Kelli Griggs beat out 419 players Sunday to win the Bicycle Casino's Ladies Poker Party and claim more than $12,000 and the final seat in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Ladies Night IV Aug. 31.
Ladies Night IV will bring Griggs back to the Bicycle Casino to play against Jennifer Tilly, the defending Ladies Night III champion, as well as Joanne Liu, Vanessa Rousso, Erica Schoenberg, and Anahit Galajian. The event will be recorded to be televised on the Travel Channel.
The prestigious spot in the WPT event wasn't the only factor in Griggs' decision to enter the Ladies Poker Party. Ten percent of the $100 buy-in was donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The cause is a close one for Griggs whose grandmother died of breast cancer, and her aunt is battling the disease. Griggs also is a survivor of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
After her win, Griggs kicked in an extra $2,500 donation. The Travel Channel and the WPT also made contributions to the charity.
Griggs credits her experience with cancer as one of the motivating forces in her life. She now makes the most of everything she commits to, and one of the things she's committed to recently is poker. She started to focus seriously on poker last year, reading, playing, and working with a coach.
Her efforts have paid off so far with this win, and she also won a single table satellite that got her into the 2006 World Series of Poker Ladies Event where she placed 59th out of 1128 players.