Pala Casino Spa & Resort to Host WPT Foundation Event to Benefit Special Olympics Southern California Pala Casino Spa & Resort to Host WPT Foundation Event to Benefit Special Olympics Southern California

Los Angeles, CA (July 17, 2015)WPT Foundation™ and Pala Casino Spa & Resort, Northern San Diego County’s premier casino resort destination, today announced a partnership to host a charity poker tournament benefitting Special Olympics Southern California. The $100,000 guaranteed WPT Foundation Pala Poker Open is set to kick off on September 11, and $100 of each $1,100 buy-in will be donated to SOSC.

The Pala Poker Open runs from September 4-13, and features an array of exciting events, including a WPT Foundation party on September 10. The party will take place in the Infinity Showroom, Pala’s beautiful theater facility located adjacent to the casino’s 15-table poker room, and will include guest appearances by WPT® Commentators Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten; WPT Anchor Lynn Gilmartin; and a special spokesperson from Special Olympics Southern California. Donations from players and fans are welcomed.

“Since its inaugural event in March of 2012, the WPT Foundation has helped raise more than $4 million for more than a dozen prestigious charity partners around the globe,” said WPT President Adam Pliska. “We are thrilled to partner with Pala Casino Spa & Resort, and to give our players an opportunity to support Special Olympics Southern California and their efforts to enrich the lives of more than 19,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities in our local communities.”

Pala Casino Spa & Resort CEO Bill Bembenek adds, “The World Poker Tour is the premier brand in tournament poker and gaming entertainment. We are proud to host the Pala Poker Classic Main Event Presented by the WPT Foundation and to help the WPT Foundation support its charitable endeavors.”

“Special Olympics Southern California is honored to be the beneficiary of the WPT Foundation Pala Poker Open Main Event,” said Bill Shumard, President & CEO of Special Olympics Southern California. “We provide free sports training, competition and health screenings to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, so every dollar raised helps us support more athletes and families.”

Pala Casino Spa & Resort is widely considered as one of the most player-friendly properties in Southern California, offering a rich selection of world-class amenities and casino games. Pala Casino Spa & Resort boasts a 507-room Four-Diamond hotel, a national award-winning spa, 11 restaurants, more than 2,000 slot games, and 81 table games.

WPT Foundation Media Contact
David Gitter –

Pala Casino Spa & Resort Media Contact
Jack Taylor –

Special Olympics Southern California Media Contact
Brian Szczerbinski –

About WPT Foundation
WPT Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to utilizing World Poker Tour’s exceptional international platform to influence positive change on a global scale. The core of WPT Foundation’s fundraising efforts is the ongoing series of philanthropic poker events titled WPT Playing for a Better World. WPT Foundation and its associated charity events help bring awareness and raise critical funds for non-profit programs of excellence. This unprecedented philanthropic effort is dedicated to improving our planet by supporting key charities in regards to human rights, education, world hunger and the environment.

About Pala Casino Spa & Resort
Pala Casino Spa & Resort includes a Las Vegas-style casino with 2,000+ slot machines, 81 table games and 15 poker tables; a 507-room hotel; a 10,000-square-foot, full-service spa and salon that features 14 treatment rooms; a state-of-the-art fitness center; swimming pool with 12 private poolside cabanas, and dual-temperature outdoor whirlpool hot tub. Pala also offers 11 restaurants and 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Pala Casino Spa & Resort is an AAA Four-Diamond Award winner for 12 consecutive years. Its state-of-the-art Pala Spa was named the one of the Top 10 spas in California, one of the Top 10 in the casino industry and one of the Top 100 in North America for 2014 by Spas of America. Pala Spa also was named the number one spa on the West Coast and one of the top 100 spas in the United States for 2013 by Spas of America. Previously, Pala Spa was named the 2009 Best Casino Spa by Spas of America, the 2009 Best Casino Spa by the Southern California Gaming Guide and in 2012 received a spaAward and was selected by Spas of America as one of the top 100 spas in the United States. In 2011, Pala Casino Spa & Resort was voted Best Casino in San Diego by the public in the annual A-List poll sponsored by KGTV-TV 10 News in San Diego. For more information, visit

About Special Olympics Southern California
Special Olympics Southern California enriches the lives of more than 19,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and their communities through sports, education, and athlete health. Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California provides free year-round sports training and competitions to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Participation develops improved physical fitness and motor skills and greater self-confidence. Special Olympics has become the world’s largest movement dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion, and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. As a result, people with intellectual disabilities become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Learn how you can get involved at

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