Eva Longoria’s Casino Night
By Ellie Leeper
Photography By Greg Harrison
Eva Longoria has “upped the ante” for her annual star-studded Celebrity Poker Night in San Antonio. The event was held recently at the Airstar Jet Port, a private plane hangar owned by event chairs Kristin & Dick Tips. Red carpet, glow bars, and surprises around every corner transformed the plane hangar into a real life Vegas-style casino.
Which stars shone most brightly? Celebrity guests included Eva Longoria of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and co-founder of Eva’s Heroes, Mario Lopez of “Extra,” Leeann Tweeden of NBC’s “Poker After Dark,” and multiple World Series of Poker bracelet winner, Phil Hellmuth. Various local celebrities were at the event as well, including KENS 5 personalities Bill Taylor, Bridget Smith and Stacia Wilson, WOAI personalities Shelly Miles and Cleto Rodriguez, and former Spurs players Sean Elliot and Malik Rose. “I always look forward to playing poker with friends and supporters in San Antonio,” said Longoria. “I am constantly amazed by the generosity of the San Antonio community.”
Stepping up to the plate this year to take the event to the next level was sponsor Xbox Live. Their support added new avatar and social media components into the event and guests were treated to Vegas-style casino games, silent and live auctions, and true Texas musical entertainment by the Rick Cavender Band. New to the 2011 event was the Goodtaste with Tanji Celebrity Chef Corner featuring eats from some of the region’s best restaurants and chefs. Guests also had the opportunity to enter the Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament, hosted by Phil Hellmuth, to try their “hand” at the chance to win packed prizes.
All proceeds from the star-studded event will benefit Eva’s Heroes. Eva’s Heroes is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to enriching the lives of those with intellectual special needs by providing an inclusive setting built on four tenets – to interact, grow, learn and love. Based in San Antonio, the organization helps teens and adults with intellectual special needs to integrate and flourish in society.