After 12 event at Harrah’s Southern California for the World Series of Poker Circuit, Tavish Margers earned the title of Casino Champion. Margers cashed in three events, including one victory and a final-table performance in the Main Event.

For Margers, a 42-year old software engineer from Santee, Calif., poker isn’t just about money and competition. It’s an opportunity to spread the word about a good cause. He always plays wearing a Team Challenge sweatshirt, hoping to get a chance to talk about it with other players. Team Challenge is the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s endurance training and fundraising program. Margers’s 12-year old son has Crohn’s disease, and he wears the shirt and supports the program to help his son and others with the disease.

“I wear this every day,” he explained after his victory. “I’ve been with Team Challenge for four years now. What we do is we raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation to help fund research and spread awareness. We do endurance training, we do half-marathons, we do triathlons and stuff like that. My son did his first half-marathon with me back in November in Las Vegas. We both decided to do crazy mohawks for the race, running up and down the strip, so we could fit in with all the crazies in Vegas.” And in fact, Margers was still sporting the mohawk a month later at Harrah’s SoCal, dyed blue and yellow during his ring victory, and then bright orange during the Main Event.

It was a tight competition for Casino Champion, and Margers never led the race until the last day of the Circuit stop. Vincent Moscati jumped out to the early lead by winning the first event and earning 50 points. Then Adam Sadick, who finished runner up to Moscati, finished in fourth place in the very next event. The two final table finishes gave him 65 points, surpassing Moscati for the lead. However, Moscati retook the lead in Event #3: $365 No-Limit Hold’em Re-entry. He finished in fourth place, overtaking Sadick. Moscati later had one more cash for 82.5 points total, and he held onto the lead almost to the end.

That last cash for Moscati was in Event #11: $365 No-Limit Hold’em, and the event was won by Tavish Margers. Margers had also cashed in the re-entry event, and after his victory he had 60 points, well behind Moscati. His deep run in the Main Event pushed him to the top, though. He finished in 6th place, bringing his point total to 95. Even then, the competition wasn’t over. Sean Berrios, who had 50 points from 3 cashes when Margers was knocked out of the Main Event, was still alive at the final table of the last tournament at this Circuit stop, a one-day Turbo event. If he won the ring, he’d shoot up to 100 points and ahead of Margers. Berrios’s late run fell short, though, as he exited the turbo in 4th place, guaranteeing Margers would be Casino Champion.

More information and full points standings for the year-long race are available on WSOP.com.

 

Here are Tavish Margers’s results from Harrah’s Southern California:

Event #3: $365 No-Limit Hold’em Re-entry, 526 entries, 17th place - $1,720
Event #5: $365 No-Limit Hold’em, 113 entries, 1st place - $10,172
Event #10: $1,675 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event, 6th place - $19,264