Today is Hockey Day at the WSOP

NHL charity tourney, Stanley Cup … puckin’ eh

by , Jun 17, 2009 | 8:51 am

The ESPN feature table has been transformed all hockey-y for today’s special tourney. If fans are lucky, there’ll be a fight!

NHLers are all over Vegas this week — mostly for tomorrow night’s NHL Awards, which guys like Daniel Negreanu plan to attend regardless of what tournament he’s missing. And today they’ll be all over the WSOP — along with the Stanley Cup, which will be on stage as JC Tran receives his bracelet to the tune of the Star-Spangled Banner. Should be pretty cool, as nonsensical as it may seem.

I touched the Stanley Cup in ’99 (Stars!), and at least one Canadian tells me his people are none-too-happy with my ignorant yankee soilage of the ice people’s grail. In their eyes, apparently, you’re not supposed to touch it, even if your team wins, unless you played an active role in winning it. I suppose it’s like taking communion at a Catholic church if you haven’t received the sacrament and cleared your soul of mortal sins. But whatever … Pantera got to dent it.

Anyhow, there’s a special hockey-themed tournament at the WSOP today — The NHL Charity Shootout Presented by — a 5th televised event that non-PokerStars players have no chance of getting in on, as much fun as it would be to send Matusow or Hellmuth to the penalty box:

The NHL Charity Shootout Presented By will be taped to create four hours of TV to air on ESPN Classic and ESPN2 in the US and TSN in Canada and NHL Networkâ„¢ throughout North America. Stars scheduled to participate in the tournament include current NHL players Roberto Luongo (Vancouver Canucks), Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), Mike Richards (Philadelphia Flyers), Jeremy Roenick (San Jose Sharks), Sheldon Souray (Edmonton Oilers), Steve Sullivan (Nashville Predators) and Kris Versteeg (Chicago Blackhawks). NHL legends Pat LaFontaine, Cam Neely and Luc Robitaille also will play alongside celebrity participants and poker professionals Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer and Vanessa Rousso.

Play will begin with a round of No Limit Texas Hold’em in a shootout format in which each table plays down to a single winner. The surviving players will move on to play for incredible prizes adding up to more than $150,000 for charity. Portion of the proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House of Las Vegas as well as NHLPA Goals & Dreams Fund. Each participating NHL player will receive $2,000 for a designated charity of his choice

Have a look at the pics taken last night, after they set up the stage for today’s big event. where the Corum bracelet display has been replaced by a hockey net, the felt has been done up to look like a hockey rink, and faux boards have been erected in front of the front row — begging fans to bang on the glass in anticipation of a big river. It’s totally gonna fall down, I’m sure! Should make for good TV!

6 Comments to “Today is Hockey Day at the WSOP ”

  1. California Jen

    Nolan told us yesterday that the bracelet ceremony will be changed today from its normal time to 8pm tonight so the two events won’t overlap.

  2. GaryW

    Your sources re: touching the cup are unreliable. The cup is touched by thousands upon thousands over the year

  3. GaryW

    PS: Congrats on being the first Google reply to the search query “NHL WSOP”:)

  4. California Jen

    “Supposed to touch it” and actually doing so are two different things. Not that I know – or care much – about anything related to hockey or the Stanley Cup, but it’s kinda like people who don’t stand for the national anthem. You’re supposed to do it, but many do not.

  5. Stef

    Its considered bad etiquette to touch the Cup, even more so if you’re a hockey player of any level. Generally the only Canadians who touch it (that arn’t hockey players) are those who don’t think twice and do it anyways because “omg look how cool i am im touching the cup!!11”. A lot of these also tend to be women, for some reason.

  6. DanM

    My misquotage about cup touching corrected here: