One of the biggest beer companies in the United States is trying to help cure one of the country's most debilitating diseases. The 24th annual Budweiser Poker Classic is once again, set to take place in St. Louis, home of Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Budweiser.
The tournament, which began in 1982, is held to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Through player's entry fees, the successful event has raised almost $400,000 for the group to date and the company is expecting an even better turnout than the previous year's total of 809 players.
Muscular Dystrophy is a group of genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal muscles that control movement. Although there is no specific treatment for any of the forms of MD, doctors use respiratory therapy to help breathing, physical therapy to prevent painful muscle contractions, orthopedic appliances for support, and corrective orthopedic surgery to improve the quality of life in some cases.
The money raised by this tournament goes to a deserving group. The MDA is a non-profit health organization that is a dedicated partnership between scientists and concerned citizens that aims to conquer neuromuscular diseases that affect more than a million Americans.
The MDA combats neuromuscular diseases through worldwide research, comprehensive medical and community services, and far-reaching professional and public health education on the debilitating disease.
Although the tournament features no official prizes, the label of "Best Poker Player in St. Louis" seems to be enough for these charitable competitors. Players willingly pay an entry fee to try and join Barb Tanner, a retired nurse and last-year's champion, in having his or her name engraved on a traveling tournament trophy. The winner of the seven card stud event will keep the trophy until the next year's tournament.
This year's tournament is sponsored by Grey Eagle Distributors, the St. Louis wholesaler of Anheuser-Busch products. Grey Eagle is footing the bill for tournament costs. The tournament entry fees are $30 for one preliminary round, $50 for two preliminary rounds, or $175 for a pre-registered table of seven. All fees go to support the MDA.
The opening round will take place Tuesday, August 16 at the Orlando Gardens Banquet Center, with the second preliminary round taking place on August 23 at the Holiday Inn Southwest/Viking Banquet Center. Semi-finals will take place the following day at the Holiday Inn with seven semi-finalists battling in the evening for the title.
Ed note: Its time to qualify for Aruba at Ultimate Bet .