Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments U.S. Poker Markets Sports Betting Poker Strategy

Stars Shine at Legends Celebrity Invitational

$250,000 Was Raised for Charity

Print-icon
 

Parading the red carpet between Playboy bunnies and Hollywood celebrities was the stunning poker professional Jennifer Harman who hosted the Legends Celebrity Invitational Poker Tournament at the Palms in Las Vegas over Super Bowl weekend.

On Friday, Feb. 3, the famous, the elite, and the lionized faced off in the Key West Poker Room to guarantee $250,000 for the Dan Marino, John Elway, Roger Clemens, and Andre Agassi Charitable foundations. In addition to the tournament, Playboy hosted a lingerie fashion show and the Palms Casino Resort celebrated the opening of The Mint, a new high-roller gaming lounge.

Clemens, though equipped with a camouflage cap and black sunglasses, avoided the tables. Instead, the Rocket participated in the silent auction, bidding on several items ranging from an autographed Joe DiMaggio baseball to a Caddyshack golf flag signed by Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Rodney Dangerfield.

The tournament was scheduled to begin at 7:30, but had a late kickoff due to the overwhelming response. Celebrity guests Cindy Margolis, Joe Mantegna, Josh Duhamel, Gordon Clapp, along with National Hockey and Major League Baseball players, joined over 140 donators who contributed the $2,500 buy-in.

Notable poker professionals Patrik Antonius, Marco Traniello, Carlos Mortensen, Mike Sexton, Barry Greenstein, Phil Ivey, Hoyt Corkins, Erick Lindgren, Chau Giang, Johnny Chan, and the Brunson family were also present.

Imagine the reaction of players at table six when they joined David Benyamine in seat three, Todd Brunson in four, Eli Elezra in seat five, David Gray in six, and Gus Hansen at the end of the lineup in seat seven. The action and banter were maniacal until the end of the third level, when the chip leader from each table was established. The remaining 16 players, including Elezra, advanced to the semifinals. Leren Rustem eventually won the event, but many of the players and fans had moved on to the next scheduled affair.

Playboy treated partygoers to a lingerie fashion show hosted by Ashley Jones of The Bold and Beautiful. Johnny Chan and Elway were among those who sat near the runway and nibbled on chocolate-dipped strawberries while they sipped expensive champagne.

The celebrations lasted until the wee hours but some rose early to participate in the Legends Invitational Golf Tournament, which took place at the Revere Golf Club in Henderson. Diehard celebrities Mantegna, Tom Dreeson, and Richard Roundtree joined athletes Elway, Marino, and Clemens for breakfast and tee-time. Chris Moneymaker appeared to be the only professional poker player in attendance.