More Than You’d Expect
September 11, 2006 6:51 PM
The poker community — the real poker community — is a group of people more diverse than any group I have ever encountered. All races, genders, ages, creeds and backgrounds. This is true Americana — the melting pot that doesn’t melt. And, sometimes with the blinders of success or bad beats, we forget what it’s all about.
But, last Tuesday night at the Bicycle casino, the poker community revealed its beautiful underbelly. A hundred and fifteen poker players showed up at the Bike with a thousand dollars in hand to take care of one of their own — in the Paul Hannum memorial poker tournament. It was a night to be proud of being a member of the poker community; a night that captured the best of who we are.
Jennifer Tilly won the tournament. Then, with amazing grace, she donated her $25,000 prize back to the Baby Hannum fund that benefits Paul’s soon-to-be born daughter (info at BabyHannum.com). When Gavin Smith, player host of the tournament, came in second place, he pledged at least half of the winnings from the WPT tournament entry he won to the Baby Hannum fund. Later that night, Scotty Nguyen suggested and most of the players at the Legends of Poker final table agreed to give a portion of their winnings to the cause. And, the stories go on and on . . .
What an extraordinary night of class. How fortunate we felt to be a part of it.
On behalf of Paul’s family and friends and everyone at the World Poker Tour, thank you to everyone who participated or helped or donated a prize and thank you to the Bicycle Casino for hosting the event and Kristin Cranford for making it all happen.
Paul would have been honored, humbled and proud . . .