Ryan Reiss Joins McLovin in Charity B’Ball Match

August 13th, 2014 | by Jason Reynolds
Ryan Reiss

WSOP 2013 Main Event Champion Ryan Reiss lent his talents to a charity basketball tournament to benefit the LGBTQ comunity. (Image: John Locher/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Ryan Reiss, who took down the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2013 Main Event, recently donned his sneakers and shot some hoops to help out charity outfit Straight But Not Narrow (SBNN). As part of Nike’s Basketball 3ON3 event, which ran between August 8th and 10th in downtown L.A., the charity basketball match was the brainchild of The Hunger Games star, Josh Hutcherson.

Now in its third year, the game was designed to raise both money and awareness for Hutcherson’s chosen LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) charity, SBNN.

Riess Bounces with McLovin

On top of proving his skills aren’t solely confined to the poker table, Riess was able to rub shoulders with a bevy of Hollywood’s stars during his time on court. A journey through the former World Champ’s Twitter feed shows him bouncing with the likes of Christopher “McLovin” Mintz-Plasse (of “Superbad” fame), NFL player Terrell Owens, and the aforementioned Hutcherson.

Aside from making life difficult for Lil Romeo at one point by blocking his slam dunk, Riess was able to help his team (the Whites) secure a 78-55 victory over the Blacks and raise $37,000 for SBNN.

Although Reiss’s appearance on the court didn’t generate the same kind of money that this year’s WSOP did (the festival donated more than $5 million to the ONE DROP foundation), it was certainly another positive step for the industry itself. With more poker players now rubbing shoulders with famous faces from the worlds of acting and professional sport, the profile of the game can only continue to improve.

World’s Best

Ryan Reiss made headlines in the poker world when he took down the 2013 WSOP Main Event. Aside from turning heads when he battled his way past 6,351 opponents and walked away with the $8,361,570 top prize, Reiss caused a stir when he claimed he was the “best player in the world” during a TV interview. However, in contrast to the hubris he showed last year, Reiss now seems to be using his celebrity status for good, including his latest charity appearance for SBNN.

Straight But Not Narrow

Straight But Not Narrow (SBNN) is a US-based charity that was set-up to educate young adults about their LGBTQ peers, as well as improve conditions for those who feel sidelined by society. Helping to give all members of the LGBTQ community equal rights by educating “allies,” the foundation also runs a number of campaigns in conjunction with various celebrities.

SBNN’s latest initiative was launched with the help of The Hunger Games star, Josh Hutcherson, and is called “Power On”. The campaign is designed to help disadvantaged members of the LGBTQ community get access to computers and online resources with the help of the Trevor Project and human I-T.

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