Andy Gridley out-bluffed and out-lasted a field of 45 players to win the top spot in Rianda House’s annual Casino Rianda poker tournament, held Friday, Sept. 22.
The event raised $8,100 in much-needed funds that will help the senior center provide free and engaging educational programs, said Executive Director Julie Spencer.
The top 10 finishers were Gridley, Jack Anthony, Mark Oberschulte, Dan Beltrami, Raymond Bruno, Chuck Meibeyer, Jon Salinger, Cindy Saucerman, JoAnn Busenbark and Susan Bowman.
The players who finished in sixth through 10th place received wine as prizes. The top five players were given their choice of prize packages.
The event was underwritten by St. Helena Odd Fellows Lodge #167, Sloan and Priscilla Upton, and an anonymous donor.
This was the second year in which Casino Rianda was held at Rianda House. The poker tournament started at Grace Episcopal Church in 2009 and has been held every year since except 2015.
“We love it, and so do the players,” Spencer said. “Many said, ‘It’s great fun and a wonderful community event, and so easy to be a player and support Rianda House.’”
“Lots of folks are encouraging us to hold the tournament twice a year so we are considering offering it in March and October 2018,” Spencer added. “It’s very fitting to hold the event here at Rianda House as Jean Rianda, our founding benefactor, loved to play cards and often made trips to Reno.”
In addition to the 45 poker players, 10 people attended just to support Rianda and enjoy dinner catered by Sorensen Catering and served by a crew of volunteers.