An impressive field of 243 players showed up and – incredible as it seems – the top three finalists – all playing in their first weSpark event – were all players in various Burbank Moose Lodge poker events. They represented Third Thursday Poker Tournament, Silverlake Rounders and Puffington Poker Series (perhaps antlers should have been put on the trophy). The winner, after a tight three-way race, was Ibrahim Alsuitan, followed by Lalo Medina and Andy Hirsch. The event ended after blinds had climbed to 50K – 100K. Dave Murray and actor Mark Walberg (not to be confused with Wahlberg), first weSPARK board members to make the final table, formed the final five.
Jeffrey Stern, Michael Weston, Jason Mayer, Robert Guerin and last woman standing Cuc Lam also made the Final Table all of whom received prizes.
Hospitable host and Seinfeld comedy star “Costanza” Jason Alexander and actor James Woods both went deep but fell out before the 8:30 finish.
The tournament, which had an affordable $100 buy-in, also included re-buys, add-ons, an auction and raffle. The event included a luncheon, and all the entrants also received Jason Alexander card protectors.
Jason ‘Costanza’ Alexander, Cheryl Dirodis & Yosh The weSPARK Cancer Support Center, a special healing environment, is dedicated to Nakano- MagicalGSH, Nancy ‘Robocop’ Allen enhancing the quality of life for cancer patients, their family and friends. It provides free support groups and a host of other therapeutic and holistic programs. These programs are designed to alleviate anxiety, fear, depression and isolation and evoke feelings of relaxation and well-being.
Nancy Allen, who has been with weSPARK since its doors opened in 2001, is the executive director. She points out that their services have been expanded this year, offering more than 40 unique programs this week and serving more than 1,000 people annually.
In addition to Alexander, Woods, Walberg, and Allen, other celebrities included Rocky Carroll of “NCIS”, Tony Denison of “Major Crimes”, Mimi Rogers, Michael Monks, and Matt Craven. The top celebrity poker player in attendance was Barbara Enright, the first woman to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame and only woman to make the final table at the World Series of Poker main event. Past celebrity players, in addition to Woods, include Ray Romano, Jennifer Tilly, Jose Conseco, Brian Cranston, Cheryl Hines, Neil Patrick Harris, Camryn Manheim and Ryan Stiles.
Sponsors of the event included MagicalGSH LLC, marketed as www.AlcoholGSH.com ; City National Bank, Gendler & Kelly, Sharlene and Glenn Miyagishima, The Bolkin-Helene Family Foundation, Dukes Wealth Management, Scott Williams and Catherine Curry-Williams, Elaine Donley/Assisted Home Care, Arthur Toretzky and 10 Deuce Clothing.
Mark Walberg conducted a live auction for prizes that included skybox tickets for the Red Hot Chili Peppers (compliments of Christopher Downey of Top Tier Consulting), site visits to NCIS and lunch with Mark Harmon, VIP Coachella tickets, and a 2 night stay at a beautiful resort in Mammoth. The event raised a whopping $105,000.
Rocky ‘NCIS Director Vance’ stops by the MagicalGSH
booth. NCIS donated set visits and lunch with Mark