Hellmuth to host Hold'em for Heroes

Phil Hellmuth

It would be a pretty big stretch to refer to Phil Hellmuth as a "hero," unless of course you're the type of person who worships loudmouthed poker players.

However, Hellmuth will put his mouth and reputation to work as the cohost at the fourth annual Hold'em for Heroes Charity Poker Tournament, which runs Nov. 21-22 at the Fort McDowell Casino in Fort McDowell, Ariz.

"We are thrilled that Phil Hellmuth is joining us again as a host for our poker tournament this year," said Kathy Hanrahan, chief executive officer of TASER Foundation.

"Phil Hellmuth is a huge draw, and anyone who watches the World Series of Poker knows that he brings his A-game to whatever he does. His continued commitment to the TASER Foundation and the families of fallen officers in the United States and Canada comes directly from his heart."

Hellmuth's partner in crime will be country music singer Mark Willis. Willis is a multiplatinum record-selling performer whose body of work includes albums such as Wish You Were Here, Permanently, and his latest release Familiar Stranger.

"In addition to being a huge country music star, Mark Wills is also a Reserve Deputy Sheriff in Georgia," said Hanrahan. "He has been a strong supporter and true friend of the TASER Foundation for many years and we are excited to have him as a host for this main fundraising event for the Foundation."

Hellmuth has never been one to shy away from the spotlight, and clearly this tournament will have its fair share of shine. Its roster of professional poker players and celebrities includes Jim Bechtel, Antonio Esfandiari, Layne Flack, former Dallas Cowboy Ed "Too Tall" Jones, CSI Miami actor Rex Linn, country singer Nick Nicholson, ubiquitous talk show host-cum-poker player Montel Williams, and none other than Marvin "Young MC" Young. Hey, you want it, baby - you got it.

The tournament will feature two $100 buy-in events as well as a $1,000 buy-in high rollers event. In addition to the cash up for grabs, players have the chance to win a $10,000 buy-in to the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event. Fifty percent of all the proceeds will go to the TASER Foundation.

The TASER Foundation for Fallen Officers was established in 2004. Its mission is to honour the service and sacrifice of local, state/provincial, and federal law enforcement officers in the United States and Canada lost in the line of duty by providing financial support to their families.

It is the only organization that provides direct financial benefits to families of fallen officers from all three levels of law enforcement organizations in the United States and Canada.

As an interesting side note, there is actually a Web site called letstaserphil.com. It was started after Hellmuth responded to a Phil Laak question on Poker After Dark. The question was, how much would it take for Hellmuth to willingly be Tasered?

"I feel very safe about the Taser," responded Hellmuth. "I know something about it, so I would do it for a million for sure."

What a hero.

To learn more about the TASER Foundation for Fallen Officers and the Hold'em for Heroes Poker Tournament, visit www.holdemforheroes.com.

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