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Shawn Marion and Mike Sexton Charity Events a Success

Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Were Raised Through Poker


Shawn MarionIt is apparent now more than ever that there are causes in this country that need help, and this week Shawn Marion and Mike Sexton chose to lend a hand by hosting charity poker events.

Marion is known as one of the best all-round players in the NBA and was recently traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Miami Heat, but on Jan. 30, he took a day off to host the Hearts and Helmets Charity Poker Tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Jamie Gold, Clonie Gowen, and Robert Williamson III were among the 340 players who paid the $1,000 buy-in to support the cause. In addition to Grant Hill and other NBA players, there were also a slew of NFL stars, but due to NFL rules on active players endorsing alcohol, casinos, or gaming activities, none of the names of players who participated can be released.

The winner of the event was Kim Brooks, whJamie Gold, Clonie Gowen, Robert Williamson IIIo personally knocked out Marion on her way to victory. She is no stranger to winning charity tournaments, as she recently won Barry Bonds' charity event not too long ago, as well. Brooks, in true Doyle Brunson fashion, won both tournaments with a 10-3 offsuit (Brunson won two World Series bracelets in a row with 10-2 as his final hand). She took home a D'Atlantis watch worth $25,000.

In addition to the poker tournament, there were live and silent auction for a variety of exclusive prizes and invitations. A few of these included Suns/Spurs floor seats, tickets to the Super Bowl, a private jet to Napa for a day, and celebrity dinners. The event netted $300,000, and after expenses are paid, the following charities will benefit: Brad Pitt’s Global Green USKim BrooksA Project for rebuilding New Orleans, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Fournier Center for Empowerment, Free Arts of Arizona, ICAN, Junior Achievement, the Bus Stops Here Foundation, the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, and Suns Nite Hoops.

Sexton’s event was focused on a single charity, the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). "I am honored to co-chair this event with the Honorable Bob Dole and the Michael Jordan of NASCAR, Richard Petty, and to help benefit the Tiger Woods of charities, the PVA ,” said Sexton. “I believe this is the most worthwhile charity in the world. Thank you for being here to help raise money for those who have served our country so we may enjoy our freedoms."

Founded in 1946, the PVA is a congressionally chartered service dedicated to assisting the needs of veterans with spinal cord injury or dysfunction. On Feb. 5 in Washington D.C., the Go All-in for Veterans charity poker event took place to raise money for this organization. Tickets for the event were $1,000 and several notable names in the poker industry attended, including Kenna James, Linda Johnson, Rhett Butler, Lee Childs, Rick Rahim, MarshaMike Sexton and Christopher Joyner Waggoner, and Jan Fisher.

It was Christopher Joyner who won the first-place prize, which included a pass for Richard Petty’s Driving Experience, as well as trips to Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida, with four tickets to Disney World. Each trip will include roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations. The winner will also receive a seat into the WPT L.A. Poker Classic.

In all, almost $100,000 was raised for the PVA. For more information on this organization, click here.