Blackhawks News

Blackhawk Up attends Campbell For Kids poker event

By Jeffrey Bartl
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When I went to FanSided asking them to sponsor me to play in Brian Campbell’s tournament to benefit children with autism, I never imagined it would be this much fun. The generosity of Zach and Adam Best to contribute to this cause and allow me to represent FanSided is something I truly appreciate.

Special thanks also go out to Kendall of All Terrain to help make my experience that much better. Getting the VIP treatment is never a bad thing.

However, the Horseshoe Casino employee who did not inform me of the extra buy-in to double up my chips should be tarred and feathered. Because of her, I started with $3,500 chips compared to the $7,000 of most everyone else. Luckily, that didn’t matter for the next four-plus hours.

Ben Eager sat down at my initial table and was a hell of a guy. He interacted with the table, and even got on the phone with some guy’s girlfriend just to say hello. His poker skills? Well, let’s just say I was able to bluff the big man out of a couple hands. He also gave me a nice smirk when I asked him about Cans in Wicker Park. He used to frequent the bar when he was um, taking a bartender to the “sin bin” last season. He mentioned through the smirk he hadn’t been there in “quite awhile.”

As my chip stack grew, Tony Esposito was walking by my table. He stopped so I could shake his hand, pointed at my chip stack and said to the table, “Woah, this guy’s hot! Better watch out for him!” Great experience.

I played well up until the first break, making some bold moves and trippling my chip stack. During the break, I met Brent Seabrook, Marian Hossa and Kris Versteeg for autographs and some chit chat. All the players were very cordial and answered every stupid question thrown at them.

As the tournament wore thin and my chip stack started to dwindle, I was moved to Colin Fraser’s table. He was hanging tough, busted nose and all, and made sure to introduce himself to me as I sat down. He interacted with everyone at the table and struck up numerous conversations.

Fraser was signing a hat for a fan who walked up to the table, and just after signing it Seabrook — Miller Lite in hand — leaned over me with his hat and said, “Hey can you get this one too?” Seabrook proceeded to scream, “Colin Fraser gonna win the whole thing! Best fucking poker player in the world!” I laughed and watched him stumble away.

Unfortunately, after roughly five hours in the tournment, I went all-in with A-9 suited and got beaten by a pair of queens. Hey, what are ya gonna do — besides, of course, stair down the jerk who beat me with Q-4 off suit. Asshole. Out of the 450-plus entrants, it looked as if I had made it to the final 50. Not bad, I suppose.

It was a hell of a night. As each Blackhawks player was eliminated, they took off their sweater and signed it and gave it to the player who knocked him out. Even Jim McMahon talked to people without being an asshole, which I’m sure took a hell of an effort.

The live auction raised some great money for the benefit, and the silent auction brought in a good chunk of change as well. The prime rib was delicious, the pizza was a good snack and overall I couldn’t have asked for a better night — especially since it went to a great cause.

Check out CambellForKids.org and donate a few bucks if you’re able. For those of you who attended, I hope you had as much fun as I did.

Thanks again to Brian Campbell, FanSided and Kendall for making a great night for me. Blackhawks are back in action Saturday at the UC vs. the Illya Kovalchuk-less Atlanta Thrashers. GO HAWKS!

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