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Blackhawks Lose their Shirts for Autism

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Chasse Rehwinkel

I gamble, therefore I write...or I write, therefore I gamble...honestly, they're pretty similar professions…

 
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The Blackhawks must feel like they're on top of the world right now. Currently second in the West, the Hawks find themselves within spitting distance of top ranked San Jose after finally dispatching a scrappy Dallas squad Tuesday in a shootout.

It was the first victory over the Stars for the Blackhawks all season, and made for a great exclamation point to the first half of the year as the NHL prepares now to go on hiatus for the Winter Olympics.

With so much success why shouldn't the Hawks then try their hands at another game...i donno...like poker?

This past Wednesday night, fresh off their victory against the Stars, the unstoppable Blackhawks joined other popular Chicago celebrities at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana to participate in the First Annual Campbell for Kids Charity Poker Tournament.

The $125 buy-in tournament was held in order to raise money for Blackhawk defenseman Brian Campbell's charity, Campbell for Kids, which raises money for organizations in the Chicagoland area that specialize in helping children with special disabilities. The focus of Wednesday's event was helping children who suffer from autism.

In spite of this being the tournament's first run, the First Annual Campbell for Kids Charity Poker Tournament managed to sell out, attracting 455 players, around 50 more than tournament directors had expected.

Said Campbell about the full tournament, "It means a lot to me. This is a cause I care a lot about and I'm really glad so many people showed up to support it."

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So many players signed up for the tournament that alternates were used until the first break

 
Among the celebrities, hardcore Blackhawk fans and general charity supporters was yours truly, the Windy City Rounder. And although *spoiler alert* I didn't win, it was a fun night full of hockey, gambling and charitable giving, unparalleled by anything else running in Chicago on Wednesday night--yes, and that includes the Bulls' pathetic 107-87 loss to Orlando...sad, just sad. 

Well, It's For Charity


In spite of having a massive field the charity tournament still only paid out to the top five finishers, with a top prize of $2,500.

This unfortunate fact did not get me down as I got set to play, however, after all it was all going to a good cause anyway and the real prize, for me at least, was sitting in seat six, laughing it up and proclaiming his novice ability at the game.

Yes I'm talking about our table's celebrity, most tables had one and ours happened to be the hero of Tuesday night's win, winger Kris Versteeg.

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I can name a lot of great Canadian poker players, guess who's not on that list...

It's not that I don't like Kris, quite the opposite he kept the table well supplied with necessary mind altering liquids, it's that he represented to our table a wrinkle to the tournament's format that gave everyone a little bit more incentive to knock him out.

See every celebrity entered into the tournament was wearing a custom made Blackhawks jersey, which would be signed and given to whomever knocked them out of the event.

So while the top five finish seemed like a long shot given the fast blind structure, winning a signed jersey wasn't so far fetched for any player.

With a signed jersey in my sites, I got things started off quick--really quick--and doubled-up on the very first hand with Aces vs Jacks.

Things didn't go quite so well from there and soon after the third break I was busted when my AQ failed to improve against pocket fours.

I exited in about 100th place, well out of the money and jerseyless.

Sigh...I just have to remember, it was all for charity.

The Punk Still Got It


Someone who did considerably better then the Windy City Rounder was the punk for BYU himself, former Bear's quarterback Jim McMahon.

McMahon nursed the short stack all night, outlasting all the rest of his celebrity player brethren.

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Being the last "jersey player" in Wednesday's tourney I'd like to think rates about as high in McMahon's mind as his late career ring as a Packer


I was able to catch up with the former Super Bowl champion during one of the final breaks of the night.

The Windy City Rounder: So Jim how you doing in the tournament?

Jim McMahon: Well I'm still in, so...surprise. I'm happy to still be in the tournament because I don't know sh*t about cards.

WCR: What do you think about Campbell's charity and how everything is going tonight?

McMahon: I think he had a great turnout for his first event. They told me they put this together quickly and it turned out fabulously for them. I wish them well, I hope to be back to do it again.

WCR: And what made you get involved this year?

McMahon: Because I love Chicago, you know whatever teams they are it doesn't matter. My sons were hockey players, so I love hockey. Whatever I can do to help the Chicago people out that's what I'm going to do.

WCR: Thanks so much Jim, good luck the rest of the way.

McMahon: Thank you.

Once again the Windy City Rounder's good wishes were the kiss of death and McMahon was eliminated not long after play recommenced. Sorry Mr. McMahon!

There Has To Be A Winner, Right?


Of course there does!

It may have come an hour after schedule, but the First Annual Campbell for Kids Charity Poker Tournament crowned a champion at around one in the morning.

And that champion was Joe Shefcik, a self-proclaimed big Blackhawks fan who enjoyed the lively support of his fellow Hawk-supporting sons throughout the tournament's final stages.

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...and the support from his good cards and big chip stack


Shefcik had some interesting plans for the $2,500 first prize. Said Shefick, "I'll donate all the money to Campbell's charity if he will bring me down onto the ice for fan appreciation day and give me his jersey."

Sounds good Joe, I guess the puck's in your rink now Campbell--I apologize for the bad "ball's in your court joke" guys.

Overall, I thought it was the most professionally run charity tournament I've ever participated in. Added to that, the food was good, the music was great and the atmosphere of "The Venue" theater at the Horseshoe worked perfectly.

Good first run Campbell, I'll be back next year.

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