Women’s poker stars Mario Ho and Lena Evans, and Maria Shriver, the former wife of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, will host an upcoming charity poker fundraiser benefiting the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM). The October 1 funder will be held July 1 at Jamul Casino, outside San Diego.
Shriver is WAM’s founder, leading the organization’s efforts into research, education, prevention, and advocacy related to Alzheimer’s. The disease and other forms of dementia disproportionately affect women. Over 60% of those currently afflicted with Alzheimer’s are women. Women are also more than twice as likely than men to develop Alzheimer’s after reaching age 65.
Though WAM focuses on gender-specific Alzheimer’s issues, the disease can afflict anyone. Shriver knows that well, being the daughter of American politician Sargent Shriver. Shriver was the 1972 Democratic candidate for Vice President and a one-time U.S. ambassador to France. Sargent Shriver was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2003, and he passed away in 2011.
WSOP Main Event seat is fundraiser’s top prize
Shriver doesn’t play poker herself, though she’ll lead the October 1 event at Jamul. Festivities begin with a brief “cocktail” meet-and-greet at 5pm. The poker tourney begins one hour later, at 6pm. The event’s buy-in is $280, but early-bird registrants can save $30 by reserving a seat in advance. WAM has already launched an online-registration page that includes the early-bird option, a 50/50 raffle, and several individual event-sponsor options.
The WAM fundraiser will serve up several nice prizes to the tourney’s top finishers, headlined by a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat (or cash equivalent). Here’s the current list of prizes already being offered during the event:
- $10,000 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event seat
- One week’s stay in a “beautiful Costa Rica home”
- Private poker lessons from famous pros; the list of those donating time and lessons already includes Ho, Phil Hellmuth, Greg Raymer, Antonio Esfandiari, and Chris Moneymaker
- Suited Poker Gear merchandise for all final-table finishers
Suited Poker Gear and Poker League of Nations, which Evans founded, are listed among the event’s corporate sponsors. “I jumped at the opportunity to be part of this event and support such a worthwhile cause,” said Ho. “WAM is an organization that has focused its efforts on researching why this terrible disease affects women more than men and helps provide support in all areas for those affected. I hope everyone will join the fight and donate!”