Phil Kessel Donates NHL Alumni Charity Poker Winnings To SickKids

PokerStars hosted the NHL Alumni Charity Poker Tournament, featuring a $100,000 prize pool for charity.  The tournament pitted current and former NHL players up against members of Team PokerStars, with the final heads up battle pitting Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel against Team PokerStars pro Vanessa Rousso.

Kessel was one of the big attractions from the NHL alongside former stars like Guy Carbonneau, Theo Fleury, Pat LaFontaine, and Gary Leeman.  On the flip side, Rousso was recruited alongside Canadian Team PokerStars greats Daniel Negreanu and Jonathan Duhamel.  In the end, Kessel outlasted both Canadian poker pros to compete for the largest share of the pot.

However, as the more experienced poker player, Rousso ultimately outmaneuvered Kessel to win the final hand of the tournament.  In the end, Kessel left the tournament with the second place prize of $15,000, a fitting end for one of the NHL’s elite goal scorers.

The tournament was played for charity, and Kessel decided to donate his prize to the Sick Kids Foundation in Toronto, one of the city’s most important charitable organizations with long-lasting support from the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise.

In addition to the $15,000 from the tournament, Kessel chose to double his contribution to the SickKids Foundation with money out of his own pocket.  Jade DeCiccio, an associate with the SickKids Foundation, was very grateful for the support from Kessel, the Leafs, and PokerStars.

“It is with the generosity of companies like PokerStars and people like Phil Kessel that make worthwhile initiatives possible, and make a positive impact for kids at The Hospital for Sick Children.”

PokerStars will hold a second NHL Alumni Charity Poker Tournament within the summer.  The online poker site will begin qualifying tournaments for seasoned poker players and NHL stars in the spring.

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