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Best of John G. Brokopp

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Poker has a green (and charitable) side

28 July 2010

The recent Main Event at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, where poker professionals from around the world compete for personal fame and fortune, is the face of poker that attracts the most attention.

There's another side of the game, which has a lower profile but is just as significant: the charitable component, where games are held to raise funds for worthy causes. The popularity of poker has made such events extremely successful.

Every year since 2007, the World Series of Poker has held the "Ante Up for Africa" tournament to raise money and create awareness for victims of the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of western Sudan in Africa. To date more than $4-million has been raised, including over $275,000 from this year's tournament alone.

This year's event, which was held July 3, attracted significant celebrity participation, including Matt Damon, Brad Garrett, Montel Williams, and Shannon Elizabeth among others.

Locally, Chicago Gateway Green, a non-profit organization dedicated to the greening and beautification of Chicago, will be holding its Fifth Annual Teaxas Hold'em "Gaming for Green" charity tournament on Thursday, August 5, at Galleria Marchetti, 825 W. Erie Street in Chicago. The event is presented by Horseshoe Casino Hammond.

Prospective players buy in for a $150 donation ($125 before July 31) which gives them $5,000 in tournament chips. Those who don't wish to enter the poker tournament pay a $40 spectator admission for the opportunity to participate in other games of chance, including roulette, craps and blackjack.

The admission fee also includes an appetizer buffet and open bar with soft drinks, beer, wine, and premium spirits.

Attendees also have access to an outdoor patio lounge to enjoy the Marchetti garden setting and other amenities including a premium cigar by General Cigar, a martini bar, and live musical entertainment throughout the evening.

Spectators and poker players alike will have a chance to earn prizes while playing the casino games. The grand prize for the poker tournament itself will be $5,000 toward a buy-in into the World Series of Poker Circuit Event coming up later this year at Horseshoe.

Last year more than 150 players raised more than $35,000 for Chicago Gateway Green, which was founded in 1986 to benefit the environment and improve the quality of life for Chicagoland residents and visitors through three core programs: Expressway Partnership, International Sculpture Partnership, and Tree Partnership.

"We draw poker players from all over the state and across the country to play in this exciting tournament," said Claire Woolley, executive director of Chicago Gateway Green.

Celebrity participants will include ESPN Radio's John Jurkovic and Carmen DeFalco, who'll also serve as emcees of the event. Others include Richard Roeper, WLS-AM radio personality and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times; Ginger Zee and Natalie Martinez of NBC 5, and D.C. Crenshaw, food critic and host of Game Time Dine.

To purchase tickets please visit www.gatewaygreen.org or call 312-540-9930, Ext. 223.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp