Weekly Poker Roundup: March 19, 2018

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Jennifer Harman Auctioning Lunch Date for Charity

Poker Hall of Famer Jennifer Harman is back to her charitable ways, auctioning off a one-on-one lunch “experience” with her for one lucky, deep-pocketed fan. The proceeds from the auction will benefit Lollipop Theater Network, which brings the first-run movie experience to hospitalized children. While I might take my kids to see Black Panther this afternoon, children confined to hospitals with life-threatening illnesses don’t have the luxury my kids have. Lollipop aims to bring the fun of seeing a new movie, still in theaters, to those children.

The current high bid for the 90-minute lunch with Harman (which includes an autograph and picture) is $5,000 by someone named “The Baron of Houston.” There are still seven days left in the auction, so odds are the price will rise, especially on the final day. The lunch is somehow valued at $10,000.

Harman has been quite active in charitable giving throughout her poker career. She has been an advocate for kidney disease research – she has had kidney problems since childhood and has had multiple transplants – and has raised over $1 million for PETA and the Nevada SPCA through poker tournaments.

PokerStars Hosting Play Money Charity Tournament

In other charity news, PokerStars announced that it will be hosting the first play money-only charity tournament, which will benefit Right to Play, an organization which uses “the power of play to educate and empower children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities.”

The tournament will be held on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, April 6th, at 20:00 EST. Buy-in will be 1 million play money chips, with unlimited re-buys and one add-on. PokerStars will make a $10 donation for each of the first 5,000 entries.

For those new to PokerStars or PokerStars’ play money games, it will take some grinding to get to 1 million chips. Even though everyone is given free chips each day, a decent amount of winning is required to get to the 1 million chip mark. Alternatively, players can buy 1 million chips for $5.

New-York New-York Casino Robber Charged in Court

Cameron Kennedy was charged in federal court last week for robbing the New York-New York casino in Las Vegas on January 10th. He was apprehended two weeks later.

During the incident, which occurred around 1:00am, Kennedy, dressed in mostly black clothing and black rimmed glasses, showed the cashier that he had a gun tucked in his waistband, and said, “I want all your hundreds, and don’t mess around,” before escaping with $23,000 in cash.

The interesting part of the robbery, though, was that security video showed a black man committing the crime, whereas Kennedy is white. Kennedy had disguised himself in blackface to rob the casino. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t do the best job, as the cashier told police that the robbers skin tone looked “off” and blotchy. An anonymous tip came in that said Kennedy was the robber and a month later, someone told police that Kennedy had gone to his apartment that morning, his skin looking darker than normal, as if he had wiped off makeup.

Kennedy had previously been in prison for committing two bank robberies and was released this past June. He was arrested in December for try to cash a fake check at Gold Coast casino. Though he was under federal supervision after that, he cut off his tracking bracelet before robbing New York-New York.

Female Poker Player to Wear Male Disguise at WSOP

And SPEAKING of disguises (you like how I paired up these news items this week?), a female poker player and author who goes by the pen name Sia Layta, has said she will be playing in the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event disguised as a man to demonstrate how women and men are treated differently at the tables. Part of her effort is to promote her upcoming book, Black Widow Poker, in which is described thusly on the book’s website:

Is the Poker deck stacked against women? Why hasn’t a woman ever won the “World Series of Poker Main Event” in nearly 50 years of competition? More than a simple training manual, BLACK WIDOW Poker explores the gender inequality women experience in male dominated card rooms and offers a new way of winning the game. It is a strategy born out of dealing with gender bias at the table, and teaches unconventional moves that will perplex opponents.

Disguising oneself to the point where people don’t know who you are is against the rules at the World Series of Poker, so Layta will be at risk of disqualification. Her lawyers believe the rule was made to prevent people from recruiting pros to play for them at the WSOP, so Layta would not be violating the spirit of the rule.

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