Photo Credit: Jim Smith
It was a star-studded affair at Planet Hollywood Resort when the One Step Closer Foundation presented the “Raising the Stakes” Celebrity Poker Tournament to raise funds for people with CP. The fun-filled charity event kicked off with a red carpet event at 1 p.m. Stars walked the carpet, chatted with media and posed for pics and selfies with excited fans before battling it out in a game of Texas Hold ‘Em.
Co-hosted by Cheryl Hines and Montel Williams, tournament play began at 2 p.m. with more than 110 participants going all in including Jennifer Tilly, Mekhi Phifer, Dennis Haskins, Ryan Beckett, Omar Gooding, Lawyer Milloy, Chyna, Kara Monaco, Jennifer Braff, Alicia Webb (WWE Ryan Shamrock), Shawn Davari, Adam Archuleta, Jennifer Archuleta, Stacy Fuson, Erik Aude, Erin O’Brien, Josh Emerson, Miko Hughes, Pilar Lastra, Dennis McCoy, poker pro Noah Schwartz, former WSOP Main Event Champions Jamie Gold andJoe Cada, MMA fighters Jay Hieron, Phil Baroni and Heath Herring and TNA pro wrestler Kenny King.
Poker players of all levels and the stars battled it out all afternoon, including Mekhi Phifer, Kara Monaco and poker pro Joe Cada who went on to capture seats at the Final Table. But in the end, it was Cada who snagged the title and the $10,000 cash prize. As the event was for charity, Cada graciously donated a significant portion of his winning back to the foundation. Chris Penfield of Fairfield, CA placed second, taking home $5,000.