Fran Vandenberg knows how to play her cards right, and for a good cause, too.
The Gibsons resident recently attended the sixth annual Women's Poker Classic, held at Cascades Casino in Langley. The event is Canada's largest women's poker tournament and supports the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Over the past five years, more than $100,000 has been raised.
This year was Van-denberg's second time attending where she participated in the team event. The team consists of three players who accumulate points and are then placed in a ranking system. The team with the most points is ranked as the winner. The tournament also held both a main event and a shootout event, where single players were numerically ranked.
The event has become extremely popular with women, many of whom travel from outside the Lower Mainland. Aiming to raise additional funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, a silent auction was held, and bags, hats and T-shirts were for sale.
When asked about the event, Vandenberg said she had a very good time.
"Basically, when you put that many women together in one place, it's a really wonderful attitude and energy, and everybody's there to have a good time to support a good cause," she said.
A cancer survivor herself, the cause is close to her heart and the event left her with a fantastic feeling.
With her team tying for 13th place out of 41, Vandenberg is utilizing her poker playing strategies and already looking ahead to next year's tournament.
"I hope that next year the pledge sheets are going to come out so we can get pledges from the Sunshine Coast and hopefully out-pledge everyone else," she said.