The Texas Hold ‘Em games wouldn’t be starting until 7:30 p.m. But NFL Hall of Famer Charles Haley was on-site earlier than that for the first-ever Poker Night and NFL Kickoff Game Watch Party at Dallas’ brand-new Crozier Hall event space.
The Thursday, September 5 Cattle Baron’s Ball fundraiser, which was organized to benefit pediatric cancer research, was also the first-ever charity event to be held at Crozier Hall, a Gilley’s-owned facility inside the old Dallas Main High School on Bryan Street. And 2019 Cattle Baron’s Ball Co-chairs Wendy Messmann and Lisa Shirley were determined to make it a memorable one.
Then again, how could they miss? With nearly a dozen poker tables set up under the auspices of Elite Casino Events, three big-screen TVs showing the Packers-Bears game, Stiney’s Barbecue, CBB raffle tickets and silent-auction items, and an open bar plus whiskey tastings by Teeling and Aberfeldy, a good time for all was virtually guaranteed.
At least 55 would-be Doyle Brunsons showed up for Poker Night, ponying up $250 apiece for $1,000 worth of chips. Among the guests: Katy and Lawrence Bock, Teffy Jacobs, Boyd Messmann, Emily and Baxter Billingsley, Kristen Gibbins, Mary Parker and JB Hayes.
By evening’s end, the big winner—Matt Wiener—had earned a meet-and-greet with country star Keith Urban at the 2019 Cattle Baron’s Ball, to be held at Gilley’s Dallas on Saturday, October 19. The lucky runners-up walked away with Hydrogen or ThinQ phones or a Samsung Galaxy watch, all donated by AT&T.
“We wanted to do something unique for the guys,” Wendy said of Poker Night, just before the first cards were dealt. “And the nice thing is that everything was donated, so anything we make goes to the bottom line.” The total haul for pediatric cancer research when all was said and done: $30,000.
Sponsors for the evening included Andrews Distributing, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, Favorite Brands LLC, Lawson Event Rentals, NorthPark Center, Beyond, Crozier Hall, Fauxcades, Jackson Family Wines, Live Victoriously and Stiney’s.
* Photo credit: Dana Driensky