Calgary Flames Annual Poker Tournaments

With their season calendar coming to a close, the Calgary Flames are once again looking to finish strongly in their final games of the 2021-2022 season. As one of Canada’s much loved Ice Hockey Teams, the Calgary Flames are known for giving back to their community for their charitable arm; the Calgary Flames Foundation.

Each year, the foundation holds their annual Calgary Flames poker tournament in order to raise money for charity. This year will mark the 16th annual festival, giving amateur poker players the chance to play against some of their favourite team members from the ice hockey team. With a cause close to heart for the Western Canadian province, the event gives a significant amount back to the community.

Below, we’ll take a look at what the tournament is all about and some of the highlights from past tournaments, as well as what we have to look forward to this year.

What is the Calgary Flames annual poker tournament?

The Calgary Flames annual poker tournament is a celebrity poker tournament, held in February each year by the Calgary Flames ambassadors and the Calgary Flames ice hockey team. Each year, participants are given a chance to play against some of their local ice hockey heroes while getting the chance to win a large sum of money. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for some of the Calgary Flames fans.

The proceeds of the event go to the Calgary Flames Foundation for Life; a charitable arm of the team who direct funds towards causes including education, health and wellness, grassroots teams and initiatives and amateur sport. Some of the specific institutions the Foundation supports include Clagary’s post-secondary institutions where students can gain scholarships, the Rotary Flames House, the Kids Cancer Care Foundation – Camp Kindle, and the Flames EvenStrength Program which assists with minor hockey registration fees.

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The popularity of Poker across Canada

When it comes to gambling laws in Canada, there are a lot of grey areas for what kinds of gambling are allowed and where. Each province in Canada has their rules and regulations, in which any venue that’s hosting gambling games must be licensed by the local authority.

While the law applies to commercial gaming operations like casino venues and sports betting places, it also applies to charitable events such as bingo and raffles. However, when it comes to online playing, the rules are a little different.

While it is illegal for any Canadian operator who isn’t licensed to provide casino game services to Canadian residents, there is a grey area around Canadian citizens utilising offshore casinos. Today, Canadians all over the country enjoy their favourite casino games from a range of offshore providers like 888poker CA. Sites such as this offer some of the best poker games that Canadians can enjoy from the comfort of their own home, and with some impressive jackpot prizes.

 The history of the Calgary Flames annual poker tournament

While the Calgary Flames annual poker tournament has been going for almost two decades now, there are a couple of years that have stood out the most. According to the NHL, one of these was the 2015 annual poker tournament in which a staggering $350,000 was raised for the Calgary Flames Foundation of Life. At the time, the total raised from the annual poker tournament for the last 10 years was a huge $3.5 million; making an incredible difference to the lives of local people.

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The 2015 tournament was held at the Deerfoot Inn and casino, offering players the chance to compete against their ice hockey heroes, while going up for a jackpot of $50,000. Among the players were the Calgary Flames team, alumni, coaches, and local celebrities, enticing more than 350 poker players down to the venue to try their hand.

The overall winner of the tournament was Mike Bradley, winning a $10,000 poker championship ring from a local Jewelers called Maximes, one year lease of a 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4×4 donated by Renfrew Chrysler, $5,000 cash, two Top Shelf Flames tickets and a 2015 Poker Championship belt buckle. There were numerous other winners who went home with more fantastic prizes.

In addition, the 2020 tournament raised a staggering $380,000, bringing the total raised in 15 years to $5.3 million.

The rising popularity of casino games across Canada

The last two years have seen a 70% rise in the popularity of online casinos, in which Canada is at the forefront of this action, having been ranked as one of the top countries to participate in online gambling. Canada has not always been a hotspot for online gambling, or any kind of gambling for that matter, as stringent laws have meant that gambling growth has been severely limited in the past.

However, as gambling laws become more flexible in regions across Canada, the nation is beginning to catch up with other top destinations as the industry’s worth rises to $16.1 billion across the country.

 One area which has allowed the Canadian casino industry to thrive is online casinos. While the law is still a little unclear on online gambling, residents are able to make use of offshore gambling sites that offer a wealth of entertainment. As the likes of 4G and 5G technology have improved, techadvisor reported smartphone technology has become more affordable, people are now able to access the best online games from anywhere, whether that be a mountain, a beach, or just the sofa at 2am

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Overall, the annual Calgary Flames poker tournament is a much looked forward to event that offers some incredible rewards, while making a real difference to the lives of many people in the local province. While this year’s event could be slightly delayed, plans continue to be made to keep one of the most worthy poker tournaments going after an already successful 16 years.

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