Hockey superstar Alex Ovechkin stunned the crowd at the WSOP on June 10th, 2009 by doing well in the PokerStars.net NHL Charity Shootout in the Amazon Poker Room. The NHL's reigning MVP participated with fellow players and members of Team PokerStars Pro.
The ESPN feature poker table was changed into a miniature hockey rink for the tournament, a twenty-four player mini event that gave a few lucky online qualifiers the opportunity to face off against their hockey idols in a $150,000 charity poker freeroll.
Among the hockey stars in the event were Vancouver Canucks captain Roberto Luongo, Jeremy Roenick of the San Jose Sharks, Matt Sundin (Vancouver Canucks), Scott Harnell (Philadelphia Flyers) and Sheldon Souray (Edmonton Oilers).
PokerStars pros Vanessa Rousso, Dennis Phillips and Chris Moneymaker represented the professional circuit at the table. The 24 players were divided into three tables with eight players, with the winner of each table coming back later that night to crown a winner.
The online qualifiers joined six National Hockey League stars and one PokerStars pro in each of the three first round poker matches though Kevin Connolly from HBO's entourage filled the 6th celebrity slot in the final heat.
The stars of the poker rink have dominated the first two preliminaries with hockey greats Glenn Anderson and Ed Olczyk both winning their respective tables. Hockey star Steve Sullivan was the 2nd player edge out at third final table, sent home by former teammate Hartnell.
Chris Moneymaker shared a table with both Sullivan and Hartnell. Moneymaker said that its fun to play with his fellow players and he enjoyed the experience.
The 2003 WSOP Main Event champion hoped to fare better compared with his fellow poker pros, neither of whom managed to win their preliminary events. Moneymaker believes that this event is a great experience for both the poker circuit and the NHL.
Portions of the proceeds will be given to the Ronald McDonald House of Las Vegas and the NHL Players Association's Goals and Dreams Fund, while each participant will receive $2,000 for their charity of choice. The shootout will be shown on ESPN Classic and ESPN2 in the US and TSN in Canada.