One of the most popular celebrity poker tournaments in Las Vegas will be making its return in April, with a host of top professional poker players and celebrities turning out.
On Monday, the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas announced that it would once again play host to the Jennifer Harman Charity Poker Tournament on April 13th (a Tuesday). The event, now in its fourth year of play, consistently draws out the cream of the poker playing world along with notable celebrities for an evening of charitable support and poker. The Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) will once again be the recipient of the proceeds raised.
The tournament, which begins at 5:00pm on April 13th, is a $300 buy in No Limit Hold’em event and players will have the opportunity to buy back in for $100 during the first three 20-minute levels. At the end of this period, there is also a $100 add-on option that will give players double their starting stack. Poker’s premier tournament director, Matt Savage, will once again oversee the proceedings and also helm the silent auction that will take place prior to the start of the tournament. The winner of the tournament will take away a seat at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event and a special Curtis & Co. watch, with the remainder of the final table splitting up prizes valued at $30,000.
This year’s event will not lack celebrity star power or poker skill. Confirmed celebrities include “Curb Your Enthusiasm” actress Cheryl Hines, “Saved by the Bell” Principal Dennis Haskins, actor Lou Diamond Phillips, modern artist Michael Godard, and ESPN poker commentator Lon McEachern. Top professionals who are slated to appear for the tournament include Marco Traniello, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Eli Elezra, Hoyt Corkins, Andy Bloch, Chau Giang, David Chesnoff, Lacey Jones, Jeff Madsen, Todd Brunson, James Van Alstyne, Shun Uchida, Erica Schoenberg, David Grey, David Singer, and Lee Watkinson.
The defending champion of the tournament, David “HEYIMDRO” Rowan, will attempt to repeat and 2008 champion Seth Dupree will seek to take his second victory. The inaugural champion of the tournament, noted poker player Kirk Morrison, was able to parlay his win into a deep finish at the 2007 WSOP Main Event, finishing 56th for $154,194, of which he contributed 5% back to the NSPCA. Even with the poker enjoyment and the silent auction, however, the event is about raising funds for the NSPCA, a no-kill animal shelter in Las Vegas.
With the $130,000 in proceeds from the first year of the tournament, the NSPCA was able to add a wing to the property (that was named for Harman) and expand the number of animals it is able to support. Since that first tournament, Harman’s charity event has raised over $500,000 for the NSPCA. Harman has also lent her name to past charitable poker tournaments outside of the NSPCA, such as last year’s two-day event in Reno that raised $111,000 for the National Kidney Foundation, another charitable outreach close to her heart.
The Jennifer Harman Charity Poker Tournament at the Venetian has all the markings of being one of the top charitable poker events of the year. A good cause, high-profile celebrities, and top poker players in attendance all will make for an enjoyable evening for those in attendance.