Tonight, the 81st annual Academy Awards will take place from the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. Many in the poker world are in town not for the Oscars, but for the L.A. Poker Classic, a World Poker Tour (WPT) event taking place at the Commerce Casino. One notable exception is 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event Champion Jamie Gold, who is hosting a charity poker tournament late Sunday night benefiting Children Uniting Nations.
The winner of the fundraising event will receive a $10,000 entry into the 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas beginning on July 3rd. The all-expense paid trip to Sin City includes a private dinner and coaching by Gold. The Los Angeles tournament will be held at 10:00pm on Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton after the Oscar festivities have concluded. Confirmed to appear alongside Gold are Lee Watkinson and Full Tilt Poker pro Howard Lederer. The tournament is sponsored by the Merge Gaming Network online poker room ACED, which recently signed Gold. The Network accepts players from the United States.
Seating in the event will be capped when 30 players have registered and the field will consist of a mix of celebrities and poker fans. The gala is co-sponsored by the Hollywood Reporter and will feature musical performances by Colby O’Donis, JabbawockeeZ, Sophie B. Hawkins, Doug E. Fresh, Teairra Mari, and D.J. AM. According to a press release distributed by tournament organizer GreasieWheels, Jennifer Aniston, Pierce Brosnan, Christina Milian, Jane Seymour, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bill and Hillary Clinton are all proud supporters of Children Uniting Nations.
According to the non-profit organization’s website, Children Uniting Nations “is committed to help every child find a way out of cruelty, neglect, and anger. This organization is dedicated to help children find their way to fulfill their dreams. Children Uniting Nations’ mission is to create loving, tolerant, and capable world citizens.” The Los Angeles-based organization was founded by entertainment mogul Daphna Edwards Ziman. The Oscar Viewing Party taking place at the Beverly Hilton has a price tag of $1,000; After Party tickets can be purchased for $150.
Gold famously won the 2006 WSOP Main Event, defeating Paul Wasicka heads-up and pocketing $12 million. Since then, Gold has served as a front man for 50 charity events and helped raise over $110 million. In addition to Children Uniting Nations, Gold’s efforts have benefited The Sunflower Organization, Montel Williams MS Foundation, and The Michael J. Fox Foundation. He’s right at home in Hollywood after originally gaining fame as a talent agent.
Gold took 35th in the 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event, taking home £27,150. He’s also competed on GSN’s “High Stakes Poker” and NBC’s “Poker After Dark.” During the 2007 installment of the “National Heads-Up Poker Championship,” which also airs on NBC, Gold bested Jennifer Tilly in the first round before falling to Phil Gordon in the round of 32. In 2008, he also bowed out in the second round, this time to Scott Fischman. Gold served as the keynote speaker at the Casino Affiliate Programs (CAP) Euro 2008 conference in Barcelona, Spain.
The Academy Awards recognize the best in the motion picture industry annually. Accolades will be handed out for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Director, and Best Original Score, among others. Presenters will include a veritable “who’s who” of Hollywood personalities and the festivities begin at 8:00pm Eastern Time. Previous Best Picture winners include “No Country for Old Men,” “The Departed,” “Crash,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” “Chicago,” “A Beautiful Mind,” and “Gladiator.” This year’s nominees include “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk,” “The Reader,” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” Actor Hugh Jackman will host. (Credit: Poker News Daily)
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