Tilly-led team puts its cards on the table to assist Go Red

Actress Jennifer Tilly is in Las Vegas heading an all-female poker team, the Queens of Heart, which is competing in the Ladies Event at the 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Actress Jennifer Tilly is in Las Vegas heading an all-female poker team, the Queens of Heart, which is competing in the Ladies Event at the 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP).

For the event, held July 9 to 10 at Harrah's Rio Hotel and Casino, the team, sponsored by PartyPoker.net and Elle magazine, will be helping to raise funds for the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" campaign.

The team will be donating a portion of its winnings to the campaign, and the sponsors will match the amount up to $5,000 each. Jennifer Tilly was the winner of the Ladies Event at last year's WSOP. Lisa Tenner, president of Tenner & Associates, is acting as her co-captain. The agency is the marketing consultant for both PartyPoker.net and Elle.

Why does it matter?

"Being involved in something like the World Series of Poker can be a benefit to any campaign, even if it isn't directly linked to the event," says Barbara Shear, VP of global corporate finance at Manning Selvage & Lee. "It is so popular, and you see it all over the media. It's an opportunity for Go Red to reach out to a broad audience and stress the importance of the campaign."

Shear adds that something like this could never be a drawback to the PR effort because it reaches all kinds of audiences and it is there to entertain. WSOP and Go Red both benefit from the association.

Five facts:

1 Go Red for Women was started in February 2004 in an effort to make the general public more aware of the number one killer of women: heart disease. PR for the campaign is done by Edelman.

2 According to Woman Poker Player magazine, more than 75 million Americans play poker, and 35% of those players are women.

3 The 37th annual World Series of Poker takes place from June 27 to August 10, 2006, and comprises 45 separate events. More than 5,500 people participated in the 2005 WSOP main event.

4 Elle has a US edition that reaches 4.9 million readers. Elle-branded products generated sales of more than $1 billion worldwide last year.

5 Partypoker.net has an average three-month traffic rank of 38,724 (a combined measure of page views and users), with an average of 2.8 page views per person in that same period. People who visit the Web site also visit HyperGames.com, FreeArcade, THQ.com, and ESPN Sportszone.

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