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Amateur Wins Jeff Gordon Charity Poker Tournament

Winner Races off With WSOP Entry and $17,000


An amateur player from California outlasted more than 40 players yesterday to win the Jeff Gordon Foundation Poker Classic. He won $17,892 and entry into this year's World Series of Poker main event.

Mike Sugg, a 59 year-old sales manager for L.A. Car Connection Inc., read about the $1,000 charity tournament online and decided to head to the new cardroom at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to give it a shot.

Suggs has played poker for more than 30 years, but says he started taking it "seriously" about a year-and-a-half ago.

Because it was a charity tourney, Suggs had to face a few professionals who normally wouldn't play in a $1,000 buy-in event. Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Scotty Nguyen, Steve Dannenmann, Chris Moneymaker, and Robert Williamson III all finished lower than the Moor Park, California amateur.

A portion of each buy-in went to the Jeff Gordon Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports the physical, social and intellectual needs of children and their families. The foundation has raised money for many charities, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Riley Hospital for Children.

Photo courtesey of Eric Harkins - Image Photography