Last night was special. Poker 2.o teamed up with TechStars, Red Russak and StartupSeattle.com to help celebrate this year’s TechStars teams with a blowout Demo Day After Party.
As a TechStars mentor myself, it’s was honor to help celebrate the success of the TechStars teams. It was also gratifying to see so many past TechStars alum having a blast. Thanks to Andy Sack for the opportunity to host the party.
With 750+ in attendance, it was BIG party. It was also one of the biggest Poker 2.0 tournaments ever… 67 players, a very juicy pot and professional Poker legend Phil Gordon at the tables. And it didn’t stop there…
For this event we expanded the format of our regular monthly Poker 2.0 games and made it a full-on casino night party, complete with blackjack, craps and roulette — 27 professional casino dealers in all!
The casino games were all “play money” but the chips you won were redeemable for raffle tickets. And with over $5,000 in raffle prizes up for grabs there was real value in those little red raffle tickets.
Even though Phil Gordon retired from pro poker to return to his roots as an entrepreneur and technologist, he always brings a level skill, excitement and good humor to every Poker 2.0 he sits down at. And this time he stood up too!
After finishing tied for 3rd Geoff Simons of iHearNetwork, Phil grabbed the mic and called the play-by-play in true WSOP style. As long-time Poker 2.0 supporter Erik Jansen and Ken Stanfield of iPredikt.com battled it out for 1st and 2nd place, respectively, while Phil called all the action.
Rounding out the money winners, we had Chris Kalafatis from JP Morgan Chase in 5th place and Richard Averitt of JawFish Games in 6th. Wouldn’t you know that we’d have two JawFish Games players in the money.
There were a lot of awesome highlight moments throughout the night, but nothing beat the opening hand at table number 5. Eight all-ins… five cards on the board… one winner… seven rebuys… and a very big stack sitting in front of Phil when it was over. And that was just the first hand of the night! If you were in the tournament and lucky enough NOT to be sitting at Phil’s table, feel free to add a comment to this post and tell us your favorite highlight hand or bad beat.
Pulling off an event of this size and complexity takes a lot of help. Massive thanks to my partner in crime, Red Russak. Red’s incredible talent for making connections in the startup community was critical to the success of the event. And Red and I couldn’t have done it without the help of the many sponsors who generously stepped up to celebrate TechStars and to support the Seattle startup community. Please thank them when you see them.
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