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Poker players, charities take home big wins

Addison county residents will get a taste of the big time poker scene, as Poker Pro Chris Kirkpatrick hosts a local series of big-money Texas Hold Em Tournaments over the next few months.

Former Vermonter Kirkpatrick, age 27, plays professionally in Arizona and Las Vegas, and has returned to Vermont to run the high-profile legal games, which benefit local and national charities.

For many, the ultra-popular game of Texas Hold Em poker is a challenging sport, a time of camaraderie and competition with friends. But for Kirkpatrick, its not only his passion, but his livelihood, and now a way to help others in need.

Kirkpatricks PokerPros tournaments have raised thousands of dollars for the Humane Society, the Vermont Little League, and youth summer camps, among others. He says Its not uncommon for me to raise $700 a month for a charity, without a penny of investment & not much work.

There are some others who choose to help promote their own events, so these organizations can raise up to $3,000 every 4 months. The unique fund-raising opportunity is completely free for the non-profits, and any 501c3 organization can take advantage of his unique poker fundraising program. They simply apply to become a sponsor of the events, and receive a portion of the proceeds (or the pot in poker lingo). No investment, no staff, no risk - its a winning situation for any charity interested in raising money says Kirkpatrick.

And its a winning situation for many local players, as well. Kirkpatrick said, First place winners often take home $1,000 or more from a gamenot a bad return for a little $50 buy-in, and a couple hours of fun.

His Texas Hold Em tournaments are held in donated restaurant and event spaces throughout Vermont, and Kirkpatrick supplies the poker tables, cards, chips, and a tournament director (usually himself).

It makes me feel good, Kirkpatrick said, to not only offer people a night out to hone their poker skills and have fun, but also to do something good for the community as well. What could be better?

And yes, Kirkpatrick is available to give pointers on the ubiquitous game, but youll have to make it to the final table first.

To sign up a charity, volunteer a host location, or register for Email updates on new upcoming tournaments, log on to www.VTPokerPros.com . Chris can be reached at 802-578-2394, or Chris@VTPokerPros.com .

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