Inside the MPIC Sundance Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament

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The MPIC Sundance Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament marked the one year anniversary of my first poker game. Last year, I was invited to participate in the celebrity poker tournament that was hosted by Mekhi Phifer and James Franco. My poker face wasn’t perfected and beginner’s luck had passed me by, but knowing that the money was going to a worthy cause, I can confidently say that I’d never had so much fun losing. When I received an invitation to participate this year, I was excited to try my luck again.

This year, the fun poker soiree was held at the Sundance Channel HQ on Main Street and benefitted a domestic violence charity called Jaden’s Ladder. It was hosted by Mekhi Phifer, Inny Clemmons, and Randall Emmett. Darius Rucker, Jeremy Sisto, John C. Reilly, Michel Comte, Molly Shannon, and Neon Hitch were amongst the many guests that were excited to support this great cause.

Being seated between Jeremy Sisto (who has the nicest speaking voice ever) and Brian O’Nan (How could anyone keep a poker face looking into those baby blue eyes?!) left me feeling like Lady Luck. Determined to stay in the match past round 1 while still not knowing how to play poker, I couldn’t have been more appreciative of their help/patience, good conversation and moral support.

I had managed to stay in the game for more than an hour and a half and I felt like luck truly was on my side—I took a chance and went all in… after which I was all out. Thankfully, the taste of defeat went down a bit smoother with my favorite new cocktail, Wtrmln Water (low calorie watermelon water) mixed with vodka. This, and knowing that my loss was a win for those in need, brought me back to feeling victorious despite having to leave the table. I found Mekhi and thanked him for having me again this year. Such a class act!

Photo credit: Aaron Davidson