8th Annual Poker Tournament Raises Funds For Connecticut Chapter
STRATFORD, Conn. – For the eighth consecutive year, hundreds of poker enthusiasts will convene to battle it out for a seat at the World Series of Poker while making a different in the fight against multiple sclerosis.
The eighth annual MS Turek Charity Classic will be held Saturday, Nov. 12, at T & J Villaggio Trattoria in Port Chester, N.Y. Last year’s tournament raised more than $21,000 to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter and the thousands of Connecticut residents battling multiple sclerosis. To date, the annual Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament has raised more than $165,000.
Stratford resident Jason D’Aloia established the tournament in 2004 in honor of his mother-in-law, Janice Turek, ofEnfield, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998.
“This all began as a Christmas gift,” said D’Aloia. “I gave my mother-in-law a letter one Christmas informing her that a charity poker tournament was going to be held in her honor to help find a cure for MS. After witnessing her strength in fighting the disease, I knew a fun poker tournament would be a wonderful way to show our support as a family. The tournament has grown steadily ever since.”
Celebrity attendees pose at the 2010 MS Turek Charity Classic. Pictured from left to right: former New York Knick John Starks, John Muscatella Sr., comedian Goumba Johnny, One Life to Live actress Farah Fath, event chair Jason D'Aloia, John Muscatella Jr., two-time WSOP bracelet winner Matt Matros, One Life to Live actor John-Paul Lavoiser and professional poker player Andy Bloch. The 2011 MS Turek Charity Classic will be Saturday, Nov. 12. For more information, visitwww.mscharitypoker.com.
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Turek, live with the unpredictable and baffling effects of multiple sclerosis. The cause is unknown, and, as a result, there currently is no cure. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted. Funds raised through events, such as the Turek Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament, ensure ongoing scientific research to find a cure and the continuation of programs and services provide by the chapter to Connecticut residents living with multiple sclerosis.
Since the first tournament was held in May 2004, the event has raised more than $165,000 to benefit the Connecticut Chapter.
The tournament has received national recognition and worldwide sponsorship, including Cardplayer.com, Full Tilt, World Series of Poker Academy, Foxwoods, Sam Adams, La-Z-Boy, New York Knicks, David Wright Foundation, New York Giants, New York Jets, ESPN and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
“The event promises to be both lively and very competitive,” said D’Aloia. “The winner will receive a World Series of Poker (WSOP) seat worth $10,000 where he or she will have an incredible opportunity to win millions.”
"I am committed to making this event bigger and better every year," said D’Aloia, who is hoping for more than 120 players this year. "My goal is to make this tournament the one that people look forward to year after year, and to provide the unexpected."
Professional poker player Andy Bloch has contributed to the event for the past five years. His involvement and that of many other poker professionals, like 2004 WSOP Champ Greg Raymer, Antonio Esfandiari, Victor Ramdin and Matt Matros, have helped to bring recognition to the tournament. This year’s celebrity attendees include professional poker players Bloch, Ramdin and Matros along with popular New York radio host Goumba Johnny, soap stars Farah Fath and John-Paul Lavoisier, and ESPN personality Howie Schwab.
The event begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, with registration and the tournament starts officially at 11 a.m. Participants can re-buy or add-on until the event stops for a lunch break at 1 p.m. with food provided by T & J Villaggio Trattoria. The tournament resumes at 2 p.m., continuing until there is a winner. In 2009, New York resident Ken Hofmann won the tournament and the WSOP seat.
There is a $200 fee to register to play and $50 fee for spectators. All players registered by Nov. 1 will receive a $1,000 bonus chip. T & J Villaggio Trattoria is located at 225 Westchester Ave. in Port Chester, N.Y. For more information on the 2011 Turek Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament, contact Jason D'Aloia at 203-570-0723 or visit www.mscharitypoker.com.
For more information on multiple sclerosis and vital programs and services offered by the Connecticut Chapter, please visit www.ctfightsMS.org or e-mail programs@ctfightsMS.org.