The MGM National Harbor is part of the massive MGM Resorts family, and as such, the Maryland-based casino with proximity to the nation’s capital knows how to pull in gamblers. And that includes poker players.
And what better way to introduce poker fans to the swank new room at the casino than with a high-profile charity poker tournament that dangles a $10,000 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event seat as its ultimate carrot?
Helping Children’s Cancer Causes
Brad Nierenberg, whose marketing company’s client list includes Mercedes-Benz, Warner Bros., and Twitter, will host the 12th annual “Chance for Life” charity poker event on April 1. Actors, athletes, and, of course, politicians are expected to participate.
The winner of the poker tournament will receive a $10,000 seat at the World Series of Poker Main Event. There are no other prizes listed. All proceeds will go to benefit pediatric cancer research with the Children’s National Medical Center Foundation and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Approximately 600 entrants are expected to compete in the poker tournament. The main focus, of course, is to raise money for charity but, obviously those playing will also have their eyes set on a seat in the WSOP Main Event, which runs from Saturday, July 8 to Monday, July 17 in Las Vegas this summer.
Along with the poker tournament, tickets will be available to partake in a wine and chef’s tasting experience with “award-winning chefs,” and an after-party, to be hosted by an as-yet-unnamed “featured national entertainer,” along with an open bar and DJ’d dance party.
As of this writing, the links to purchase tickets for all of these options do not appear to be live.
Celebrities Love Poker and Charities
The poker world has raised millions of dollars for various charities. In Las Vegas, Brad Garrett has hosted a number of charity tournaments for the Maximum Hope Foundation, an organization that raises money for children who suffer from life-limiting illnesses.
Garrett, an avid poker player who competes in the World Series of Poker each year along with fellow actor Ray Romano, uses poker to raise money for charities.
This past Saturday, a no-limit hold’em tournament was hosted at Golden Nugget in Las Vegas to raise money for autism. Celebrities such as Jose Canseco and Dennis Haskins participated.
Nierenberg, CEO of RedPeg Marketing, created the foundation in 2005 as an homage to his cancer-stricken god-daughter, Kennedy Snyder. The charity has raised more than $2 million for pediatric cancer research to date.
Not every celebrity who gambles has anyone’s interests in mind but their own, however. Singer and hitmaker Tremaine Neverson, better known as Trey Songz, got into an altercation a few days before Christmas with another patron at MGM National Harbor while gambling at the casino. The musician was ejected from the resort. In a profanity-laced video released on social media, he bashed the way the casino had treated him.
“A special message for the (expletive) police.” Songz said in a Snapchat video after the incident. “(expletive) police, (expletive) y’all, (expletive) police, (expletive) MGM.”
Since then, no major incidents have taken place.
The MGM National Harbor opened in December. During its first month of operation, the casino generated more than $40 million in revenue.