D&D hit up the WPT Invitational at the Commerce Casino this weekend for their annual three-day celebrity event that raises money for various charities. Look for my in-depth ‘professional’ article on Look to the Stars this week, but in the meantime, I’m going give you the run down on our shenanigans.
There were a ton of celebrities in attendance. Granted, I was a bit rusty as far as who some of these people were, but by the end of the event, it was pretty easy to remember who they were and which charities they really care about. One of the most impressive people I met was actor Nicholas Gonzalez. Aside from the fact that he is drop-dead gorgeous, he isn’t just another pretty face. Gonzalez was playing for Friends of El Faro, an organization that helps needy kids and families in Tijuana. “One of the biggest proponents is Molly Simms, Shannon Elizabeth, Adam Rodriguez, and Sharon Lawrence has been a really huge supporter-there’s a lot of celebrity friends,” said Gonzalez, “We used to have big gala in Hollywood that’s very well attended, but really it’s about getting down there, it’s not about who anybody is, it’s about spending time with the kids.”
Someone who isn’t spending a lot of time with the kids, but who deserves some love is comedian Doug Benson (L). If you don’t know of him yet, you will. Benson worked the red carpet like a pro, and needed a little prodding before mentioning his new movie “Super High Me.” Also on the red carpet was actor Justin Henry (R). Henry was filling in for Heath Ledger, who was scheduled to appear. “I’m playing for Heath,” he said as he posed for photos. To my disbelief, one of the photogs actually asked, “Who’s Heath?” Gotta give mad love to actor John Hawkes as well. Hawkes was knocked outta the poker tournement early on, so I spent some time chatting with him-unaware of who he was, but instantly fell in love with him. My new crush almost floored me when I asked which cause he was playing for. “The animals” he said, “I support Friends of Animals in Utah, they do great work for animals and I have been a supporter for a while.” I could have spent a week listening to John speak. (I felt like Gabriel Byrne on ‘In Treatment’ when he professes his love for Laura…)…
More love goes to Lakers beast Ronnie Turiaf. Turiaf has been coping with a heart aliment, but was in great spirits about it. “I’m feeling good,” he said, “You know, things happen for a reason, and I just try to make the best of it. God tests us all in different ways” And part of this ‘test’ includes a corroboration with NBA player/poet/humanitarian, Etan Thomas. Thomas recently underwent open-heart surgery. When I asked Turiaf what charity he was playing for, he dropped the bomb on me, “Right now, I’m working on putting together something with Etan Thomas so we can help others going through the same thing.” Damn-don’t tell me there ain’t any good guys in the NBA, we’ve got two of the best teaming up for a good cause…
And what would a WPT event be without the hottest poker player alive? Yes, I’m talking about Antonio Esfandiari. I’m predicting within a year he’ll be smiling at you from the pages of People Magazine as one of their ‘Hottest Men or Sexiest Men or Most
Edible Eligible Men’…I waited like a cougar as he walked the carpet with Camryn Manheim…and then I pounced (Perhaps scaring him a bit? Sorry Antonio-did the same thing to Phil Laak). Antonio is far too humble about his sex appeal, which is a good thing, because he’s got a lot to offer as far as charisma, charm, eloquence…and dear god those lips…I had to stop myself from…anyway – dude was classy, no doubt making the WPT proud they selected him as the new face of the Tour…and don’t tell me poker players can’t be sexy unless they dress up. Case in point: Phil Laak. Sweatshirt. Hoodie. Just-crawled-outta-bed-sexy-blond-locks. He’s hot. He gave me a hug. It was a beautiful thing. End of story…look for Antonio and Phil on Mojo’s ‘I Bet You’ which just got picked up for another season. If you don’t have Mojo, you can check the show out on-line. Get on the boat people, Antonio and Phil are delicious and I have my own personal ‘Bet’ for either one should they dare take me up on it…
All in all it was an awesome event which raised money for charity and gave Debbie and I yet another excuse to do what we love…eat, drink, and be merry with like minded people…including: superfine actor Dwayne Adway, Eric Paladino, Jennifer Tilly, Joshua LeBar, Joshua Morrow, Lucas Haas, Tom Everett Scott…and more. I’ll post a link to all the photos later, as well as a link to my article on LTS, where you’ll be able to read about all the celebrities and which charities they were playing for.
As always, thanks for reading.