Local firefighters draw 150 to top-drawer poker charity

by By Robb Fulcher
Published September 17, 2009

More than 150 people took part in the Hermosa Beach Firefighters Association’s first Charity Poker Tournament and Casino Night on Saturday at the Manhattan Beach Marriott.

Ten winners at the “final table” received prizes including trips to Las Vegas and Mammoth, a two-week surf trip to world-class surfing destination Uluwatu, Bali and World Poker Tour Boot Camp.

The first place winner received a seat at the upcoming World Series of Poker Tournament next year in Las Vegas.

More than 30 local businesses sponsored the event, and founding sponsor Altitude Aviation donated $10,000 to pay for the Vegas tournament seat. From that seat a player can win $1 million.

“Firefighters are really the unsung heroes of our community. These guys work hard and are on call 24-seven. I’m honored to be a part of this event and pleased to support an association that does so much to give back to our community,” said Hermosan Mike Binder, CEO of Altitude Aviation.

Major supporters also included Baja Sharkeez, Wells Fargo and the Center for Pilates.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Hermosa Beach Fallen Firefighters Fund, Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, the Muscular Dystrophy Society, Hermosa Beach Little League and Richstone Center.

Hermosa Beach Firefighters Association President Brian Grebbien said firefighters “wanted to create an event that brought the community together, literally, around the table. Poker is a growing sport and many of our community members are active players who wouldn’t normally have a chance at winning a World Series of Poker seat. Though it is a charity event, this is just one way we can say ‘thank you’ to the citizens and community who supports us.” ER