by Bodog - 07/25/2005
Oahu, Hawaii (July 25, 2005) Bodog sponsored a celebrity “thank you to the troops” charity event this past weekend for the 110,000 men and women of the U.S. military currently in Hawaii, many of whom are awaiting or returning from deployment in the Middle East. The two-day event (July 22-23, 2005), entitled “Bodog Salutes the Troops: A Tribute to American Heroes,” was held in Oahu, Hawaii, and included celebrities, musicians, comedians and troops interacting in various activities including a poker tournament and concert and comedy show. The celebrity events brought together the service men and women of the NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINES and ARMY based at Hickam Airforce Base, Schofield Barracks, Pearl Harbor, and Kaneohe Marine Corp Base.
The weekend kicked off with an inter-service poker tournament overseen by world famous poker tournament director Matt Savage with military finalists playing alongside celebrities, professional poker players and Bodog players at Camp Bodog at the exclusive Kahala Mandarin Oriental resort. The No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em tournament was won by actress and first-time tournament player Estella Warren (“The Cooler,” “Planet of the Apes”), who blazed a trail through the 90 player tournament, knocking out the two professional poker players along the way and taking home the grand prize trophy and a monetary donation made in her name to the Army’s morale welfare department.
“I am in complete shock,” said Estella Warren. “I thought I would be one of the first players knocked out, and the next thing you know I’m being handed a trophy. Needless to say, I’m considering making a career change.”
The final table also featured Shannon Elizabeth (“American Pie”), Jorge Garcia (“Lost”), professional poker player Josh Arieh, four servicemen and Bodog winner Tim Johnson, who won his trip to Hawaii through an online Bodog tournament. Sgt. 1st Class Shane Woods of the Army was the lucky loser, taking home the second place prize.
“This is heaven,” said Sgt. 1st Class Shane Woods. “I am so stoked, this was a chance of a lifetime and I don’t think it will seem real until tomorrow.”
Other tournament participants in the field included Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich (“Survivor,” “The Amazing Race 7”); Dulè Hill (“The West Wing”); Peter Berg (Director, “Friday Night Lights,” “The Rundown”); Joshua Malina (“The West Wing); Kelli Williams (“The Practice”); Colin Quinn (“Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn,” “SNL”); Paul Rodriguez (“The Original Latin Kings of Comedy”); Wanda Sykes (“Monster-in-Law,” “Wanda Does It”); professional poker players Josh Arieh and David Williams; as well as 14 Bodog players and over 60 U.S. Troops.
Snoop Dogg headlined the concert and comedy show, held at the world famous Waikiki Shell for 8,000 military members and their families. The concert, which drew an overwhelming response from the overflowing crowd, also included musical performances by Bodog Music artist Bif Naked, as well as the comic relief of Colin Quinn, Paul Rodriguez and Wanda Sykes, and featured an appearance by local Hawaii celebrity, Dog the Bounty Hunter.
“It’s a beautiful feeling to be appreciated and come out and give the troops something to smile about and something to dance to,” said Snoop Dogg. “I’m down to do it again whenever, however, forever, all the time.”
Carson Daly (“Last Call with Carson Daly”) opened the event, hosted by Bodog Founder and CEO Calvin Ayre, and brought him to the stage just before the weekend came to a close, where Bodog presented the Fisher House Foundation with a charitable donation.
“Just to spend an hour with the men and women that defend this country and to be in Hawaii playing cards, that’s what was so special,” said Carson Daly.
“This weekend exceeded all our expectations,” said Calvin Ayre, Founder and CEO of Bodog. “Bodog Salutes the Troops was designed to raise awareness for Fisher House Foundation and provide entertainment for the troops, and judging by smiles on faces and the tremendous support from all involved, the events were a great success.”
“We are incredibly grateful to Bodog for their compassion and generosity,” said James Weiskoff, Vice President of Fisher House Foundation. “We hope that this weekend will bring added attention to the Fisher House Foundation and the military families that we support.”