Winner Henk Lessing with second place to Dimitri Courtellis and the lovely Full House Events dealer
Following the outstanding success of the 2010 Challenge, the Kirsty Watts Foundation once again teamed up with poker-themed events specialist Full House Events, and MGG Productions, to host another Charity Poker Challenge at the Bentley showroom in Bryanston, Johannesburg.
Started by the daughter of TV personality, Derek Watts, after her successful battle against brain cancer, the Kirsty Watts Foundation is all about kids helping other kids. The Foundation supports a number of child-focused initiatives, such as the renovation of the TLC Home for Abandoned Babies.
Winner Henk Lessing
And now more children can be helped, thanks to proceeds from ticket sales to the glamorous event held, as well as a generous donation by Pringle on the night. In all, R120 000 was raised.
With gleaming Bentleys arranged around the playing tables, and displays of Breitling watches adding to the atmosphere of luxury, guests took their places at the felt for a glamorous night of cashless poker.
Supporting MC, Dan Nichol, kept the laughs flowing as the players got down to business. Representing the SA Rugby Legends Association were rugby greats Ray Mordt, Attie van der Linde, Dave von Hoesslin, Syd Nomis, Hugh Bladen and Mac Masina. None was to become a poker legend that night however, with a seat at the final table eluding these stars of the rugby field.
Kurt Darren playing poker
Sports commentator, Neil Andrews, socialised more than he watched his cards, while despite giving it his all, novice poker player, John Walland, just couldn't clinch a seat at the final table.
Fortunately for those whose luck ran out earlier than they'd hoped, Glenmorangie was on hand with whisky tastings to dull the sting of defeat.
One by one the players folded until it was all down to the final six. Joining the final table on a 'wild-card' entry, singer Danny K was first to be knocked out. Next out was David Hayward of Jarwitz Properties East Rand, who came to the final table on the back of a straight flush of hearts which won him an awe-inspiring pot. And after a night of consistently good playing, Kurt Darren bowed out in fourth place.
In the final head-to-head, Henk Lessing of Econet Wireless went all in with JJ, securing himself champion status and leaving Dimitri Courtellis to settle for second place.
The real winners however, are the many children who will now benefit from the substantial proceeds of the evening.
"We're pleased we were once again able to support this event, as part of our Poker for Purpose initiative," says tournament director, Adam Houghton, from Full House Events. "Knowing Kirsty and the great work she and her Foundation do for less fortunate children, it has always been an easy decision for Full House Events to get involved and help her make a difference."
Danny K, Dan Nichol & Neil Andrews
Belinda Watts & Danny K
Danny K playing poker
Danny K, Kirsty Watts & Kurt Darren
Syd Nomis & Hugh Bladen