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Phone: (314) 843-0102
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Annual Poker Classic slated to benefit MDA


August 10, 2005 - Players may register at the door beginning at 5:30 p.m. to play in the 24th annual Budweiser Poker Classic that begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, at the Orlando Gardens Catering Center, 2050 Dorsett Village, Maryland Heights.

The second of two opening rounds will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, at the Holiday Inn Southwest/Viking in Sunset Hills, Wat-son Road at Lindbergh Boulevard.

Several hundred poker players are expected to enter the tournament to win the "braggin' rights" as the "Best Poker Player in St. Louis" for 2005. Contribu-tions to the event benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Barb Tanner of St. Louis will defend the title she won last year. She is the first woman to win the tournament.

Seven-card stud poker is played from 7 to 9:30 p.m. during the two opening rounds. The winner at each table advances to a semifinal round Wednesday, Aug. 24, at the Holiday Inn/Viking. The seven top semifinalists play in the championship game the same night.

Suggested donations are $30 for one of the opening rounds, $50 for both and $175 for a table of seven. All donations go di-rectly to the Muscular Dystrophy Associ-ation and Grey Eagle Distributors pays all tournament costs. The event has raised $395,000 for the MDA.

Only chips, no money, are used and players of all skill levels 18 and older are eligible to play. Poker is supervised by St. Louis' own "Poker Queen" Glenda Bridges of Belleville, Ill. Bridges, who has won poker tournaments in Reno, Nev., and Las Vegas, Nev., will direct the tournament for the 23rd consecutive year.

Tanner, the defending champion, is a nurse retired from the University City school system. Although she has played in the tournament many times, last year was the first time she had advanced to the championship game. She won several hands early in the game including a rare hand, a royal flush.

The champion wins only "Best Poker Player in St. Louis" title for 2005 and the winner's name is engraved on a permanent trophy that he or she keeps until the next tournament.

Registration Information is available from the Muscular Dystrophy Association at (314) 962-0023 or Grey Eagle at (314) 429-9100.

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