San Diego, CA (February 18, 2010) – The Poker Lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino was the venue for the 1st ever I’Maul In No Limit Texas Hold ‘em Poker Tournament. The event took place on the eve of the USA 7s Tournament with 46 players helping raise money for the USRF youth rugby programs.
A number of past US National Team players took part, including Gary Lambert, Mose Timoteo, Mike Saunders, Chris Lippert, Brian Vizard, Mark Carlson, Sean Allen, Juan Grobler, Tim Kluempers, Dan Payne and John Jelaco.
WSOP bracelet winner and professional poker player and former rugby player Blair Rodman took part. As did professional blackjack player and former rugby player Anthony Curtis. Retired Two-Star General and father of USA 7s Tournament Director Dan Lyle, Mike Lyle, participated. Max Rubin, former rugby player and a member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame, emceed the event.
The random seat draw proved unfavorable to some right off the bat as seated at the “Table of Death” to start the night were three of the favorites going into the Tournament: Rodman, Curtis and Lambert.
Within a few hours the final table was set. It was a good mix that included four past Eagles, the lone woman who took part in the tournament, the youngest player entered in the event, and a WSOP bracelet winner.
Although he never actually got to sit at the final table, USRF Executive Director Brian Vizard came in 10th place. Rob Skalka was the next to be knocked out in 9th. Gary Lambert took 8th and was followed in 7th place by fellow Eagle Mark Carlson.
Tim Kluempers was the last of the Eagles to fall, coming in 6th. Dana Weeks, wife of Rugby Canadapresident Rick Bourne, was eliminated in 5th while the 21 year old youngster Jake Backoff came in 4th.
It was down to three with Rodman battling it out against Steve Allen and Drew Tomsak. But rather than play into the night the three decided to chop the pot and with it the prize money for the top three spots.
The proceeds raised from this inaugural event will be directed towards the USRFF’s size 4 and 5 Ball Grant Programs. The USRF would like to thank all those who participated in the 1st I’Maul In No Limit Texas Hold ’em Poker Tournament along with the following sponsors: Rugby for Dummies, Align General, USA Classic Eagles, Chicago Lions, Gosling’s, Anheuser-Busch and the Hard Rock’s Poker Lounge.
With a solid platform set, plans are already underway for next year’s I’Maul In event.