Toronto Maple Leaf Phil Kessel turns ice skills to ace skills as he places second in charity poker tournament

Hockey star outlasts poker legend Daniel Negreanu and former World Champion Jonathan Duhamel to take second place finish

TORONTO, Jan. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Proving his talents aren't limited to the ice, Phil Kessel finished second in the NHL Alumni Charity Poker Tournament presented by, beating out top poker talent and NHL Alumni to claim a share of the $100,000 charity prize-pool.

Kessel outlasted two Canadian poker legends: Daniel Negreanu, Global Poker Index Poker Player of the Decade, and Jonathan Duhamel, 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champion, on his way to claiming the second place spot. In the end, it came down to a heads up match between Kessel and another Team PokerStars Pro, Vanessa Rousso. This time, the poker pro came out on the winning end.

Hockey greats who participated in the event were Matthew Barnaby, Guy Carbonneau, Theo Fleury, Pat LaFontaine, Gary Leeman, Brad May, Marty McSorley, Mark Napier, Denis Savard and Darcy Tucker. Three Canadian hockey fans who won their seats in online promotional tournaments rounded out the field.

The next NHL Alumni Charity Poker Tournament is scheduled for summer 2014 with spots open to online qualifiers. Free qualifying tournaments will start in the spring at

Kessel will donate the $15,000 second place prize to SickKids Foundation, and will add $15,000 of his own money to make a total donation of $30,000.

"It is with the generosity of companies like and people like Phil Kessel that make worthwhile initiatives possible and make a positive impact for kids at The Hospital for Sick Children," said Jade DeCiccio, Associate, Events, SickKids Foundation.

About PokerStars
PokerStars operates the world's most popular online poker sites, serving a global poker community of more than 61 million registered members. Since it launched in 2001, PokerStars has become the first choice of the world's top players, with more daily tournaments than anywhere else and with the best security online. More than 110 billion hands have been dealt on PokerStars, which is more than any other site.

PokerStars is a member of The Rational Group, which operates gaming-related businesses and brands, including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and the European Poker Tour. Rational Group entities in the UK and Isle of Man were collectively recognized as one of the UK's best workplaces when they were awarded a top 25 position by the Great Place to Work Institute in its UK's Best Workplaces - Large category in both 2012 and 2013.

Image with caption: "Toronto Maple Leaf Phil Kessel outlasted poker legends and hockey greats to finish second in the NHL Alumni Charity Poker Tournament presented by Kessel donated the $15,000 second place prize to SickKids Foundation and matched the amount with a $15,000 personal donation. (CNW Group/". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Toronto Maple Leafs mascot Carlton the Bear visited The Hospital for Sick Children to present Phil Kessel's winnings from the NHL Alumni Charity Poker Tournament presented by Kessel won $15,000 in the charity poker tournament and matched the amount with a $15,000 personal donation, for a total donation of $30,000 to SickKids Foundation. (CNW Group/". Image available at:


For further information:

Sinead Brown
Paradigm Public Relations

Lauren Baswick
SickKids Foundation

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