Pros in Dallas (and Choctaw) Weekend

Vladimir Gorsky charity event

by , Sep 25, 2008 | 10:17 am

Interesting charity event going on in Dallas this weekend … a $1,500+ buy-in with $1k going to the prize pool. The rest going toward medical expenses for internationally renowned Russian/American/Dallas artist Vladimir Gorsky, who is suffering from brain cancer. TJ Cloutier writes a little about him and the event here. Some of the other Vlad-loving pros supposed to attend include: Amir Vahedi, Tom McEvoy, Young Phan, Kido Pham, Jennicide, and Warren Karp.

Though I don’t know Vlad, I’ve actually seen some of his art before, including his Tapestry of the Centuries (above), and I gotta say, it is some pretty impressive stuff. And apparently he’s quite the card-playin’ guy … no wonder he chronicled Las Vegas in mixed media and presented it to LV Mayor Oscar Goodman. (He also happens to be friends with the President Bush family — having painted the portrait of GHWB that hangs in his Houston office, and Babs with her beloved Millie.)

The event takes place at the Westin City Center. Glad to see it. If they successfully pull off this event, it will be good to see charity poker getting back to what it could/should/used to be in Texas — though it does seem a little strange for a charity event to be going on in Dallas that doesn’t have anything to do with Pokerati or Clonie.

Fortunately, I will be able to follow the action on

One other really interesting thing about this event: the support it’s getting from the Choctaw Nation. They’re running single-table satellites to this event 24/7 between now and then. And as a show of appreciation for helping out their friend Vlad, the pros slated to be in Dallas on Saturday will be in Oklahoma for Choctaw’s Friday night tourney, reportedly playing with bounties on their heads.

Click below to see the flyer and get more details about signing up:

19 Comments to “Pros in Dallas (and Choctaw) Weekend ”

  1. zach

    I dealt a charity tournament last weekend at some Temple in Dallas, had 7 tables but it was a low stakes buy in.

  2. DanM

    How many people played? Was it a success — fundraising and poker-wise?

  3. edbucks

    I feel bad for the guy, but this guy has more money than most poker players in Dallas. Hell, that painting that he did above, didn’t that fetch like $1mil? Raising $50k for a millionaire who lives in a Turtle Creek high rise? I don’t buy it, I have a feeling the people running this event, based on their shady past, is trying to make a few bucks from this.

  4. whipperstein

    Shady past? What do we need to know about the people putting this on?

  5. Robert "Sanbob" Sanchez

    Look guys Vlad is a great guy going thru a hard time. Vlad is definitely a part of the event. The proceeds are going to cancer research and not to Vlad personally. People might want to make inquiries and check things first before making accusations and slandering a great event. As far as the people running the event well it’s hard to find anybody in the Dallas poker community who ran a game who hasn’t burnt a few bridges…….Rumers…..Rumers. I am not going to speak on that but will say from what I have checked into the event is on the up and up. Choctaw and the Pros involved would not be a part or promote this event otherwise!!!!!!!!!

  6. DanM

    I’m just happy to see a charity event in Texas with both a prize pool and a beneficiary. I kinda agree with Sanbob that this thing is too big with too many good people involved for a theoretically good cause to be like anything from the shadier days of the Dallas underground.

  7. Grunkzzz

    it says 2500$ in TJ’s article

  8. DanM

    Says $2,500 on the flyer, too — a higher-priced buy-in option for those who want to donate more.

  9. Brian

    I am just curious how an event being played in the great state of Texas can legally have a prize fund. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated as I am putting on a charity tournament and casino night on Oct. 18 and was told I had to be careful how I advertised it and that I could not legally have set prizes for specific places. I thought that was weird since I have played in tournaments where there were certain prizes for each final table finish. So like I said any help would be appreciated.

  10. DanM

    Hey Brian, this issue has kinda been up in the air for years. Back in the day … like 2004 and before … charity tourneys with real-money (or real-money value) prize pools were commonplace.

    but then, they started getting some flack from some political forces — but no law changed, and no issue ever went to court. believe, this was more about dirty business than it was a law.

    but the biggest charity tournaments did run into troubles — not with the law, but with big corporate sponsors and liquor-license holders who didn’t want to take a chance. So many charity events moved to a “raffle method” of awarding prizes, which inevitably caused a decrease in money raised. (We like to call that “getting riata’d”.)

    but since then, there has been a resurgence of charity events in texas — including one held by a bunch of cops in rockwall for some policeman’s fund.

    Last year, Bea’s kids held a great one, in which Karridy won a big TV:

    Basically, if you wanna go small, you’ll have no problems. If you wanna go super-big … you may or may not. And that’s why I’m intrigued by this event … because it seems to be going medium and so far so good.

    Again, remember, no charity tournament with cash value prizes has ever led to a raid or a bust or anything like that in Texas. But a lot of them were shut down before they started or were forced to reneg on prize promises. But that happened with no change to any laws … and no cases brought forward … just a change in the way certain charities did business, because poker at the time was so dern big.

    Hope this helps, and hope your event is a successful fundraiser for a legitimately good cause.

  11. Brian

    Thanks Dan, I knew about the Bea’s kid tournament and I spoke to Karridy at “The River” tournament. I talked to him about my tournament and he is planning on attending. He told me he would help spread the word about it. Any help you can give me on getting players to it would be appreciated. The tournament is benefiting the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas, we find home for retired racing greyhounds. We are awarding 3 small buy ins to the 2009 WSOP and hope to be putting one on in Vegas sometime next year.

  12. DanM

    Keep us posted, Brian, and we’ll see what we can do. I like dogs … and think it’s interesting that you see the prize value in small WSOP buy-ins for more serious players.

  13. donkey

    Grunkzzz Says:
    it says 2500$ in TJ’s article.

    TJ plans to take the 30 minutes of private lesson from a pro.

  14. mario

    Dan let the gentleman know that I can assist him however he needs for his event. Last night we SOLD OUT Choctaw Casinos poker room. This had never been done before. Thanks to you and all your pokerati citizens for helping. Now lets sell out the event downtown.


  15. Lydia

    I would be highly suspect of anything Vladimir is involved with. He is one of the worlds great scam artists, becoming involved with real fund raisers and trying to keep the money for himself. He even had friends pay off the debt to the charity after the sale of the art. It was amazing to see how he got the money paid directly to himself.

  16. edbucks

    Lydia, AMEN. Except you need to add Mario to Vlad, both of them are crooked as hell. They play poker together in Vlad’s penthouse in turtle creek every week and scheme of ways to benefit at the expense of some poor charity. I challenge them to send a picture of a certified check to cancer research to Dan.

  17. donkey

    Did anyone go this event? Please update us if you know how it went down last weekend. I’m thinking of doing a $1000+$500 charity event, 1000 people max, $1mil prize pool.

  18. Karridy

    So many gluttons for punishment

  19. Robert "Sanbob" Sanchez

    Hey Dan,

    Just wanted to let you know that I got word that Vlad lost his fight with cancer and passed away yesterday around 4pm.