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PeSA Hosts Charity Poker Challenge

Third Annual Texas Hold'em Tournament at Four Seasons Atop Mandalay Bay


The Professional eBay Sellers Alliance (PeSA) hosted the Charity Poker Challenge in Las Vegas in mid-June during the "eBay Live"All In at the PeSA Charity Poker Challenge convention. Over 100 top eBay sellers, eBay enthusiasts, and third-party vendors tried their luck at Texas hold'em during a special event sponsored by BuySAFE in the Four Seasons Ballroom atop the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Proceeds from the event were donated to the New Orleans Aquarium and the NetSmartz Workshop.

Robert W. Thompson II"The PeSA event at "eBay Live" has become a great annual tradition for us," says Jonathan Garriss, PESA's Executive Director.

Royal Flush Enterprises organized this year's event, with tournament director Robert W. Thompson II at the wheel. With close to 30 years in the poker industry, Thompson is best known for his role as tournament director for Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown. Eldon Brown served as Royal Flush's assistant tournament director, and professional poker player and syndicated poker columnist Alex "The Insider" Outhred provided beginning players with expert advice along the way.

There were several ways in which PeSA was able to generate donations for the worthy cause. While over 100 players paid the $100 entry fee, rebuys and add-ons were available for those players determined to avoid the
Eldon Brown rails. For another $10, players could secure a "lifeline" with Outhred, who coached novice players and helped them to make the best decision during all-in situations. Outhred raced from table to table, and by the look on his face it was Jeff Hobsonapparent that even he was stumped by some of the predicaments players had gotten themselves into. Spectators were charged $10 at the door, but it didn't stop them from lining up to follow the action. The cover charge also included a simple buffet and priceless entertainment from renowned Las Vegas entertainer Jeff Hobson. And while the tournament provided hours of enjoyment for participants and their audience, Hobson's comedic performance highlighted the event.

"PeSA excels at bringing eBay's top sellers together in creative and worthwhile ways, and this year's Charity Poker Challenge is shaping up to be another milestone event," said Steve Woda, Founder of buySAFE and corporate sponsor of the event. "We are delighted to sponsor the PeSA members, who benefit from using the buySAFE bonding service and the two charitable organizations that this event is supporting." He added, "We're thrilled to support two great causes that mean so much to PESA members. We have fond memories of our event at the Aquarium two years ago, and are eager for the chance to give something back after so much adversity. And while PeSA strives to make the Web a safe, friendly place to shop, Netsmartz is teaching kids how to be safe online."

Alex Outhred

PeSA also supports the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.