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Saturday, December 02, 2023

The GCLA’s fourth annual poker tournament brought together industry members from all over the country for a night of cards, camaraderie, and friendly competition.Torrance, Calif. — When the Greater California Livery Association’s (GCLA) fourth annual Texas Hold ‘em Poker Tournament came to the SoCal Penske Cadillac dealership on November 15, it brought with it an evening of camaraderie and friendly competition among California operators and their affiliates alike.

The tournament began as a way to raise money for the association and has since turned into one of its biggest fundraising events. This year saw a turnout of nearly 80 industry people from as far away as the East Coast with about 60 players, and raised more than $11,000. That money will send an underprivileged child to the Knights of Pythias Youth Camp, as well as help fund the association administratively.

Program Chair Kevin Illingworth of Classique Worldwide Transportation found much to praise about the annual fundraiser, which began more than four years ago as a more communal and interactive way to fill the GCLA’s coffers.

“We had a great turnout,” he said. “I thought [host SoCal] Penske was just awesome, and it’s great when the association members get to spend time with each other and their affiliates.”

Phil Hartz of SoCal Penske Cadillac helped host the GCLA’s second poker tournament held at the Californian dealership.The event included a silent auction featuring baskets and gifts donated by many of those attending the event. This is also the first time that the poker tournament included blackjack and roulette for those who wanted to try their luck at other games.

This year’s tournament winner was David Kinney of API Global Transportation, who went home with the grand prize of a 50-inch flat screen TV.

While the poker tournament is a GCLA event, Illingworth said that there are a lot of individuals who help make the annual shindig a success.

“You can never do it by yourself. I just appreciate everyone who got involved and contributed and spent their time helping out,” he said. “Penske Cadillac gave us beautiful location, and we’re lucky to have so many friends who stepped up to help.”

The GCLA’s next event is its holiday party on December 10.

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