It’s been a very giving and generous season in the poker world, and Florida pro Nadya Magnus can now be added to the list. On Friday afternoon, as she participated on Day 1A of the Wynn Winter Classic’s $5,000 $2 Million Guaranteed tournament. Magnus, one of a growing number of prominent female pros who not only compete, but work to advance the cause of women in poker, decided that other women should have the chance to enjoy such a prestigious, big-stakes tourney. So Magnus announced this on her @NadyaKGB Twitter account, with neither fanfare nor warning:
Magnus made clear in follow-up posts that this was designed to be a special treat for a couple of women who would almost never have the chance to play a $5K event under normal circumstances. As word spread regarding Magnus’s planned gift, the responses from hopefuls began rolling in, and Magnus began sifting through the replies.
Then, the Wynn Poker Room heard about Magnus’s giveaway and stepped up to sweeten the deal even more:
Two winners becomes three, including Mike’s mom
Magnus spent her afternoon and evening going through the replies, which were impromptu applications of a sort, while also asking several friends for input on which respondents were most deserving. “Ladies, registration is now closed,” she Tweeted late in the afternoon. “No more entries and reentries. 🙂 I’m gonna go home now and reread ALL the screen shots of your stories I’ve taken all day. Good luck ALL!!!” Later, she reported having trimmed the hopeful respondents to a “final table of nine.”
Magnus promised to announce the winners sometime after 9 pm Pacific Time, and when she did, there was yet another sweetener — there were three winners of the $5,300 seats instead of two. Magnus first announced the winners: “Here is my winning trifecta: @KristenLapari, @Amanda_noouts and @MikeAllin’s mom.”
Lapari, according to Magnus, was the favorite choice of all the friends Magnus consulted, while Amanda Wheeler (@Amanda_noouts) won a random mini-draw that Magnus conducted from several other favorites. But then, Magnus decided a third entry deserved the $5,300 buy-in, and that was submitted for consideration by a man, rather than a woman. Mike “@MikeAllin” Allen had nominated his 76-year-old mother, whose first name isn’t even known to the public yet:
As Magnus shared, “But then I really wanted @MikeAllin’s mom to play tomorrow as well! Soooo…she will be a THIRD winner!”
Unfortunately, it turned out that Mike’s mom wasn’t able to play. Not to worry. Magnus conducted another mini-drawing to select a third woman to play. “It was heartbreaking to learn this morning that our crowd’s favorite Mike’s mom won’t be able to play,” she Tweeted. “I did another drawing from my ‘final table’ and congratulations to Keiko Yoshimine @32coachK32 !!! Hope she can confirm she play today.”
Magnus’s impromptu decision to share her professional good fortune with others is a great reminder of the warmth and generosity that manages to survive and thrive in what can be a cutthroat poker world. Her decision to share some of that fortune and hard work with others is one of the brightest poker tales to emerge this holiday season.
Featured image source: Haley Hintze