Southern Gamingâ??s Derby Poker Celebrity Bourbon Bash, sponsored by Jim Beam and, is returning to the Derby week festivities for a fifth consecutive year. The annual Oaks Eve party and poker tournament is hosted by Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum and Poker professionals Phil Hellmuth, Jr. and Robert Williamson III and benefits Blessings in a Backpack and Thoroughbred Charities of America.

Formally known as the Derby Poker Championship, the event has become a must-attend Derby party that caters to an array of celebrities, athletes, jockeys, poker professionals and race fans looking to kick-off the Derby weekend in-style. Last year, the event raised just over $20,000 for Blessings and the Louisville chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and organizers are setting their goals event higher this year.

Derby Poker Celebrity Bourbon Bash @ The Olmsted – Louisville, Kentucky – May 1, 2014

â??The Derby Poker party has grown into the staple Oaks Eve event for celebrities and Derby guests,â? Said G. Douglas Dreisbach, Event Producer and General Manager of Southern Gaming.  â??Our goal is to have a first-class event while raising funds and awareness for our beneficiary charities.â?

Host Robert Williamson III with Live Auction Watch

The all-inclusive event offers guests a variety of bourbon themed food stations, sampling areas, premium open bars, a celebrity poker tournament and Jim Beamâ??s Party Lounge, an area featuring a dance floor, seating for guests to relax and another premium bar set-up. In the poker room, separated from the party lounge, world-renown poker professional, Phil Hellmuth, Jr. emcees the tournament and chats it up with the celebrities and guests using a wireless microphone, â??Poker and horse racing go great together!â? Commented Phil Hellmuth, Jr. â??Last year we had the best party in Louisville on Thursday night with tons of celebs, music, a dance floor, a charity poker Tournament and more. This year will be even bigger!â?


Jane Seymour & Phil Hellmuth, Jr.

In addition to Blessings in a Backpack, this yearâ??s event will also benefit Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA), a charitable organization whose mission is to provide a better life for Thoroughbreds, both during and after their racing careers. â??We are thrilled to be a charitable partner of Southern Gamingâ??s annual Derby Poker eventâ?, said Erin Crady, executive director of

Host & Hall of Fame Coach Denny Crum & Phil Hellmuth, Jr.


TCA. â??As a charitable organization that operates exclusively on donations, we are deeply appreciative of this opportunity.â?


Past yearâ??s celebrity attendees have included:

Jane Seymour (Actress); Jennifer Tilly (Actress); Ron White (Comedian); William Fichtner (Actor); Vicki Gunvalson (Real Housewives of Orange County); Nora Roberts (Best-selling author); Oscar Nunez (Actor); Warren Moon (retired NFL Player); Corey Pavin (Pro golfer); Troy Hanson (Indy Car Driver); Bob Guiney (The Bachelor); Ken Davitian (Actor); Scot Pollard (NBA Player); Jennifer Elise Cox (Actress); Robby Albarado (Jockey); Corey Lanerie (Jockey); Chris â??Jesusâ? Ferguson (Poker pro); Antonio Esfandiari (Poker pro); Phil Laak (Poker pro); Layne Flack (Poker pro); Josh Arieh (Poker pro); Tiffany Michelle (Poker pro); Dan Shak (Poker pro) and Beth Shak (Poker pro).


Actor William Fichtner

Tickets to the event are $100 thru April 1 (then $150 thru April 25 and $200 after) and includes full access to the event including bourbon 

themed hors dâ?? oeuvre stations throughout the venue, bourbon tasting stations, premium open bars (until midnight),  music/dance floor, and more.


The poker tournament is open to the public with a buy-in of $5oo +$50 with $200 re-buys and add-on for the first hour and includes full access to the  rest of the event.


Tickets and poker buy-ins can be purchased at or by calling Blessings in a Backpack at 1-800-872-4366 Ext. 103. Tickets can also be purchased at Barry Wooley Designs located at 835 E. Main St. or 11503 Park Road in Anchorage.


The event is sponsored by, Jim Beam Bourbon and an array of other partners. The event is produced by Southern Gaming and Destinations, the Southâ??s largest regional gambling magazine that also specializes in promotions, events and marketing for the gaming industry and is a division of Louisville-based Bisig Impact Group.


More pics from the past! 

Andrew Giuliani

Phil Hellmuth & Jockey Robby Albarado


Jennifer Tilly Gives High Fives to Fans



NBA Star Scot Pollard


NFL All star Warren Moon and friends


Don’t miss another great year! Get your tickets today at or call 1-800-872-4366 Ext. 103.