Poker tourney to benefit fundraiser

PLYMOUTH — Rick Cooper, Jr., the Plymouth resident who won $2 million from a scratch-off lottery ticket in January, is combining his love of poker and his new-found riches in order to give back to his community.
Cooper is hosting a poker tournament at the Plymouth Eagles Club Saturday, and part of the proceeds will go toward the Eagles’ fund to purchase a critical care transport for Riley Hospital for Children.
“After I won the lottery, I could have easily just written a check,” said Cooper, “but I think it’s about more than giving money. It’s about giving time and effort, and caring enough to do something for your local community. Believe me, this is exhausting — it’s a lot of work to put together.”
The tournament will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, but all participants must register Friday, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Eagles, 404 West Laporte St.
“Out of the $125 buy-in, $30 will directly go to Riley’s,” said Cooper. “$90 goes toward the prize pool. There will also be raffle tickets, a 50/50 raffle and tickets for a custom-built pool table, and half of those proceeds will go to Riley’s. This is a zero-profit event.”
Cooper said that he has advertised the tournament all over Indiana and in Chicago and Michigan. The event is capped at 200 participants because of the size of the building, and Cooper said he has already pre-registered a number of people.
“It’s a local tournament, but we did open it up to the general public,” said Cooper. “Advertisement has been widespread, so we are hoping for a variety of players.”
There will be a special opportunity for the winner of the tournament, although Cooper said that he won’t say exactly what the opportunity is.
“That will be discussed at the tournament,” said Cooper. “It will be an opportunity for the individual to capitalize on their poker abilities at a major tournament.”
The tournament is dedicated to Cooper’s father, Rick Cooper, Sr., who passed away last November.
“This is my way of honoring and appreciating my dad — and it’s a worthwhile cause,” said Cooper.
For more information or with questions about the tournament, call 574-933-1583.