For the third year in a row, Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil hosted a very successful Off the Strip Poker Tournament to benefit the Skylar Neil Memorial Fund and the T.J. Martell Foundation. Approximately $175,000 was said to have been raised on November 3rd for the charities as a result of the festivities that included a poker tournament and live auction.
The Off the Strip Poker Tournament took place at the Joint at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, and it all began with the auction that featured numerous pieces of sports, music, and film memorabilia. Even poker pro Liz Lieu bought a poker table signed by the pros in attendance, including herself, though she was quoted as saying she intends to give it to another charity. The auction was hosted by adult film stars Tera Patrick and Taylor Wane, who were excited to participate for such a good cause.
"It is such an honor to be part of this great event again," said Patrick. "The Skylar Neil Memorial Fund and the T.J. Martell Foundation are incredible organizations and I'm very proud to be part of this tournament."
Wane added, "Being a part of the Off the Strip tournament is fantastic. Everyone has a blast and the money goes to incredible charities. What could be better than that?"
After the auction, the poker tournament took center stage and was attended by poker pros such as Liz Lieu, Chip and Karina Jett, David Williams, Lee Watkinson, Phil Gordon, Todd Brunson, Hoyt Corkins, and Layne Flack. Matt Savage served as the tournament director for the $550 buy-in event (with rebuys and add-ons) in which every one of the 150-maximum seats was filled. There was said to have been 173 rebuys and 102 add-ons, motivated by the spirit of donating more to the charities. In addition, a bounty was placed on each celebrity/poker pro, and the winner of each bounty was a pair of tickets to a Vince Neil concert.
Greg Severson from California won the first prize of $20,000. The final ten players were paid from the prize pool, though much of those winnings were donated back to the charities.
The participation exceeded the hopes of the organizers, as they received a larger turnout than in the first two years, and they were able to donate more than in the past. This brings the three-year total of donations to near $500,000 from the Off the Strip Poker Tournament festivities.
All proceeds are divided between the two designated charities. The Skylar Neil Memorial Fund was formed in 1995 after the death of Neil's four-year old daughter Skylar. Her battle with stomach cancer inspired Neil to start the foundation that helps fund various organizations for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research. And the T.J. Martell Foundation was founded by T.J. Martell's father who vowed to uphold the wishes of a teenage boy who wanted to raise a million dollars for leukemia research. Upon the boy's death from leukemia, Martell started the organization in 1975 and has since raised more than $225 million for research.