On December 11th, the Venetian casino is Las Vegas will host the 3rd annual All In for Cerebral Palsy poker tournament. As the name implies, the event will raise money to go to those afflicted with cerebral palsy--more specifically, the money will be given to the One Step Closer Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to raise national awareness of the disease and fund efforts to alleviate its effect and ultimately find a cure.
The event was made possible through the work of One Step Closer's founder, Jacob Zalewski. Zalewski is a cerebral palsy sufferer, but does not let his disease stop him from pursuing a passion for the game of poker. Zalewski has been on the live tournament scene for years, and his many friendships and connections in the poker world led to the success of the inaugural All In for Cerebral Palsy event in 2008.
That special combination of entertainment and philanthropy is expected to continue this year. Players likely to appear at the event include Antonio Esfandiari, Barry Greenstein, Phil Laak, and Mike Matusow, among others--many of whom would count themselves as friends to Zalewski.
In an unusual pairing, the event will be co-hosted by Cheryl Hines and Joe Cada. Hines is a successful film and TV actress best known for her role as Larry David's long-suffering wife on HBO's hit comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm and Joe Cada is, of course, the lucky and talented guy who scooped $8.6 million when he won the 2009 World Series of Poker main event.
The tournament entry fee will be $540, and unlimited $200 rebuys will be allowed during the first 90 minutes. Half of the money raised will be donated to charity and half will be put towards the tournament prize pool--although in events such as this, it's common for the winner to also donate some or all of his 1st place prize.
Let's hope the event raises record-setting sums, so that Zalewski and others afflicted with this horrible disease can have the chance to achieve their goal. "We hope to see a future where cerebral palsy is a thing of the past,” says Zalewski.
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