Charity Poker Event Raises $75,000 for Conine Clubhouse

There was a full house at Calder Casino & Race Course recently when more than 145 participants took part in the Jeff Conine Celebrity Poker Classic. The inaugural event was a tremendous success, raising more than $75,000 for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation, which helps underwrite the operations of the Conine Clubhouse, a home-away-from-home for families of children under care at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. 

Sports celebrities were paired with poker players at all levels throughout the tournament, which was kicked-off by a VIP baseball-themed reception. Each table at Calder’s Studz Poker Club featured a different celebrity or Florida Marlin as players tested their poker faces and challenged their skills.

"We are proud to have sponsored and hosted such an incredible event," said Austin Miller, president of Calder Casino & Race Course. "This inaugural tournament exceeded all of our expectations, and we look forward to working with Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital as a partner on many more events in the near future, including the golf tournament in January."

Michael Sage of Hollywood, won the Grand Prize, $5,000 cash. Michael Barone of Hollywood came in second and won a Breitling Men’s watch, and Alex Pou of Weston won third place and a five-night stay at the Villages at Punta Gabriela, Costa Rica including air courtesy of Spirit Airlines. Fourth through tenth place winners were rewarded with cash prizes and the top 10 players all went home with autographed baseball helmets.

“The clubhouse is my proudest accomplishment in South Florida, my legacy, because it’s real life,” said Conine.  “Being a professional athlete brings notoriety, but nothing we do between the lines can compare to helping people when they really need it.”

The Conine All-Star Golf Classic at The Club at Emerald Hills is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2012. Calder Casino & Race Course is the title sponsor for the 18th annual event.

The Conine Clubhouse is a non-profit residence that is made possible by donations from individuals and corporations who want to lend a hand to help those in need. Families from more than 20 countries have used the Conine Clubhouse’s private rooms, playroom, playground, gardens, chapel, and family support area during times of medical crisis.  Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital provides high-quality medical care to all children, regardless of their ability to pay. Families with children being cared for at the hospital are welcome to stay free of charge, based on availability.