By Phil Scudella
It’s a RECORD! This year’s Christmas Toy Drive Poker Tournament at The Arena Poker Room at Talking Stick Resort shattered all previous turnouts! Poker players have hearts and they showed up in unbelievable numbers this year to help this great cause. Say what you want about men and women that play poker – one thing is for sure, they show up for these charity events.
This year’s 11th Annual Christmas Toy Drive No-Limit Hold-Em Poker Tournament on Saturday December 21th drew a record 490 entrants! Poker players had a chance to help a child receive a present under the Christmas tree this year. In some cases – it may be the only present that child will receive.
The buy-in was just one new unwrapped toy valued at $10 that was donated to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Christmas Toy Drive plus a $25 service fee. Such a small entry fee for a $12,500 Guaranteed Prize Pool!
This special event paid 41 places. 21st thru 41st received $50, 11th thru 20th took home $100 – Tenth place paid $250 and went to Eric Doyle. There was a special “Chop” whereas the top 9 were guaranteed $ 957 each – So the next 5 players out got that prize money, and they were; Adam Williamson, Jason Miller, Teresa Boothe, Michael Bedford and Francine LeRoy. The final 4 wanted to stop play and agreed to an even “Chop” of $1,353 each – Those players were; Jack Wagner, Chris Cotty, Mary Jordan and Andrew Abela
This was an unbelievably well run tournament when you consider tournament coordinators Steve Briquelet and Lori Whittaker were breaking 2 tables at a time throughout the first two to three hours of this event. What an outstanding job these two did in running this tournament without a hitch! All those players I talked to were looking forward to playing again next year.
The Arena Poker Room at Talking Stick Resort is located at the Loop, 101 and Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale. For more information call 480-850-7777
Tournament Winners; Jack, Chris, Andrew and Mary – And behind the winners, Tournament coordinator – Steve Briquelet