Queen of Hearts set to bake WSOP opponents

Mary Jones Meyer
Former Ladies Event champ Mary Jones will return to support the Queen of Hearts again this year.

For the third straight year, the Queen of Hearts team is set to storm the Ladies Event at the World Series of Poker. And much like the Ladies Event itself is expected to do, the team has once again grown.

Lisa Tenner, the founder of the team, returns as a co-captain this year for a Queen of Hearts team whose ranks have swelled to 34. This marks the second straight year that the team has grown, after jumping to 25 last year from its original 18.

Members of this year's team come from the worlds of poker, entertainment and business, and all of them share an enthusiasm both for the game and for using it as an opportunity to give to a good cause.

Joining Tenner as co-captains for 2008 will be actress Mimi Rogers, who served as co-captain of last year's team, and best-selling author Jackie Collins.

"It is a blessing and an honor to enter a third consecutive year with Harrah's Entertainment and our 2008 WSOP Queen of Hearts team," said Tenner. "We are proud to continue our relationship with Harrah's and the WSOP in our dedication to integrate the world of poker with beneficiaries in the non-profit health sector."

Co-captain Rogers echoed Tenner's entiments. "I am delighted to return to cochair the 2008 WSOP Ladies No Limit Championship Queen of Hearts event with Lisa Tenner. The Queen of Hearts dedication toward health issues and research for cures and prevention continues with this year's beneficiary, Nevada Cancer Institute."

The Nevada Cancer Institute, which has already received over $10,000 thanks to the Queen of Hearts team and its title sponsor, the DeLeon Family Care Project Limited, bills itself as a collaborative project between "concerned citizens, the oncology community, academic leaders, legislators, corporations, healthcare advocates, and cancer patients and their families."

The members of the Queen of Hearts team have all pledged to donate part of their winnings from the 2008 WSOP Ladies Event to the Institute.

The 2008 roster

Building on the success of the last two years, Tenner has put together a team full of successful women from across society.

The Champ
Sally Anne Boyer returns to defend her title and raise money for cancer research.

Among the names on the roster are some of the best-known women in tournament poker history. Barbara Enright, Susie Isaacs and Linda Johnson, all three inductees into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame earlier this year, head up the pro poker contingent of the team along with 2006 Ladies Event champion Mary Jones and 2007 Ladies Event champion Sally Ann Boyer.

Also on the roster from the world of poker are 2007 WPT Ladies Night champion Pamela Brunson, former WSOP and WPT final tablist Maureen Feduniak, Tournament Directors Association cofounder Jan Fisher, Full Tilt Poker pro Clonie Gowen, Ladies Poker Association founder Crystal Osgood-Gray, and former WSOP final tablist Allyn Jaffrey Shulman.

The entertainment world is well represented on the Queen of Hearts roster again this year. In addition to co-captain Rogers, Joely Fisher, Teri Hatcher, Cheryl Hines and Camryn Manheim will take time away from their acting careers to play in the WSOP Ladies Event this year.

A number of highly successful women from the world of business round out the Queen of Hearts team. Among them are Global Institute for Community Health and Devleopment executive director Kathy Andersen, Fox Broadcasting Senior VP Missy Halperin, former Corum USA president Stacie Orloff, political consultant and strategist Lona Rubenstein and entertainment marketing executive Lori Sale.

Pamela Brunson says she's excited to be part of this year's team.

"It is an honor to be among such amazing women, who encompass the strength, values, and characteristics that make me proud to be a woman in the poker industry," she said. "The camaraderie I feel toward my fellow teammates is something I cherish and hope to build upon for years to come."

Personal connections

Author and new co-captain Jackie Collins says she is delighted to be part of the Queen of Hearts team because of its affiliation with the Nevada Cancer Institute.

"I lost my mother to breast cancer and my husband to prostate cancer," Collins said. "We can put men on the moon, surely we can find a cure for cancer."

Team member and poker writer Michele Lewis also became involved because of a personal connection with the cause at hand.

"Raising funds for cancer research is extremely important to me, because my son is a cancer survivor," said Lewis, who actively volunteers with the American Cancer Society. "Thirty years ago the survival rate of his cancer was less than half, and today it's 96%. So I believe my son is alive today because of cancer research.

"I'm excited to be part of team because it's giving back, and poker is so often about taking from people, not giving back," Lewis concluded.

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