Lessons Learned from Eric LeGrand + Results of the Tournament to benefit the bELieve Fund

Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Blog, Charity Poker Tournaments, Sports | No Comments

If you are a regular reader of my blog then you’ll probably remember me mentioning Eric LeGrand a few times, most notably in my “Ten Things that Inpire Me” post. On Saturday, my wife and I held a poker tournament at our house to benefit the Eric LeGrand bELieve Fund and before I post the results below I just wanted to take some time to talk a bit more about why Eric inspires me so much.

1. His ability to overcome obstacles and his determination to succeed

For those of you who aren’t aware of Eric’s story, he suffered a severe spinal injury while playing football for Rutgers  in October of 2010. Since his injury, Eric has worked incredibly hard toward the goal of being able to walk again. He updates his facebook page with his progress and you can tell that he is doing and will continue doing everything and anything he possibly can to achieve this goal. Everyone faces challenges and tough situations throughout their lives (some much more difficult than others) and it’s how you react and recover in those times that will determine the course your life takes. When negative things happen, do you rise to the occasion with the determination to make things right and move forward or do you shrink up and spend your time wallowing in self pity? When I encounter any obstacle in my life, whether it is as simple as sitting in traffic or having a bad losing day at the poker table, I try to think about Eric’s determination and the obstacles he’s already overcome.

2. His positive energy and infectious smile

Eric has such an amazingly positive attitude and incredibly big and infectious smile. You can tell he is the type of guy that lights up a room and is the life of the party. His facebook statuses are always uplifting and full of positive messages. I try as much as possible to replicate his general attitude regardless of how my day is going.

3. His desire to inspire and motivate

Eric wants people to be inspired by his story. I know he has personally inspired me in many ways and I eagerly look forward to following his progress. I truly believe that he will one day walk again and his story will serve as inspiration and motivation for many people for many years to come. The world is a better place because of Eric. I want to thank Eric for giving us all a reason to believe and let him know that we all believe in him. I have to say it’s going to be really hard being such a big Saints fan with Coach Schiano and Eric being Tampa Bay Buccaneers but I couldn’t be happier for them.

As I said earlier in the post, last Saturday my wife and I hosted a poker tournament to benefit the Eric LeGrand bELieve Fund. This was the second in a series of six tournaments throughout this year to raise money for various charities. To see the results of the first tournament, which benefited the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society go here.

We had a bit of a smaller turnout for the event (probably because I picked a bad date) but we still got 13 total players and we were able to raise a total of $560 for the bELieve fund. I would like to thank everyone that helped make the event possible and those of you who made extra donations. If anyone is interested in donating to this fund or for more details about Eric please go here.

I’m pretty sure everyone had a great time. Although this was the smallest turnout we’ve ever had it also seemed like the loudest bunch and it seemed there was a lot of good conversations going on. Below is all poker talk so if you don’t understand, you can just go to the results at the end 🙂

We reached the final table when we got down to 6 players. Here is what the chip stacks looked like:

Seat 1: Dan Prante 37,200

Seat 2: Nicole 36,100

Seat 3: Todd Bergmann 121,400

Seat 4: Nick Iliadis 82,900

Seat 5: Jim Cook 4,900

Seat 6: Jason Paster 123,800

The blinds were at 600/1200/200 ante so there was still plenty of room to play.

Jim Cook was very shortstacked coming into the final table and was the first eliminated when he got all-in preflop with K9 against Dan Prante’s KJ. The board ran out Q23A4 and Jim Cook was our 6th place finisher.

The second elimination of the final table came not too long after that. Nicole had worked her stack up quite a bit in the early going of the final table but found herself in an unfortunate position in a limped pot. The flop came 9s6d2s and Nick bet 3k which Nicole called. The turn was the 10h. Nicole checked, Nick bet 8k, Nicole raised to 20k and Nick moved all-in having her covered. She called with 910 for two pair but unfortunately for her Nick had the nut straight with 78. No help came on the river for her and she was eliminated in 5th place.

Four handed play went on for quite a bit as the players tightened up due to the money bubble. Dan Prante has had a history of bubbling these events and he added to his list of bubble finishes when his KQ went down in flames against Jason Paster’s K3 of diamonds all in preflop. The board ran out in dramatic fasion 4c 8d 2d As 5d giving Jason the rivered flush to secure the knock out and put the remaining three players into the money. Dan Prante was our 4th place finisher.

With the blinds at 1500/3000, Todd Bergmann raised from the small blind to 7k and Nick called. The flop came AQ10. Todd bet 10k, Nick raised to 20k and Todd shoved. Nick beat him in the pot with A10 and Todd was drawing slim with A4. No help came for him and Todd was eliminated in 3rd place.

Heads up play started with the following chip counts:

Jason Paster: 65,800

Nick Iliadas 332,400

Just a few hands into heads up play, Nick limped on the button and Jason checked. The flop came Qs 4c Jh and Jason led out for 3500 which Nick called. The turn was the 4d, Jason checked, Nick bet 10k and Jason moved all in for about 50k. Nick called quickly with K4 and Jason showed 910o. He would need one of the 4 remaining eights in the deck to survive but the river was the 10d so Nick was our champion. Jason finished in 2nd place.

Final results:

6th place: Jim Cook

5th place: Nicole

4th place: Dan Prante

3rd place: Todd Bergmann

2nd place: Jason Paster

1st place: Nick Iliadas

I have a picture of Nick, but it doesn’t seem to be currently uploading properly.

I haven’t decided when the next tournament will be yet. I’m thinking it will be towards the end of summer since it seems like people generally have a lot of things happening on the weekends in the summertime. I will send out a facebook event invite as always which will include the updated tournament leaderboard. As always, Jody and I thank everyone for participating and we look forward to seeing everyone at the next tournament.



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