New Yorker Frank Giordano won the big prize at the Isle Casino and Racing Sunday night, joining Women In Distress and the Sun-Sentinel Children's Fund as happy participants in the inaugural All In For Charity Poker Tournament.
Giordano outlasted about 90 entrants in the tournament, winning a seat in this July's main event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The seat was donated by PermaPlate's Bill Nisson, which when you think about it is a heck of a nice gesture -- especially if Giordano goes on and hits it big at the tournament.
Overall, the $300 buy-in tournament netted more than $34,000 for two charities: Women In Distress and the Sun-Sentinel Children's Fund. All in Free Poker co-owner Bryan Oulton has a personal interst in domestic violence, having lost his mother, Yvonne, last year; Oulton's father, Robert, is awaiting trial.
The tournament drew a mix of Isle regulars, serious players (including Ebony Kenney, Jon Marks and WPT final tabler Abbey Daniels), those supporting the two charities and regulars in Oulton's bar poker league (including Sean Lavery, Elaine Hedleston, Nora and Steve Weiss and Sharon and Greg Danver). Panthers Scott Clemmensen and Scottie Upshall, announcer Randy Moller and former pro football players Shawn Wooden and Jed Weaver and your favorite gambling writer rounded out the field. I hung in there fine the first two hours, with no antes and low blinds, but when it got serious and Giordano happened to end up at my table I basically got run over by everybody and consoled myself with the Godiva chocolates stuffed in my goodie bag.
“The inaugural PermaPlate All In For Charity Poker Tournament was a great opportunity for Women In Distress to share its mission. Partnering with the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park, All In Free Poker, PermaPlate, community and media partners, on this event, has helped us build new relationships and create awareness in the poker community. We feel that this year was the start of a great annual event,” said President and CEO of Women In Distress, Mary Riedel.
Oulton said he was happy to see the tournament get off the ground, and probably doesn't mind my noting that he finished third in the tourney. (Daniels was fifth.) He also got some coverage on WPLG-Ch. 10, which I'm trying to find a link to.
Other prizes included a five-day vacation to Hacienda Tres Rios in Riviera Maya, Mexico, with round-trip airfare for two; a four-day stay with airfare for two to Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas; and a two-day World Poker Tournament Boot Camp at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, donated by the company owned by Plantation's Ron Rubens.
Read more at www.womenindistress.org of Sun-Sentinel.com/ChildrensFund.