First came an all-day poker tournament that was really more party than poker. Celebrities from all facets of the sporting world tried their luck at the table, including former football stars Terry Bradshaw and Jerome Bettis, homegrown baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. and Washington Capitals players such as T.J. Oshie, Brett Connolly and Tom Wilson, who at one point auctioned off his seat at the hockey table.
For the gambling crowd, the star power came from Maria Ho, a top-ranked poker player, who offered advice and support.
The second part of the event brought the taste experience, featuring the best of D.C. dining, including Obama-favorite Maketto and the Salt Line.
To kick off the late-night dance party, a surprise performer took the stage. Pop singer Robin Thicke serenaded the crowd and even joined them, mingling with attendees on the floor while he belted out his hit “Blurred Lines.”
The event had raised $2.1 million before adding a pledge from Boeing. And Ryan Berger came out on top of the poker tournament, which started with about 700 people, earning himself a spot in this year’s World Series of Poker.