The Miz Blog: Celebrity Charity Poker

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February 18, 2008

I love poker. I play it, I watch it on TV. Hell, I grew up with it.

My dad used to have high-stakes poker tournaments in our basement every Sunday. So when I was watching wrestling pay-per-views, my dad was gambling downstairs. So when I got a call to do a charity poker tournament benefiting firefighters' families who lost their loved ones while in the line of duty, I was in. The tournament was held at Hollywood Park, which is in Inglewood, Calif. - not the best neighborhood. I thought this casino was going to be terrible; however, when I walked in it was really nice.

I brought the WWE Tag Team Title because, well, I wanted everyone to know that I was not only a champion in wrestling, but a dominant poker player as well. Plus I felt it could be used for intimidation. Yep I'm one of those players that never shuts up and usually gets under people's skin just to take them out of their game.

There were actually a lot of celebs there. I popped for Jose Canseco. This wasn't the first time I met him, but for those that don't know, back when I was growing up, he was my favorite baseball player. I used to be him in the home run derbies with my friends being their favorite baseball players. Shannon Elizabeth (from American Pie) was there, and every time I see her, I think of Nadia. We all loved Nadia, didn't we? I guess she's supposed to be some sort of pro at poker nowadays. Like she's on the circuit and stuff. I also popped for a couple stars of The Office. No, Michael wasn't there, but it's one of my favorite shows.

A bunch of my friends were there as well, like Josh Henderson (Desperate Housewives), Brody Jenner and Frankie Delgado (The Hills). Josh and I used to play all the time and I think we are tied with how many times we beat each other. The last time I played with Brody and Frankie was in Vegas and I outlasted Frankie, but Brody crushed me. So we all had little side bets and sh*t talking that we had to do.

The tournament started with what had to be about 25 tables. I was at a table with Kevin from The Office who was a quiet guy, but chose his spots to make really funny comments. I won the first hand and thought I was gonna win the whole thing. If you ever play poker with me, I'm amazing for about an hour, but we all know poker is a marathon, not a sprint. But I thought with enough Red Bull I'd be able to last.

As the tables started dwindling, I wasn't getting any hands to play. I must have went an hour without playing a single hand. Every time I had the big Blind Brian (Kevin from The Office), he would raise it. It kinda became an inside joke for the table. Erin Moran's (Happy Days) husband was at my table and when she lost, she ventured over there. She was so energetic and fun. She ended up taking my belt and putting it on. So funny watching Joanie with the WWE Tag Team Title.

I was starting to get low on chips and the blinds were getting higher, so I found myself having to play. Finally, with four tables left, I went all in with a queen / 10 suited. Brian called me. Now what do you think he had? Pocket A's. Yep, I went down. It's OK, I got eliminated by a badass actor who I enjoy watching, plus I made it longer than a lot of celebs including Josh Henderson and Jose Canseco. Unfortunately, Brody and Frankie made it past me and let me know about it. Brody ended up taking out Shannon Elizabeth and she was not happy about that. She stormed out of the building. Kinda funny, huh.

Guess who ended up winning the whole thing????? You guessed it. Brian. So I guess to be eliminated by the winner isn't so bad. The real winners were the firefighters' families because we raised so much money for them -- that's what really counts.

I truly had a blast meeting all the firefighters and all the people involved with this charity. Thank you for a great time. I wish you the best of luck and be sure to be careful out there.

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