Cars and Cards

Two great American pastimes—NASCAR and poker—come together Dec. 4 as local NASCAR driver Taylor Barton hosts his inaugural celebrity poker tournament at the Palms.

Barton, who drives in the K&N Pro Series West division and is sponsored by Full Tilt Poker, invited some of his NASCAR buddies—including Kyle Busch—to join him at the tables. Meanwhile, actors Michael Kelly (Criminal Minds), Tom Everett Scott (Southland) and Richard Kind (Spin City) are planning to attend.

First place in the $330 buy-in tournament fetches a seat at the 2011 Word Series of Poker, while second place is a two-night stay at the Palms complete with dinner, a massage and VIP entrance to Palms’ nightclubs. Third-place is an entry into the 2011 World Series of BBQ (plus two nights at the Golden Nugget, and two seats at Howard and Suzie Lederer’s annual charity poker tournament). Organizers are hoping 400 people turn out for the event.

This is not Barton’s first charitable endeavor. In recent years, he has worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas, the Feed the Children Foundation and the Clark County School District.

Proceeds from the tournament will support Barton’s namesake anti-bullying charity, the Taylor Barton Foundation, as it works to complete its first mission, Operation Text It Forward, which aims to use positive text messaging and social media to reach, inspire and empower youths. The tournament will support Children Mending Hearts and the After School All Stars, which work with homeless and at-risk youths. To register, check Barton’s Facebook page, If you want to support the cause but don’t want to play cards, there’s an online auction at

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