World Series of Poker, and of course the ubiquitous Barry Greenstein, who has apparently never met a charity he didn't like.

Paralyzed Veterans of America is a congressionally chartered veterans service organization that has been around since 1946. It tries to help these veterans with issues that range from health care and education to accessibility and sports programs.

The organization has nearly $70 million in total assets and presumably much of that is maintained through events such as Poker at the Ballpark. Its Web site is full of dates for other fundraisers that include golf tournaments and the like.

Single-seat entries for the event are $500, with discounts available when you by four or more seats. Spectator seats for those who want to ogle Affleck start at $250, including the reception, where autographs will likely be for sale as well. The grand prize of the event is a 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event buy-in, valued at $10,000.

A VIP reception at the club level of the big-league ballpark begins at 9:30 p.m., and tournament play begins at 10 p.m.

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