Nearly 800 Canadian poker fans packed Real Sports Bar and Grill to witness Daniel Negreanu, one of the world's best poker players, compete for charity in a night of high-stakes and high-flying entertainment
TORONTO, Aug. 7, 2015 /CNW/ - Two sportscasters, a hockey player and a professional poker player walk into a bar. This isn't the set up for a joke; it was the set up for a $50,000 charity poker tournament that took place on Saturday, August 1 at Real Sports Bar and Grill in Toronto. Nearly 800 Canadian poker fans crowded the venue to watch the charity tournament, which included sportscasters Bob McCown and Gregg Zaun, NHLer Phil Kessel and Canadian poker legend and member of Team PokerStars Pro, Daniel Negreanu. The tournament was part of the entertainment at Daniel's Summer Party, a PokerStars VIP Club Live event.
While Negreanu was a gracious host for the summer party, posing for countless photos and signing autographs, he was all business at the poker table, where he won the tournament, collecting $20,000 to be donated to Right To Play, a charitable organization that uses the power of sport and play to transform childrens' lives.
The player who finished second to Negreanu was a surprise to everyone. In fact, he didn't even expect to be part of the tournament. Runner-up, Emil Kamel, a 23 year old from Barrie, planned to watch from the sidelines but received quite an upgrade when he took a seat in the tournament after being selected by random draw from the party-goers at Real Sports. Kamel found his composure and outlasted three celebrity players before falling to poker icon Negreanu. The final result of the tournament was:
- First place: Daniel Negreanu, $20,000 donated to Right To Play
- Second place: Emil Kamel, $15,000 donated to Harvest Bible Chapel
- Third place: Bob McCown, $10,000 donated to Mike 'Pinball' Clemons Foundation
- Fourth place: Phil Kessel, $2,500 donated to SickKids Foundation
- Fifth place: Gregg Zaun, $2,500 donated to Gregg Zaun Foundation
Following the charity tournament, the evening's entertainment went from high-stakes to high-flying. Staff moved the poker table out of the way to make room for a gravity defying Russian Bar circus performance that dazzled the crowd with high-flying flips and twists.
"PokerStars knows how to throw a party! It felt good to host an event like this in Toronto – my hometown," said Negreanu. "It was fun to interact with so many poker fans. I think I posed for more than 1,200 photos on Saturday!"
Fans in attendance at Real Sports also got a sneak peek at KidPoker, a soon-to-be-released documentary about Negreanu.
The PokerStars VIP Club Live is a series of fun events that take place in some of the world's greatest cities. PokerStars players have the chance to socialize together at exciting sporting events, take part in exclusive activities with Team PokerStars Pro members, and attend unforgettable parties. Daniel's Summer Party in Toronto was the biggest PokerStars VIP Club Live event to date.
PokerStars operates the world's most popular online poker sites, serving the global poker community. Since it launched in 2001, PokerStars has become the first choice of players all over the world, with more daily tournaments than anywhere else and with the best security online.
PokerStars is the key brand of Rational Group, which operates gaming-related businesses and brands, including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and the European Poker Tour. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, Rational Group companies in the UK and Isle of Man won recognition as one of the best workplaces in the UK being awarded a top 25 position by the Great Place to Work Institute's Best Workplaces – Large category rankings. Rational Group entities in Costa Rica and Dublin also achieved the same accolade in their respective local rankings in 2014. PokerStars is owned by Amaya Inc. (TSX: AYA).
Image with caption: "Canadian poker legend Daniel Negreanu wins a charity poker tournament and collects $20,000 for Right To Play. Nearly 800 Canadian poker fans packed into Real Sports Bar and Grill in Toronto to watch the action as Negreanu took on other celebrity players including sportscasters Bob McCown and Gregg Zaun and NHLer Phil Kessel. (CNW Group/PokerStars.net)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150807_C8490_PHOTO_EN_474091.jpg
Image with caption: "Canadian poker legend Daniel Negreanu entertains fans during a charity poker tournament at Real Sports Bar & Grill in Toronto. Negreanu went on to win the tournament and $20,000 for Right To Play. (CNW Group/PokerStars.net)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150807_C8490_PHOTO_EN_474087.jpg
For further information: Sinead Brown, [email protected], 416-413-5193