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Poker

Isle tournament helps Women In Distress

By Nick Sortal

11:39 AM EST, January 7, 2013

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Before the events of April 10, 2010, Bryan Oulton knew very little about Women in Distress. But he has received an extensive education since then.

Oulton’s mother, Yvonne, was murdered in Pompano Beach on that day. Oulton’s father, Robert, is awaiting trial.

As co-owner of the bar poker league All in Free Poker, Bryan Oulton had long been involved in linking charity poker tournaments to his business. But as he was donating his mother’s belongings to the Fort Lauderdale chapter of Women in Distress, he learned more.

The second annual poker tournament to raise money for Women in Distress and the SunSentinel Children’s Fund will take place Sunday at Isle Racing and Casino in Pompano Beach.

Oulton says his mother and father had no history of domestic trouble, “just the usual occasional argument.” He believes the public doesn’t understand just how common domestic violence is.

“Domestic violence is such an ugly undercurrent in our society, and it seems like we’re all slacking on it,” says Oulton, noting that, say, the NFL could launch a campaign similar to the one it created for breast-cancer awareness. “The sheer numbers of it are sad and shocking.”

Women in Distress of Broward County says that one in four women will experience domestic abuse, a projection that includes more than 225,000 Broward residents. Because women are hesitant to report cases, statistics based purely on self-reporting are flawed, the organization says.

“Therefore, creating awareness through the male community is something we try to achieve on a daily basis,” says Madelyn Reus, development coordinator.

Oulton (at left, with his mother, and All In's Sandy Swartzbaugh) says the tournament is a good fit because poker players are “a more-benevolent group of people than you might think.”

“Just because it’s poker doesn’t mean it can’t help people,” he argues.

The top prize Sunday is $7,000. Other prizes include a vacation to Riviera Maya, Mexico, and to Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Buy-in costs $200, which includes a Champagne brunch at the Farmer’s Pick Buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Spectators can pay $20 for brunch.

The SunSentinel Children’s Fund's portion of the proceeds will be matched at 50 percent by the McCormick Foundation and allocated to organizations supporting the needs of local low-income children and families.

Players can register at the Isle, 777 Isle of Capri Circle. For more information, go to WomenInDistress.org.