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Celebrities Use Poker to Raise Money for Needy Causes

Two Charity Events This Month and One Announced for January

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The popularity of poker has been increasing in all demographics, including celebrities, and why is that? It is the perfect way to gather fellow Hollywood stars for a night of fun, competition, and charity — and three such events are going to be held soon.

Famously known as the voice of Bart Simpson, actress Nancy Cartwright is hosting a charity tournament called Monte Carlo Night at her home in Northridge, California, on Sept. 20 to benefit the LAPD Devonshire Police Activity League Supporters (Devonshire PALS). The organization is dedicated to bringing local at-risk teens and children school- and weekend-enrichment programs in order to create positive relationships between the young and the LAPD.

Jennifer HarmanThe tournament is open to the public for a donation of $500. Among the guests expected to attend are poker pros Jennifer Harman, Todd Brunson, Men Nguyen, and 2006 World Series of Poker champion Jamie Gold, as well as celebs John Travolta, Brad Garrett, and Kirstie Alley. The top five players will receive seats into a WSOP satellite tournament. Non-poker players can also attend the event for $250. In addition to the tournament, there will be a cigar bar, dinner, entertainment, a silent auction, an open bar, and blackjack instruction by Dorian Harewood.

To register online or to find more information on the organization, please visit the Devonshire PALS website.

Sports celebrities are also following suit. The Trent Tucker Celebrity Golf and Poker Tournament is being held Sept. 11-13 at Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus, Minnesota, with a special guest-appearance from Michael Jordan.

The tournament takes place Sept. 11 at 7 p.m., and seats are $1,250. The golf tournament will take place Sept. 13 at Rush Creek Golf Club, Maple Grove (spectator tickets are available for $50). A VIP invitation-only reception takes place Sept. 12. For registration and sponsorship information, visit Tucker’s website, e-mail kathy@trenttucker.org, or call (612) 673-6746.

All proceeds will benefit the Trent Tucker Youth Program, which works throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The program’s goals are to provide students with skills to improve character and leadership abilities, career and educational development opportunities, and also to inform them of positive methods of risk-taking to improve understanding of self and others.

Another charity event that is mixing poker, golf, and sports stars has already been announced for next year. The second-annual Par and Poker Celebrity Challenge for Charity is set for Jan. 29, 2009, in Tampa, Florida, during Super Bowl week. Former NFL Super Bowl Champion Seth Joyner and NCAA Champion Andy Walker are co-hosting the event. Players are competing for cash, prizes, and three seats into the WSOP. More details will become available as the event nears.

The benefiting charity of this event is the Joyner-Walker Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing life-skills programs to assist high school and college students so they can prosper and become self-sufficient. For more information, to register, donate, or volunteer, go to the Par and Poker website.