Jeff Yaniga was the big winner at the inaugural Honda Classic Charity Poker Tournament, everyone had fun and I got a good poker reminder.
Actually, the bigger winner was the Children's Healthcare Charity, which will be getting about $8,000 raised from the tournament, which drew 83 players to the Palm Beach Kennel Club.
The tournament benefits Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation, a charity started in 2004 by golfer Jack Nicklaus and his wife, Barbara. It funds children’s outpatient medical facilities in Palm Beach County. There are currently three outpatient facilities that have been built through money raised from the Foundation (NCHCF.org), which is the primary beneficiary of The Honda Classic tournament each year.
Yaniga, of Wellington, won $925 cash, two 2014 Honda Classic Bear Trap Passes, and a seat in the 2014 WSOP circuit event at the PBKC. His total prize package was valued at $1,680. He's a casual golfer, and a Cleveland sports fan, making him easily recognizable at the tournament.
Entry was $50, with $20 chip-ups if players were at 1,500 chips or even if they were felted.The event paid out 10 spots with a total prize pool valued at $5,945 (cash and prizes).
I got knocked out in the first two hours, once again learning the adage "you can't bluff a bad player."
Adam Zborowski, a family law attorney with Nugent, Zborowski and Bruce, was at my table, as my starting chip stack of 3,000 dwindled to about 1,200 after calling the 200 chips from the small blind. It went check-check-check through the flop and the turn, which had included an ace, a queen and a third suited card on the river (I forget which suit).
Needing chips and seeing opportunity, I shoved my last 1,200 in, holding only 10-4, representing a straight, a flush or a big pair. The big blind immediately folded, then Adam thought for a second and called -- with only king high. He's a humble guy when it comes to poker, so I think he won't mind in this case that I'll say he wasn't smart enough to lay it down.
Turns out he has played poker only twice, and even took the pre-tournament poker refresher course.
Because he knocked out me, a celebrity bounty (really!), he wins a pass for four to next spring's Honda Classic.
He's pictured with me (as a related item on this post), holding his poker hand cheat sheet. And I was on the rail...
For info on next year's event, contact Russ Evans at REvans@TheHondaClassic.com or 561-799-4624.
Also noted: ESPN 106.3 Radio's J-Mart hosts a $65 knockout tournament in the middle of each month. The next dates are Nov. 20, Dec. 18 and Jan. 15. There's a bounty on him, which pays a free entry into the kennel club's Player of the Month freeroll.