Summer Night’s Evening Poker Tourney Review – Poker and Celebs for Good Cause

(August 3, 2008) Los Angeles, CA -- Over three hundred celebrities, poker players and fans gathered to celebrate and support a good cause: the fulfillment fund.  Stars Jeremy Renner, Shannon Elizabeth and Bailey Chase joined the evenings’ poker ambassador David Kelsey at Ritual nightclub in Hollywood, CA. to show support for the Fulfillment Fund.

Lovely ladies enjoying the poker action

Before Tonight

This is only the second year that the Fulfillment Fund has held the casino night at a public venue.  But for years before that, this charity has thrived.  It was created by Eric Woods and Carla Mann Woods, who continue to spearhead the effort.  For the first eight years the event was held at Carla’s dad Al Mann’s luxurious house. Truly a grassroots effort that has delivered tremendous results.

Cards are Dealt

At 4pm, 81 poker players lined the room.  Some professionals, some aspiring, and some just there for fun.  They filled nine tables and battled for several hours.   

Crowded poker room

Kelly Hu cheered the river.  Bailey Chase kept his eyes tight as he collected a second pair.  Shannon Elizabeth kept her eyes still, modestly smirking, seemingly bluffing.  At the right time, she reveals her cards and wins the round, revealing her wide-eyed grin.

Shannon Elizabeth enjoys the game

Nearly five hours later, the 81 players had dwindled. Nine tables, down to one.  The cards were serious and every action was checked and double-checked.  Finally, the last reveal.  Kenny Johnson is the winner.  After hours of concentration he reveals an exhausted smile that tells us it was all worth it.

Watching Closely

The crowd, ranging 20s and up, was sophisticated, calm and cool.  The ladies.  My gosh.  The women were classy and lovely.  The best crowd you could ask for. Happy, entertained, at moments even thrilled.  What a great event.  And it only gets better.

The evening was catered by several delicious restaurants. Throughout the event, a line was formed around the corner as people waited anxiously for the tasty dishes. Stone Fire Pizza Company offered several different types of pizza, each delicious.  The Belmont served up appetizers.  Spanish Kitchen had some of the best food you can find.  Ritual offered skewered delicacies.  As always Buddha’s Belly tempted eaters with the most delicious snacks.

For the Cause

Afters hours of poker and then another hour or so of delicious cocktails, the charity auction began.  The prizes were amazing and incredibly generous.  Tens of thousands of dollars worth of beach getaways and tropical paradise offerings.

Jaime Gold with David Kelsey

Robert Bauer was one lucky bidder.  The gentleman restauranteur was there to support his friend Jonathan ChuBarry Woods, another auction winner, was there for close friend David Kelsey.  “This is a great time.  Carla and Eric do great events and I’m very happy to be here.”

Some of the biggest awards of the night were several seats offered at the September 22 poker tournament at the Bicycle Casino in Downtown Los Angeles.  There, the lucky participants will compete against poker masters Jamie Gold, Amir Vahede, Kathy Liebert, Kenna James, Chad Brown, Vanessa Russo.

Proceeds from the night will benefit the Fulfillment Fund Bright Future Scholarships.  The Fulfillment Fund helps promising, yet educationally and economically disadvantaged students achieve high school graduation and access to higher education.

For more information on this worthwhile charity, visit:
Ritual Nightclub is located at 1743 N. Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood.

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