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Poker News: December 10, 2006

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Copyright © 2006 NBC Universal Inc.

HEADLINE: Celebrities, Sports Stars Play Poker For Charity

Chips down and cards drawn, a slew of big named celebrities played poker with a purpose Friday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, trying their luck at the tables in support of children.

The rich, the famous, Hollywood hotshots and future tennis hall of famers, like the Williams sisters, were all out hoping for that royal flush or big bluff to win that pot.

But the big winners Friday night were children in need.

Tennis young gun Andy Roddick was hosting the celebrity poker tournament.

"I can relate a little bit more with the kids, and I like giving them opportunities," Roddick said.

The way the tournament works: the starts sit down with poker's best and regular "Joes" who donate $500 to play.

"Win or lose, they feel like whether they beat me or they lost to me they got a story," said Poker World Series Champion Jamie Gold.

"I'm a poker addict. I play online all the time, so, I'm really excited about this, actually," said celebrity participant Nicky Hilton.

"The last time I played I think I said I have three two of a kinds, or something like that," said Howie of the Backstreet Boys.

So, there were a variety of skill levels. Miami Dolphin Jason Taylor, wearing his poker T-shirt, came ready to play.

"I play a lot, I really do," Taylor said. "I'm going to lie like every other gambler and say I've won more than I lose."

Some stars weren't afraid to show us their poker face.

Victoria's Secret model Caitlin Rose also told her strategy: "I'm playing for luck, not as much strategy. More luck for me tonight. So, you guys keep your fingers crossed."

Whether they were holding or folding Friday night, it doesn't matter. Taking time out for at-risk kids is worth more than all of the chips on the table, NBC 6's Tom Llamas reported.

"I'm trying to help Andy raise some money for his cause, and what better way to do it than to play some poker at the Hard Rock?" said Taylor.

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