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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

Charity Report: Poker Jingle at Hard Rock Raised Nearly $50K for LLS

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The outpouring of generosity, love, and friendship at the Poker Jingle at the Hard Rock poker room on December 12th was hard to miss. The benefit poker tournament was held to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in memory of recently deceased poker player Mindy Trinidad, and with her family in attendance and pre-tournament tributes to Trinidad, it was an emotional scene that turned to a joyous celebration and opportunity to raise nearly $50,000 for a good cause.

Poker players are known to be a generous bunch
, coming to charity tournaments no matter the date or the cause. But the Poker Jingle was special as it honored Mindy Trinidad, a poker player who was only starting to pursue her passion for the game when leukemia took over and took her life within only months of her diagnosis. Trinidad might be remembered for her final table appearance at the 2007 WSOP ladies event, but the poker community was getting to know her as a strong-willed, aggressive, and exciting player. When the leukemia so suddenly took her from her family, which included a husband and two sons, and friends, the fundraiser was put together to raise money for an organization (LLS) that might eventually help find a cure.

Veteran Tom McEvoy hosted the event, Brad Booth assisted with the introductions, and Kelli Griggs told some personal stories about Trinidad before setting an emotional tribute video into motion. With tears and sniffles throughout the room, the “shuffle up and deal” command was given, and sadness turned to resolve that would raise money and allow everyone to do something for the cause.

In addition to Trinidad’s family - husband, sons, brother, parents - and volunteers from LLS, the recognizable poker faces were easy to spot. Phil Hellmuth took over the microphone for quite some time, Jeff Madsen performed several impromptu rap songs, and others enjoying the tournament were Antonio Esfandiari, Joe Reitman, Daniel Negreanu, Andy Bloch, Todd and Pam Brunson, Beth Shak, Michael Binger, Roy Winston, Lee Markholt, Lee Watkinson, J.J. Liu, Kenna James, Marsha Waggoner, Chip and Karina Jett, Erik Seidel, James Van Alstyne, Esther Rossi, Susie Isaacs, Sally Ann Boyer, Maria Ho, Tiffany Michelle, and baseball legend Orel Hershiser.

Reportedly, about 320 prizes were donated up until the last minute, allowing players throughout the afternoon to score amazing gifts, like jewelry, lithographs, chip sets, Full Tilt Poker gear, autographed poker memorabilia, spa packages, and gift certificates. But it was the $200 buy-ins from 127 participants, not to mention the countless $100 rebuys and add-ons, that added up to nearly $50K being raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

In the end, KDWN radio personality Brian Shapiro defeated Hart Miles for the victory and was awarded a $10,000 seat into the 2009 WSOP main event (donated by Erick Lindgren), a crystal trophy, a Curtis & Co. watch, and a rather large bottle of EFFEN Vodka.

All proceeds from the event at the Hard Rock went to benefit LLS, the world’s largest volunteer-based health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education, and patient services in the hopes of finding cures for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Disease, and myeloma. LLS has been doing amazing work for patients and their families since 1949 and have raised more than $600 million for research in the process. More information can be found at www.leukemia-lymphoma.org.

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