janbmahrer_150px

I was recently asked, “What makes the Foundation’s Bad Beat on Cancer Texas Hold’em tournament so popular every year?”

Naturally my first answer was that by playing poker, they are helping to prevent cancer.  Isn’t that obvious?  Hundreds of players over the last 8 years have helped to raise over $3.4 million to support the Foundation’s research, education and community grants programs.

I really believe that’s the number one reason. Here are nine other reasons why players attend year after year and why you should too:

2. Plenty of great food and drinks.

3. A totally relaxed Washington event where most ties are left at the door and jackets hang on the backs of chairs. So relaxed, that one year two guys showed up in Bermuda shorts, polo shirts and caps, straight off the golf course.

4. No long, boring speeches.

5. Male players are not pressured by a girlfriend or spouse to dance. However, we have made a player dangle a banana from his waist and try to knock an orange in a hula hoop. Female players usually leave their boyfriend or spouse at home. Wonder why?

6. An opportunity to not only rub shoulders with politicians and news makers, but bust them at the tables, giving them bragging rights for as long as anyone will listen to the story.

7. They get to talk to others who understand what they mean by; “I was ‘on the River’,” and know they’re not talking about the Potomac.

8. Poker lessons and pictures with some of the top poker pros in the country.

9. For thrill junkies, it’s the last few moments of the re-buy period when they realize they’re not going to win their money back in the next hand, so they frantically start waving their credit cards to get more chips and stay in the game!

10. The BIG ONE – if they’re really lucky, they get to go home with the grand prize – a $10,000 seat in the World Series of Poker main event.

Of course, if I wanted to be self-serving, I would say it’s to see me – alternately known as the “Big Cheese, “Le Grande Fromage,” or the “Poker Whisperer.”   But that would be a lie.