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Jennifer Harman Nevada SPCA Poker Tournament a Success

Jennifer Harman Nevada SPCA Poker Tournament a Success 0001

There was a red carpet outside the poker room at Caesar's Palace on Friday morning. Our own lovely Tiffany Michele were there to catch all the celebrities as they streamed in to the First Annual Jennifer Harman Charity Poker Tournament for the benefit of the Nevada SPCA No-Kill Sanctuary. Don't miss these video interviews at the bottom of this story.

As poker tournaments go, this was 110% fun. Before the event, the brand new World Series of Poker gallery was unveiled by WSOP Commissioner Jeffery Pollack. Many of the bracelet winners were there to pull the velvet cords and unveil their photo-portraits. Grouped together are the only 10-time bracelet winners: Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth; all three were present for the unveiling. Next time you are in Las Vegas, stop by the poker room at Caesar's Palace and head back to the tournament room to see this very classy display of WSOP history.

After the unveiling and a long reseating process (getting poker players to find {much less take} their seats in a room full of celebrities and poker professionals is exactly like herding cats) and speaking of cats, if you ever want to experience a true feline delight….stop by the Nevada SPCA Sanctuary just off the Las Vegas Strip and spend some time in the 'cat rooms' where you will find 150 cats wandering about looking for someone to pet, love them and yes give them a new home. Of course, they do also have dogs, hamsters, pot-bellied pigs and other very interesting creatures there, all ready for a good home.

Meanwhile, back at the Caesar's poker room there was a tournament, of sorts, to play. The problem is that when you put so many good poker players in an event for a small buy-in ($300) and unlimited rebuys ($200) and tell them that 100% of the money is going to a really good charity… well they tend to play a bit loose. Like Eli Elizera going all-in blind on eleven consecutive hands and winning most of those, even though he ran into pocket aces three times!

The feature table, for a time, managed to have Daniel Negreanu, Jamie Gold, Scotty Nguyen, David Williams and six unsuspecting but very entertained amateurs. Some of the professionals played this like any other rebuy event, so they rebought and rebought. Others tossed 1,000 denomination chips to players who had been short-stacked by the wild and random play of other pros.

At the first break an auction MC'd by Daniel Negreanu and Robert Williamson III brought in another big chunk of donations and less we forget, players were seen handing extra checks to tournament director Matt Savage and tournament coordinator Lisa Wheeler the early rounds. The tournament itself raised $123,000 for the Nevada SPCA.

Oh, and there was a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat donated for the winner. This eventually went to Kirk Morrison from Wichita (with Daniel Negreanu finishing third), who announced that he will donate 5% of his main event winnings to the SPCA. Kirk is no poker rookie with over $600,000 in poker winnings and a WSOP bracelet in the 1998 Stud event.

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