On May 20-21, the annual “St. Jude Against All Odds” event, which was founded in 2014 with the help of poker pro Daniel Negreanu, took place in conjunction with the Charity Series of Poker (CSOP) at Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas. The combo golf-poker venture raised $400,319 for the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which brought the charity event’s all-time fundraising efforts up over $2.3 million.
This year’s charity poker event attracted some big names including Negreanu, CSOP founder Matt Stout, four-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Kevin Gerhart, World Poker Tour (WPT) Player of the Year Anthony Zinno, emcee and stand-up comedian Joe “Stapes” Stapleton, Joey Ingram, and American Idol alum William Hung.
“As a committee, we were very concerned going into this event to be quite frank. We raised $359k in 2019, but didn’t have the same $60k presenting sponsor and $50k private donor this time around,” Stout told PokerNews after the event. “The way that St. Jude and the poker community came together at the event to bring us from $70k pre-event revenue to a new record of $400k has literally moved me to tears several times. After losing my two-year-old grandnephew to cancer in 2020, it really hits home what a difference St. Jude is making in the lives of these families who are going through the unimaginable. I couldn’t be more grateful for CSOP to have the support of the community and our sponsors the way it does.”
After a night of fun, it wound up being poker pro Alex Outhred outlasting all others to win the 2022 St. Jude Against All Odds for a $10,000 seat into the 2022 WSOP Main Event. Outhred, who has amassed more than $625K in lifetime earnings dating back to 2004 according to The Hendon Mob, spoke with PokerNews about the win below.
While this year’s event is over, officials are already looking for poker players to mark their calendars as they’ve already announced the dates for next year’s ]“St. Jude Against All Odds” event – September 7-9, 2023.
Similarly, the CSOP will host their next Event #38 “Full Houses of Good” benefitting Three Square Food Bank on July 3 in the Moon Nightclub at Palms Casino in Las Vegas. The reception will be at 4:30 p.m. with a charity poker tournament at 6 p.m. Cost for the poker tournament and reception is $300 with $100 rebuys and add-ons. Guests are also welcome to join just the reception for $100.
Q&A w/ Alex Outhred
PokerNews: How did it feel to win the CSOP St. Jude for a Main Event seat?
Outhred: The exact moment of the win as the river hits is always somewhat surreal. Just a pure joy to accomplish what we set out for, knowing the odds were against us vs the field. What was a bit more tangible was the run up to and through the final table, which felt amazing. Once I had a dominant chip lead, the joy was in the decisions and confidence that led me to the victory. Not to be understated was the beauty of the context, winning the pinnacle seat in poker after a soul-melting Gala evening that accomplished its goals – raise a ton of money for kids and families battling cancer, and inform/maintain critical advocacy by engaging and educating.
My mother was a four-time cancer survivor until 20 years ago. Having grown up in a house where beating cancer is what we did as a family, it was a spectacular feeling to honor her memory and those who fight today and will fight tomorrow as she did. To be surrounded with so many people dedicated in their own way to the cause was simply phenomenal.
PokerNews: What are your favorite memories or biggest hands from the tournament?
Outhred: The beauty of this tournament is that most of the hands played was a fun experience. The spirit and energy in the room was simply joyous, with stars and donors and quality folks in every seat. The memorable hand has to simply be the final hand, which was a double KO to ship the tournament.
Hoping for exactly that when I had pocket fives and called both sub 5-big-blind short-stack shoves with average ace holdings. A five flopped, a flush draw turned, and we held! That surreal outcome of a huge hold to win the whole thing flooded me with disbelief and pride simultaneously, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
PokerNews: Poker fans may remember you from the Poker Boom days. Can you give us an update on what you’ve been up to since your TV appearances?
“I carved a niche and community for myself that I have been able to tap into periodically when my other life interests left room for poker.”
Outhred: I made a big splash in 2006 and 2008 with deep runs through a WPT FinalTable and a furious run in the WSOP Main. The exposure was vital to a sub-career as a poker training curriculum developer, speaker, charity host/emcee, and private coach. I carved a niche and community for myself that I have been able to tap into periodically when my other life interests left room for poker and training others in the dynamics of the game and optimal decision-making.
For most of the decade, I’ve been traveling and working on my photography, and spending time with a range of wonderful friends and furry creatures, with various cool poker gigs. I took a swing at the WSOP again in 2014, and finished 140th in the Main Event, a nice complement to my 54th-place finish in 2008. I also took a very cool job with LightspeedVT in Las Vegas, who I worked with developing Negreanu’s PokerVT a few years prior. I applied my poker training skills to storyboarding online curriculums for trainers and consultants in other fields.
When my incredible pup Broadway passed in 2017, I found myself overweight and depressed, and had lost a bit of myself and my perspective on what to do with life. I decided to sort it out. I found my “why,” made a plan, committed, and didn’t just lose 80lbs, I reminded myself of that unique light that I have when I’m present and caring. I needed to honor that light, and after two years of healthy transformation including labor on a hemp farm that I invested in, I was ready to apply my new-found spirit with my decades of experience in cards.
During the pandemic, I quarantined with my old poker manager, Eric Brewstein and his lovely family. Helping with property and time with the kids, I worked with two brilliant young boys each week on poker, strategy, and etiquette. It filled my heart. In the latter stage of quarantine, began my official advocacy work with the Women’s Poker Association (WPA), as I feel very strongly about poker being a safe place for all, and the WPA is leading the way towards actionable solutions. Having taught the Ladies Camps with WSOP Academy every year, their persistence for equity in respect is something I’ll advocate for throughout my career. I dabbled on PokerStars PA and shipped a High Roller, which funded my trip back West.
When live tournament poker returned, I had multiple cashes at the Wynn and Venetian in 2021. I felt like I was seeing through people, as many were rusty on human interaction or having a poker face. I parlayed that success into fundraising for the WSOP’s return, and by the end of the Series, I saw six cashes in around 18 events, including my fothird Main Event cash. Enabling the buy-ins are a crowdfund style of investors from all of my travels in life.
Lastly, through the second half of the pandemic, I stated with incredible friends in Sacramento and Grass Valley, CA, which afforded me time to work on a new training project, gamifying poker training for VR. It’s in a mid-development stage, bare bones completed, as I begin to search for strategic partners to develop, produce, and market.
I’m excited for what’s to come, for the students I’ve helped to succeed, and my life and poker cheerleaders to reap their rewards as I press on doing what I do best.
Former “St. Jude Against All Odds” Winners
While it was founded in 2014, the first time the event – which averages approximately 250 players each year – awarded a $10,000 seat into the WSOP Main Event was back in 2018.
That is when Donna Lawton claimed a seat followed by Kim Stone in 2019. In 2020 when the event moved online, poker pro Joseph Cheong took it down, and similarly in 2021, Jon Baugues emerged victorious in the online tournament to win a Vegas weekend getaway package and a seat into the 2022 St. Jude Against All Odds event.
In 2022, the aforementioned Outhred claimed victory to win a seat into the $10,000 WSOP Main Event.
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since the hospital opened in 1962. St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Because of generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so they can focus on helping their child live. Visit St. Jude Inspire to discover powerful St. Jude stories of hope, strength, love and kindness. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok, and subscribing to its YouTube channel.
*Images courtesy of CSOP and St. Jude.
Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.