Actor, Comedian, Marine Reservist and Kansas City native Rob Riggle will be hosting the Big Slick Celebrity Poker Tournament at Harrah’s North Kansas City Casino with fellow actors Jason Sudeikis and Paul Rudd.
The event is expected to raise as much as $50,000 for Children’s Mercy Hospital and to generate no shortage of yuks for those who pony up to compete or who attend a post-play gathering in the casino’s Voodoo Lounge.
There is no big secret to their involvement, the three claim. They’re Kansas Citians. This is what Midwesterners do.
“I love being from KC,” Riggle said. “I wear my Chiefs hat all over LA. I like being from the Midwest. Midwesterners are polite, well-mannered, good people. I’m really proud of my roots.”
All three attended Shawnee Mission West High School. Sudeikis had heard of Rudd from his speech and debate teacher there.
“I didn’t meet him until much later,” Sudeikis said. “Rob and I met in 2003 when we both were auditioning for ‘SNL.’ I was talking to some people about home and Rob came over and says, ‘You from KC?’
“I said, ‘93rd and Lamar.’
“He said, ‘98th and Lowell.’
“Friends ever since.”
Riggle, Rudd and Sudeikis won’t be the only celebs participating in the tournament. They have rounded up several showbiz acquaintances who will be on hand. The guest list is top secret, but Rudd’s mother, Gloria Rudd, has seen it and says there are some very big names on it.
•Players who buy in for $500 will compete for a $10,000 seat at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas (plus travel expenses). An additional $40,000 will be up for grabs during the tournament.
•From 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Riggle, Rudd and Sudeikis will preside over a party in the casino’s Voodoo Lounge. Tickets are $75 (including food and two drinks).
•For ticket information, to buy a seat at a tournament table, or to become a corporate sponsor, visit www.bigslickkc.org.
It’s not a cheap night, but if you can afford to take the chance it sounds like something well worth your money. Not only do you get to support a great charity but you get to rub elbows with a few famous Kansas Citians and maybe win your way into the World Series of Poker.