World Poker TourR Teams Up With Mekhi Phifer For The 7th Annual 2009: Adding Twist

World Poker TourR Teams up with Mekhi Phifer for the 7th Annual

Adding a new twist to the event, WPT and Commerce Casino will accept “re-buys” for the first two hours of play, giving any guest
with little or no chips the chance to get back in the game for a minimum donation of $200. One hundred percent of the re-buy proceeds will benefit The Vine Group USA (TVG), a non-profit organization set up to provide educational assistance in the form of scholarships, textbooks, and technological equipment to academic institutions in various English-speaking countries in Africa. “The Vine Group USA is very pleased to partner with the World Poker Tour and Commerce Casino for the Invitational–this is an event that everyone loves to be a part of,” said Mekhi Phifer, actor and Chairman, TVG Board of Trustees. “Attendees will be able to have fun at the tables while learning about our organization and the important cause it supports.” “The Invitational is always one of the most exciting and entertaining events on our schedule–it’s where celebrities gawk at poker players who gawk at celebrities,” said Steve Lipscomb, WPT Founder, President and CEO. “The re-buy factor will certainly add a whole new flavor to the WPT Invitational experience, and we couldn’t be happier that it also supports a great organization like The Vine Group.” Reaching its seventh year on the WPT tournament circuit, the Invitational has become a highly popular event among celebrities and poker pros alike. Mekhi Phifer, Vince Vaughn, Paris Hilton, Jason Alexander, Ben Affleck, Mena Suvari, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Ricki Lake, Ray Romano, Camryn Manheim and Brad Garrett are just a few of the celebrities who have tried their hand against legendary pros like Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and Jennifer Harman. “Everyone looks forward to the Invitational,” said John Griffo, Director of Poker Operations, Commerce Casino. “We are thrilled that this event has become a ‘must- attend’ for top names in the entertainment and poker worlds. You would be surprised by some of the celebrities that do really well, especially after never holding a poker chip before. This year by adding the re-buy, the real winner will be The Vine Group.” Commerce opens its doors to invited players, celebrities and guests at 6pm on February 28 for red carpet arrivals and cocktail hour. Before taking their seats, attendees will have a chance to brush up their poker skills with WPT Boot Camp instructors Jules and Crispin Leyser. The event is not open to the public. For more event information, visit

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