Chicagoarea Poker Champs Clash In Charity Tournament 2009: Rockford Charitable

Chicagoarea poker champs clash in charity tournament

Rockford Charitable Games Association offers a robust calendar of regularly scheduled charity poker tournaments every month.
But tonight’s event at European Crystal Banquets in Arlington Heights is special. World Series of Poker gold bracelet winners Steve Billirakis, Ben Ponzio and Tony Veckey, all of whom hail from the Chicago area, are slated to be among the participants in the Tournament of Champions Invitational, which will start at 6 p.m. The list of the top 10 players scheduled to compete boast combined tournament winnings of more than $4.1 million, indicative of the caliber of talent among locally based poker professionals. Billirakis, of Bourbonnais, now also spends a lot of time in Las Vegas where he took down a first prize of $150,446 in July for winning an event at the 2009 Mega Stack Series at Caesars Palace. His gold bracelet tournament victory, worth $536,287, came at the 2007 World Series of Poker. In 2008, he earned $208,885 for winning the championship event at the inaugural WSOP Circuit Tournament at Horseshoe Hammond in Indiana.
The Elmwood Park native took home first prize of $599,109 for his tournament victory

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