On Saturday, the main lobby of John Paul Jones Arena looked more like a casino than a monument to basketball. More than 120 men and women were seated around 14 large poker tables, attended by dealers clad in black and burgundy tuxedo vests, for the second annual Cavaliers Against Cancer Texas Hold’em Tournament.
With their $60 entry fee, players had a shot at almost $10,000 in prizes, including three iPad2s, a football signed by Cavalier head coach Mike London, a Washington Nationals jacket signed by Ryan Zimmerman and hotel vacation packages.
The tournament raised more than $12,000, said event founders Shawn Brydge, Jason Chestnutt and Joshua Scott, all of whom are U.Va. alumni. (The latter two also work in Development for U.Va.)
The proceeds benefit the Rebecca Clary Harris, M.D. Memorial Fellowship, which honors the life and work of Harris, a researcher in the U.Va. Cancer Center‘s Human Immune Therapy Center. The center is a national leader in the development of treatments that harness the body’s immune system to fight cancer, an approach with the promise of avoiding the debilitating side-effects that accompany more traditional cancer treatments like radiation chemotherapy.
Chris Hubert, a researcher in U.Va.’s Development office, won the high stakes section of the tournament ($150 entry fee), and took home a Wyndham Vacations four-night stay in a two-bedroom villa. Jeff Wood (pictured above) beat out 89 players to win the main tournament, and selected a prize package with an iPad2 and a one-year subscription to TheSabre.com EDGE.