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L.A. HOLD 'EM

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Wed, May 16, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

Galpin Auto Sports' David Aragon and Cassandra Moore

L.A. HOLD 'EM By John Grafman What makes L.A. so L.A. are the icons and landmarks. Certainly, the Playboy Mansion ranks among the top icons in this region. By virtue of that alone, we have an interest in visiting. Cleverly coupling the visit with an opportunity to save the world is just too much ask for, so deal us in. April 28th marks the second annual Celebrity Poker Tournament benefiting the Urban Health Institute. The charities motto is "responsible relief for committed care" strikes a chord with many. As such, celebrities and professional poker players descend upon this Los Angeles landmark. The charity founded by Southern California-based physician Kevin Brown provides direct care, medicine and medical equipment in response to natural and man-made disasters. And we certainly think that over the past several years the world has seen its fair share of calamities.

Jaguar XK and Aston Martin - Galpinized

The Celebrity Poker Tournament with $50,000 worth of prizes provides Vegas-style competition for a worthy cause. Among celebrities attending are Don Cheadle, and Jennifer Tilly, along with renowned poker players such as Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott, and Annie Duke. Within a very short period of time, it becomes obvious this is a game for high rollers only. Maybe it's one limo after another arriving, or perhaps the Rolls-Royce that gives it away. In any event, don't expect to find any two-dollar tables tonight.

London Bisset Another tip-off as to the mood here sits atop of the curving driveway leading to the mansion itself. Two cars, one a Jaguar XK and one Aston Martin, provided by Galpin Motors, glamorously capture the flavor for the evening. In short, have style, have fun, and bring your wallet. Perhaps not so coincidentally, David Aragon from MTV's "Pimp My Ride" and part of the Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) team is here for the festivities. David is by no means alone. Also attending are Cassandra Moore, London Bissett, Omar Cruz, Frankie Needles, Joanna Krupa, Patrick Kilpatrick, Page Kennedy, Trenyce Cobbins, Eric Byrd, Shauna Sand-llamas, Melissa "Mojo" Hunter, Shannon Elizabeth, Marcus Shirock, Todd Bridges, and Claudia Jordan, and some 400 other celebrities and partygoers.

Larry Bird's shoes (above); Tony Hawk's helmet (below)

For those that don't drop any money on the poker table, sports collectibles are up for auction. While anyone can walk away with a fat wad of money in Vegas, how many people can walk away with a signed Tony Hawk helmet, or basketball shoes worn by the legendary Larry Bird? And just so no one forgets where we are, several ladies from Budweiser, as well as a few others are thrown for good measure. With the exception of body paint and smiles on their faces, they aren't wearing anything. Well, this is the Playboy Mansion. While this Celebrity Poker Tournament has all the right elements, this comes down to three little words. Location, location, and location. The atmosphere provided at this venue is unlike any other. Unfortunately, as disasters continue around the world, the mission of the Urban Health Institute is and always will be unfinished. But as every dark cloud has a silver lining, we anticipate that the fun and competition provided by the tournament will continue next year. I suppose we can expect another full-house.

Jennifer Tilly and the ladies from Bud Select Find out more at www.uhinstitute.org

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