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Strip Poker: UFC Fighter's Charity Tourney Raises $90K

Operation All-In Poker Tournament Benefited Xtreme Couture GI Foundation

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In this "Strip Poker" series, Card Player covers the Las Vegas poker scene — on The Strip and around the city.

Jamie Gold and Todd BrunsonKnown in the fighting world as “The Natural,” Randy Couture was the first man to win the Heavyweight title in the UFC three times, so it seems “natural” that his talent, dedication, and work ethic will make him successful in other ventures. That is why it was no surprise that Operation All-in, a celebrity charity poker tournament benefitting his organization, the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation, was successful in raising more than $90,000.

The goal of the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation is to raise money and awareness for soldiers wounded in action and their families, as well as to help soldiers with anything they might need to return to civilian life. More than 200 celebrities, mixed-martial-arts fighters, poker professionals, and fans showed up Saturday at the Joint inside the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas to support this cause. The no-limit hold'em evenKirk Morrison, Scotty Nguyen, and Dean Caint had a $550 buy-in with $200 rebuys. Emceeing the tournament was 2006 World Series of Poker champion Jamie Gold, who actually taught Couture the game two nights before the event.

“He is an extremely intelligent guy, and he caught on quickly. I am just very excited to be part of this event,” said Gold, who also helped recruit many of the celebrity and poker pro attendees. Among those who participated were Todd Brunson, Hoyt Corkins, Kirk Morrison, Pam Brunson, Hollywood actor Dean Cain, and talk-show host Montel Williams.

Couture’s fellow UFC fighter Frank Trigg made the final table along with a number of other professional athletes, including former Major League Baseball outfielder Jose Canseco, current wide receiver of the Chicago Bears Mike Hass, and the Toronto Blue Jays’ Mike Wells, who is one of the few pitchers iJose Canseco and Pam Brunsonn MLB history to throw a perfect game. Also at the final table was Scott Ian of Anthrax, poker pro Phil Gordon, Daniel Varian, Noel Anderson, Mike Lan, and the eventual winner of the $20,000 first-place prize, Jamie Scott.

Card Player TV was there covering the event, and the video will be available for viewing next week. For more information on the Xtreme Couture GI Foundation, click here.

Photo Credit: Lara Miller