Poker Pros Raise Nearly $20,000 at Leo Brien Foundation Charity Poker Tournament

Leo Brien Foundation Continues Fundraising Efforts

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - March 17, 2008) - Professional poker player Todd Brunson hosted the Leo Brien Foundation no-limit Texas hold'em charity poker tournament in the Bay Area last weekend, with fellow professional poker players beefing up fundraising efforts for Camp Okizu, a retreat for children with cancer. Together, the players raised nearly $20,000 for the cause. Emceeing the event was celebrity tournament director and TDA founder Matt Savage. Other notable players included Roy "the Oracle" Winston, Kathy "Poker Kat" Liebert, Hoyt Corkins, Lane "Back-to-Back" Flack, and Allen Kessler.

Other sponsors and supporters included CMT, EMC, EDS, Life's A Bluff,, (PPSN), Triumph Sports, Terpin Communications,, Monster, Royal Casino Parties, GreasieWheels, and Adopting an urban feel, a CMT warehouse was furnished with 20 poker tables, a silent auction, beverage bar and sandwich buffet, all nestled between two pristine, late model sports cars. The newly renovated facility was donated by CMT CEO Kurt Klein.

Fans received gift bags donated by and had the opportunity to meet and greet poker pros Brunson, Corkins, Flack, and Winston. Liebert accommodated guests inside the tournament area, which was full of giveaways sponsored by and The silent auction was a popular attraction thanks to the efforts of Las Vegas' Michael Bertonlini of the Triumph Sports. The most popular auction item was an authentic 49ers helmet signed by Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Steve Young that Bertonlini donated to the foundation. It went to CMT's Kurt Klein for $1,000, with all proceeds benefiting Camp Okizu. Other popular auction items included an official Cowboys jersey autographed by Troy Aikman, a Colts helmet signed by Peyton Manning, and two Raiders helmets -- one signed by Howie Long and the other by Marcus Allen, Fred Biletnikoff, and Jim Plunkett. Life's A Bluff's Frank Frisina provided the auction with original comic art autographed by Jennifer Harman, Phil Hellmuth and Doyle Brunson. The matted and framed lithograph went for $300.

In early action, Brunson was on a roll, knocking out numerous opponents before pitting his K-8 off suit against another player's Q-8. Brunson held onto the lead until a queen came on the river, sending him to the rail to do what he does best -- heckle Corkins, Liebert, Kessler and Flack.

Reaching the final table were Scott Zimmer, Dennis Brien, Ron Bartholow, Lorenzo Chutta, Greg Zimmer, Twyla Sulesky, Doug Fowler, Liebert and Flack. Zimmer was first out in ninth place, taking home a 500-piece leather bound chip set sponsored by Eighth place went to Brien, who won a Monster Cable entertainment package. Bartholow, in seventh place, will enjoy a three-night Heavenly retreat at a Lake Tahoe chalet donated by Scott Zimmer. Chutta placed sixth for a weekend stay at San Francisco's King George Hotel, and Greg Zimmer's fifth place prize was donated by Bartholow, who sponsored an evening of bocce ball, complete with limousine transportation and a complementary bottle of wine. Twyla Sulesky won a five-night stay in Maui, but the most anticipated prize was donated by Life's A Bluff and went to "Back-to-Back" Flack who will be featured next week in his own comic story line. Liebert was the runner-up who joked about winning a WSOP Academy package and a 1,500-piece FullTiltPoker chip set. The grand prize went to Doug Fowler, who'll fly to Las Vegas to spend a weekend with Todd Brunson, complete with travel and accommodations.

The Leo Brien Foundation continues their efforts in support of Camp Okizu to send children with cancer to the summer retreat, lessening the financial burden to their families. Visit to make a donation through the Heritage Foundation.

Photos of the poker tournament by Rob Gracie are available for viewing and purchase at Fifty-percent of the proceeds will benefit Camp Okizu.

To register for Todd Brunson's Las Vegas Poker Boot Camp contact Lara Miller at For more information regarding Lake Tahoe Heavenly cabin rentals contact Twyla Sulesky at 408-393-4777. For more information regarding Maui condo rentals contact Scott Zimmer at If you'd like to attend Roy "The Oracle" Winston's Poker Academy contact Lara Miller at

About Camp Okizu

Okizu is committed to the continuing support of the Oncology and Siblings camping programs. These programs are the result of a collaborative effort of the foundation and the pediatric oncology treatment programs in northern California. The specific purpose of this corporation is to operate a recreational therapy program for children whose families are affected by childhood cancer. For more information on Camp Okizu visit

About the Leo Brien Foundation

Leo Brien was a family man, a successful Maritime Operations executive for the Port of Oakland, and a community servant who lost his battle with cancer in June of 1997. In one of the most selfless acts, Brien donated his own bone marrow to a young mother of three who he had never met. Since his death, a non-profit organization in his name continues his spirit of charity work, including financial support for Camp Okizu. The Leo Brien Foundation is a member of the National Heritage Foundation, and is a public charity exempt from federal taxation under Sections 501(c)(3) and 509 (a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, contributions to the Foundation receive maximum deductibility permitted under federal law. (Tax I.D.#58-2085326). For more information on the Leo Brien Foundation, visit their website at

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Contact Information: Contact: Lisa Wheeler Public Relations Poker Players Social Network (PPSN) 9824 Cross Creek Way Las Vegas, Nevada 89117 Phone: (702) 327-7250 Media Contact: Elina Heng Terpin Communications (310) 821-6100 x108

The 2008 Leo Brien Charity Poker Tournament benefiting Camp Okizu. Photo by Rob Gracie/GreasieWheels.