The game does some good
In late October, a number of celebrities as well as some of poker’s most successful players made their way to New York City to play in the seventh annual All In for Kids charity event to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Backed by the WPT Foundation, the event, held at the Mandarin Oriental in Manhattan, was hosted by none other than 13-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.
Joining Hellmuth in representing the poker community were Andy Frankenberger, Vanessa Selbst, Victor Ramdin, Jamie Kerstetter and Scott Baumstein. Dan Shak, who co-founded this event and won it in 2013, was also there to support the event. Celebrities in attendance included “Rounders” co-writer Brian Koppelman, New York Giants offensive tackle Justin Pugh and former Philadelphia Eagles standout Mike Quick.
Pugh, who had built up quite a stack, was faced with a tough decision. Continue playing and potentially miss the team-set curfew or leave. Instead, the former Syracuse Orangeman decided to help out the charity even further by auctioning off his stack to the crowd of players.
Hellmuth, who worked the microphone throughout the night, bounced from table to table making all the players feel welcome all the while maintaining his own stack. When the final table began both Shak and Hellmuth were there but the player that outlasted them all was actually the very last player to register. Lance Breitstein had been confirmed for the tournament only hours before it began but that didn’t matter as he worked some magic on his way to claiming victory.
Alongside the celebrities and poker pros were dignitaries from CHOP including CEO Steven Altschuler, M.D., president Madeline Bell and a number of other trustees, doctors and donors. Also attending the event were patient families, including Gwen Keiser of the Tioga Foundation and Joel and Jamie Friedman.
The event attracted over 300 players, each paying $2,500 just to get in to the event with an endless flow of rebuys going on throughout the night. There was also a silent auction featuring signed memorabilia from the sports world, top-of-the-line jewelry and one-of-a-kind experiences including a trip to a WPT final table. In total, the event raised $910,000 for allergy research initiatives at CHOP. In the seven years that CHOP has been hosting the event, it’s raised nearly $6 million.
Final Table Results
1. Lance Breitstein
2. Dan Silvers
3. Phil Hellmuth
4. Ravi Sakaria
5. Dan Shak
6. Sam Yoon
7. Ryan O’Shea
8. Mike Macchia
9. Dylan Seff
10. Frank Volpe