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ESPN 97.5 and SportsMap present the Houston Online Poker Charity Classic, 4th edition

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Looking to get in on some action while doing good for charity? On Saturday, May 2, at 2 p.m., ESPN 97.5 and SportsMap are putting on the Houston Online Poker Charity Classic using Pokerstars.net. This will be our fourth and possibly, final tournament. The first, second and third were a major success.

The tournament will be $50, with an optional $10 donation, which will go to two charities, one in the Houston area and one in Beaumont.


How to play

PLEASE FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER!

You will need a Pokerstars.net account. (Also .bet). It is the free site. Do not sign up for Pokerstars.com; it is not legal in the U.S. You will need a laptop or desk top; the site does not support mobile for home games.

Once you are set up on poker stars, go to home games (lower right hand corner on your laptop), and join group ESPN97.5/SportsMap with club ID Club #3411044. You will need 20,000 free chips to sign up for the tournament. You get 35,000 when you open your account. If needed you can collect 15k in free chips every four hours, or buy a million for $2.99.

The password/invitation code is 975pokerwin

Once signed up, send your $60 through PayPal to promotion@gowmedia.com, but SELECT "SENDING TO A FRIEND" not "goods and services." OR use "Cash App" and send your $60 to $ESPN975. Please add your screen name and do NOT use "poker" in any comments/subject field. Once your payment has been received, your ID will be approved. (we approve by groups once a day). Once approved you will need to register for the specific tournament by selecting "schedule" at the top and then "register" at the bottom right by buying in with your 20,000 chips. If you do not pay, your account all not be verified in the group. Registration will close at noon on Saturday, so you must sign up before then. Your account will be pending until you pay the entry fee.

Money will be paid out to the top 15 percent finishers. The donations go to two great causes.

Kids' Meals Houston

Kid's Meals delivers food to pre-school aged children in Houston. Many families are suffering more than ever, and Kids' Meals is helping impoverished families feed their children.

Southeast Texas Food Bank

We don't want to forget our friends and listeners in Beaumont and the Golden Triangle. Southeast Texas Food Bank provides services all over the Golden Triangle area. They are partnered with over 130 non-profit agencies and schools in Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, Sabine, and Tyler Counties.

The bottom line

The tournaments have been a great success, but since the state is reopening, this will likely be the last one.If you want to continue to play in our free poker club, you can read about that here.

Any questions, please email promotion@gowmedia.com

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After splitting the first two games of the series, including the extra-inning affair on Saturday, the Astros looked to defeat the Angels on Saturday to secure the series win and leave Los Angeles with a winning record. On the mound were two pitchers looking to shrug off bad debuts to the season. Here is how the game went on Sunday afternoon:

Final Score (11 innings): Astros 6, Angels 5.

Record: 5-4, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Blake Taylor (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jacob Barnes (0-2, 3.86 ERA).

James walks his way into trouble

After a disastrous start to his pitching season where he was unable to record an out, Shohei Ohtani was able to sit down the Astros 1-2-3 on just eight pitches in the top of the first. However, Houston would take advantage of his struggling command in the top of the second, working three straight walks to load the bases with no outs. They then would get two more walks with two outs to grab an early 2-0 lead and end Ohtani's day early yet again.

Meanwhile, on the mound for Houston was Josh James. He, too, allowed some walks but was able to work around them in the first two innings, erasing two in the bottom of the first and one in the second for two scoreless innings.

That changed in the third when he would walk the bases loaded with two outs before Albert Pujols continued his nearly twenty-year reign of being a thorn in Houston's side, hitting a grand slam, Los Angeles' first hit of the day, to put the Angels up 4-2. James would get the final out of the third, but that would conclude his day, making it two straight starts he would be unable to reach the fourth inning. His final line: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 BB, 4K, 1 HR.

Valdez impresses as Bregman makes it a one-run game in the seventh

Framber Valdez was first out of Houston' bullpen, likely to try and eat up several innings. He would accomplish that mission, getting through the next three innings scoreless, holding the 4-2 score. It remained locked on that score despite Houston getting runners on base in each of those innings, as they would struggle to turn players on base into runs yet again in this series.

Alex Bregman gave the Astros a spark in the top of the seventh, leading off the inning with a solo home run to straightaway center to make it a one-run game. Valdez returned for yet another inning, another scoreless frame to keep it 4-3 going to the eighth.

Reddick ties it in the ninth, Astros win in extras

Houston would threaten to tie in the top of the eighth, getting a pinch-hitting Carlos Correa to third base after a single to leadoff the inning, but would be unable to score him, leaving it at 4-3. Valdez would record another scoreless inning in the bottom of the eighth, giving the Astros one more chance to tie or go ahead in the top of the ninth.

Michael Brantley led off the inning with a double and was pinch-run by Myles Straw, who would score the tying run on an RBI-single by Josh Reddick, but the Angels would hold the Astros there. Valdez remained in the game trying to push extra innings and would do so, erasing a leadoff walk.

Kyle Tucker started the top of the tenth on second base and moved to third on a sac fly by Carlos Correa to start the inning before scoring on another sac fly, this time from pinch-hitting Garrett Stubbs to give Houston a 5-4 lead. Valdez, well above his comfortable pitch count, was still on the mound in the bottom of the tenth, and allowed his first run, though unearned, on a leadoff RBI-single to tie the game again at 5-5. He would get one more out before Houston moved to another reliever, bringing in Andre Scrubb.

After an intentional walk to Albert Pujols, Scrubb would walk the bases loaded before getting a popout, then Houston would turn to Blake Taylor. Taylor would come through, getting a big strikeout to send the game to the eleventh. Springer started on second in the top of the inning and would score and put the Astros back in front on a one-out RBI-single by Alex Bregman. In the bottom half, Taylor would get through the inning, giving Houston the win and series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will have a day off tomorrow before picking up a three-game set with the Diamondbacks in Arizona on Tuesday. The opening game of that series will be at 8:10 PM Central. While Arizona is expected to start Madison Bumgarner, the Astros will have to pivot as they had Framber Valdez slated for that start, who made a lengthy appearance out of the bullpen on Sunday.

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