On Dec. 17, I attended the second annual Phil Hellmuth’s Hold’em with Agrace HospiceCare charity event in Madison because Hellmuth invited me to be one of the tournament’s “celebrities” thanks to my position with PokerNews and Ante Up.
More than 250 played in the event, which featured food, a raffle, silent auction and a full-day tournament hosted byHellmuth, all to raise money for Agrace HospiceCare.
Joining me as celebrities were an eclectic mix of local celebrities and poker pros. They included 2007 World Series of Poker Europe champion Annette Obrestad; 1998 WSOP fourth-place finisher, Dewey Weum; and pros Eddie Blumenthal, Mark “P0ker H0” Kroon, Mike “Wisco” Murray and Anthony “D1rtyR1v3r” Nardi. Some of the celebrities included NFL and UW Badgers player Derek Engler, NBC 15’s Carleen Wild, Charlie Shortino and Leigh Mills, pro golfer Jerry Kelly and Badgers women’s hockey coach and member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team Mark Johnson.
As far as the tournament, that title went to Laura Schultz, who overcame some stiff competition. John Orr, a Wisconsin businessman, was the final-table bubble boy in 10th place, advancing such players as Morgan Machina, “Madtown” Jerry, John Green, Nardi and Kroon. The latter almost defended his title, ultimately finishing fourth. Schultz defeated Green heads-up to claim the title and trophy.
A slew of attendees were chosen for private heads-up poker games the next day with Kroon (winners: George King, Mark Stevens and Gary Rice), Obrestad (winners: Scott Saunders, Wayne Harris and Dick Solis) and Hellmuth (winners: Mike Saunders, Paul Guyette and Josh Nelson).
It was another successful event as about $110K was raised. All signs point to a third go in 2012, so mark you calendars for the weekend before Christmas.
— Chad Holloway is Ante Up’s Wisconsin Ambassador. He’s a senior writer for
PokerNews.com and a member of Team Blue Shark Optics. Email him at
firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ChadAHolloway.