Ryan Rasche of Moline sports a big smile after capturing the second annual Kennedi’s Kisses Charity Poker Tournament.
Rasche Outlasts Tourney Vet Ken Auker for Shot at WSOP Fame
Ryan Rasche of Moline, Ill., will spend the next few months thinking about his trip to the 2012 World Series of Poker and the life-changing implications should he win a gold bracelet.
Rasche won his seat in a $1,000 WSOP tournament, along with a $1,500 travel voucher, by capturing the second annual Kennedi’s Kisses Charity Tournament held Feb. 24 at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport.
At the end, he had to somehow get past Ken Auker of Rock Island, Ill., who is no stranger to big tournament competition in Las Vegas and elsewhere. Indeed, just recently Auker won $58,000 for his third-place finish in an event at the Venetian Spring Extravaganza on the Vegas Strip.
The deciding moment came on the next-to-last hand when Rasche’s pocket pair of fours overtook Auker’s pocket pair of sixes on a dramatic 3-5-6-7-A board to win a huge pot. It was over just one hand later.
This tournament burst onto the Q-C charity poker scene last February by attracting an overflow crowd and launching the Kennedi’s Kisses mission — burial and memorial assistance for parents who lose an infant child — with an impressive $23,000 start.
“Our second annual Kennedi’s Kisses poker tournament was again a huge success,” said event organizer Julie Bechtel. “We had over 240 players that settled in for a night of cards and fun for a great cause. More than $20,000 was raised.”
Bechtel said the evening started with Matt and Crystal Sherwood, who lost their child Kennedi before her first birthday, explaining the evening’s plans and the charity’s mission.
“Several of the young families that were helped by Kennedi’s Kisses this past year attended the event and were touched to see their baby angel’s photo on the stage, and each baby had their own table,” Bechtel said.
“It was bittersweet that we received a call that morning from a family member telling us of a baby angel that needed our help as he is without a headstone and his first birthday is approaching. We are working with them now to get this little guy his headstone,” she said.
Since the charity’s launch a year or so ago, the target area for providing help has been expanded to include both sides of the river in the Q-C area.
“We thank the many poker players, event volunteers, family and friends that came out to support us,” Bechtel said.
Here’s a list of the final-table finishers and their prizes:
1st — Ryan Rasche of Moline, IL, won a $1,500 travel voucher for a trip to Vegas donated by Burlington Trailways and $1,000 entry in a WSOP qualifying event.
2nd — Ken Auker of Rock Island, IL, won the 47″ LG LCD television.
3rd — Kevin Trettin of Clinton, IA, won the iPad 2 wifi 16g.
4th — Mark Marietta of Bettendorf, IA, won 2 two-day passes to the Heartland Jam concert and a pass for next year’s poker tournament.
5th — Shawn Jones of Coal Valley, IL, won the use of a River Bandits Suite and 12 tickets donated by the Quad-City Times and a pass to next year’s poker tournament.
6th — Scott Mattly of Moline, IL, won 2 tickets to Daughtry (donated by and at the iwireless center) and a pass to next year’s poker tournament.
7th — Bob Ratcliff of Davenport, IA, won $250 in gift certificates to 61 Kartway (donated by 61 Kartway) and a pass to next year’s poker tournament.
8th — Les Crew of Colona, IL, won a $50 gift certificate to HyVee (donated by HyVee) and a pass to next year’s tournament.
Ken Auker — 2nd place
Kevin Trettin — 3rd place
Mark Marietta — 4th place
Shawn Jones — 5th place
Scott Mattly — 6th place
Bob Ratcliff — 7th place
Les Crew — 8th place
The Kennedi’s Kisses final table draws some railbirds to watch the action.
The key hand near the end!