By Sean Chaffin
The betting and bluffing were fast and furious on the night of Friday, May 18, as celebrities, athletes, big-name poker players, and WPT family members gathered at MGM Grand Las Vegas for Tiger’s Poker Night Presented by the World Poker Tour as part of the 20th annual Tiger Jam, all to benefit TGR Foundation.
The festivities kicked off Friday morning at the world-renowned Shadow Creek golf course, where a meet and greet with Tiger Woods and a round of golf were on the agenda. That night was Tiger’s Poker Night, and then Saturday was filled with the Tiger Jam dinner and fundraising auction, an intimate concert by the band Train, and an epic after-party at Topgolf Las Vegas.
Celebrities were out in force throughout the festivities, including Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, retired NFL running back Reggie Bush, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, golf trick-shot artist Joshua Kelley, Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and golfer Paige Spiranac, and Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
Friday night, attendees hit the tables inside Whiskey Down for Tiger’s Poker Night, a star-studded charity tournament presented by the WPT.
Maria Ho was one of the poker players taking part and she was also in the field at ARIA Resort & Casino for the Season XVI WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic. Ho has become a regular at Tiger’s Poker Night and looks forward to it each year.
“It’s always a really good time,” Ho said of Tiger’s Poker Night. “It was my fourth year attending, so obviously, you see a lot of familiar faces. It’s just a nice kind of setting where people are so generous with their donations, but also they want to have fun and you want to make sure that from the poker standpoint you are going to have fun with them. I show up and try to engage and play and drink.”
WPT CEO Adam Pliska, on-camera talent Tony Dunst, Vince Van Patten, and Lynn Gilmartin, and WPT champions Scotty Nguyen and Antonio Esfandiari were also involved in Tiger’s Poker Night. Phil Hellmuth, the host of the WPT Raw Deal, was the night’s emcee, and two more WPT Champions Club members, Daniel Negreanu and David Williams, also made appearances after attending that night’s Vegas Golden Knights hockey game. Instagram sensation Napkin Killa was present at Tiger’s Poker Night to draw his famous cocktail napkin portraits of players and guests during the tournament, and Nick Carter and Howie Dorough from the Backstreet Boys stopped by to join in on the fun.
“A few well-known golf pros actually showed up at the poker event, which I think is nice because usually you see more poker people on the poker side and more golf people on the golf side of Tiger Jam,” Ho said.
At the final table, players were awarded prizes based on finishing position. Stuart Porad was eventually named the night’s “amateur champion” after he won the event. Hellmuth was the last professional player standing and ended the night as the event’s “professional champion.” After his win, Hellmuth donated his winnings back to TGR Foundation.
The night featured plenty of fun, plenty of laughs and smiles, and below are some photos from the event. Plenty of funds raised for a great cause and the World Poker Tour looks forward to continuing its partnership with TGR Foundation.
Joshua Kelley smashes a trick shot at Shadow Creek
Tiger Woods shows off his sweet stroke during a hitting exhibition at Shadow Creek
Phil Hellmuth, Tiger Woods, Maria Ho, and Adam Pliska at Tiger’s Poker Night
Maria Ho, Traci Szymanski, Antonio Esfandiari, and Ivy Teves at Tiger’s Poker Night
Lynn Gilmartin with Nick Carter and Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys at Tiger’s Poker Night
Event emcee Phil Hellmuth checks in on Tiger Woods during play
Scotty Nguyen is all smiles, baby
Vince Van Patten brings Hollywood to the poker table
Tony Dunst celebrates winning a pot
Maria Ho enjoying the night
Faded Spade CEO Tom Wheaton can’t believe the beat he just took
Daniel Negreanu and David Williams stopped by after the Vegas Golden Knights game
Tiger Woods eliminated from poker action
Stuart Porad and Phil Hellmuth celebrate during heads-up play, as Bartsool Nate looks on
Celebrating the winners!
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