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Hog Wild Poker Leagues is giving people a chance to participate in this year’s Celebrity Derby Poker Championship Gala for free!

The Celebrity Derby Poker Championship will be held in the Seelbach Hilton Hotel’s Medallion Ballroom in Louisville, Kentucky on Thursday, May, 3, 2012, just days before the Kentucky Derby.  The doors to the Medallion Ballroom will open at 6pm, an hour before the poker tournament is scheduled to begin.

The charity event will be hosted by college basketball coaching legend, Denny Crum, professional poker player, Robert Williamson, III, and reality television personality, Vicki Gunvalson.  Other celebrities who have participated in the event in the past include funny-man, Ron White, prolific author, Nora Roberts, and actor, Ken Davitian.  Professional card players who have played in past tournaments include Phil Hellmuth, Chris Ferguson, and Antonio Esfandiari.

Last year’s Celebrity Derby Poker Championship was won by professional player, Dan Shak, and Nathan Morris, a member of the musical group, Boys II Men.  When neither man was able to claim victory after a showdown, they split the prizes awarded to the tournament’s first and second place finishers.

Proceeds from the Celebrity Derby Poker Championship benefit local charity, Blessings in a Backpack.  Blessings in a Backpack provides backpacks filled with food to public schoolchildren to prevent them from being hungry during the weekends.  It is hoped the event will raise enough money to provide food-filled backpacks for every child in need that attends kindergarten through sixth grade at Roosevelt Elementary in Louisville, Kentucky, for a whole year as it has in the past.

Hog Wild Poker is holding qualifying events online for people to try to win a Buy-In/VIP package worth $710 for the Celebrity Derby Poker Championship, in addition to providing three VIP passes worth $160 apiece to a satellite event.  The qualifying tournaments will be held Thursdays at 8pm EST and Saturdays at 7pm EST beginning on March, 22, 2012.  The top 20 finishers in each qualifying round will participate in the final round which will be help on Thursday, April 26, at 8pm EST.  The final satellite will have a maximum of 200 players.  Final competitors in the last satellite are also eligible to win $200, compliments of Hog Wild Poker.

The Celebrity Derby Poker Championship, which includes food, a bar, and music in addition to poker, is sponsored by Jim Beam and Bluff Magazine.