DUDES & Boosters Poker: Ladies in the House at ‘Main Event Poker Tournament’

SPMS Boosters and the DUDES host 4th annual Poker Tournament at War Memorial Building

PHOTO: SouthPasadenan.com | Ladies in the house! Poker players back row l-r: Rachel Walsh (2017 champion), Suzanne Ebner, Megan Dostal, Dianne Parker, and Dana Ostroff. Front row l-r: Stacy Sharkey, Claire Mijares, Karie Reynolds, Sapna Shah, Monika Petrillo, and Anne Michels

The 4th annual Main Event Poker Tournament hosted by SPMS Boosters and the DUDES (Dads Uniting Dads in Education and Service) had a little something extra this year; three times the women as last year and a completely sold out house! Inspired by last year’s winner, Rachel Walsh, and “outraged” that there weren’t more women competing, Monika Petrillo set about organizing all lady poker parties. The women have been honing their poker skills all year and came to the 2018 tournament ready to rumble.

PHOTO: Ed Donnelly | SouthPasadenan.com | Peter Ervin 2015 Champ, Jeff Nott – 2018 Champ, Mark Deetjen – 2016 Champ, Rachel Walsh – 2017 Champ

Although the women were fierce and made a terrific showing, Jeff Nott emerged victorious, claiming the coveted trophy and bragging rights for the year. Congratulations Jeff!

PHOTO: SouthPasadenan.com | Full house at War Memorial Building for the 4th annual Main Event Poker Tournament

DUDES President Ed Donnelly said, “I think our champion Rachel Walsh clearly inspired some of the other women in South Pasadena to compete and compete seriously. Some practiced for an entire year and we’re at 18% women this year, up from 6% last year and we’re really happy about it.”

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PHOTO: SouthPasadenan.com | Linda Park was in the Tiger spirit for the Boosters & Dudes Poker Tournament

All the proceeds stay at the middle school and is split between the two organizations, with the Boosters of course supporting all the needs of the intramural, afterschool sports and the DUDES filling needs they see such as supplying emergency water for each classroom, purchasing a Zamboni to clean the spankin’ new gym floor, grants for the drama program, helping to build farmboxes on campus, and more. Donnelly says, “we look at what the needs are and meet them.”

PHOTO: SouthPasadenan.com | Jean Zenas is focused!

The Main Event sold out completely at 100 players for the first time in their four year history and they raised a record breaking $18,000! Adds Donnelly, “we were down by 20 last year so I think we sold out in large part due to the contingent of women who came out to play tonight.”

PHOTO: Bruce Kaplan | SouthPasadenan.com | Ladies represent at the Main Event Poker Tournament sponsored by the SPMS Boosters and the DUDES
As the tournament progresses the minimum compulsory bet increases so players with a dwindling amount of chips become destined to be eliminated. And of course, luck of the draw plays as big a part as each player’s strategy. A raffle was held for one seat at the final table. No matter when you had previously been eliminated you could sit and vie for a chance to win the whole thing. Most players stayed and watched until the final two players went head to head.
PHOTO: Bruce Kaplan | SouthPasadenan.com | Big winner Jeff Nott hoists the tournament trophy overheard flanked by Martin Albornoz, Ed Donnelly and Bill Buckley
The winner of the raffle for the final table seat was Sapna Shah with 3rd place going to Ernesto Esquivel and the final showdown was between Jeff Nott and Michael Girvigian with Nott coming out the final victor.
PHOTO: SouthPasadenan.com | Ready to rumble at the Main Event Poker Tournament

The Poker Tournament has quickly become a favorite town event for many reasons but mostly because it’s fun. Says Donnelly, “when we started the DUDES we thought ‘how do we get guys engaged more than coaching or scouts?’ Because that’s all they thought they could do to be involved in their kids’ lives and we said no, let’s do more. But we needed to find the trick to get them to show up; it was fun. If you make things fun, they show up.” And indeed, the DUDES know how to turn up the fun!

PHOTO: SouthPasadenan.com | SPMS Booster President Karie Reynolds overseeing the Poker “provisions”

Congratulations to SPMS Boosters and the DUDES on an incredibly successful event and a grateful community thanks you for your hard work and dedication to fun!