Star power: Melbourne’s finest go all in for charity

Image courtesy of Fiona Atkinson/HMG

The Hachem Management Group (HMG)’s Poker with the Stars event returned in style for the first time in two years, attracting a cavalcade of A-list celebrities for one of Australian poker’s night of nights.

Hosted at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne a fortnight ago, the black-tie gala showcased some of the city’s finest talent both on and off the felt, complete with live music and entertainment, fun casino tables and a charity auction, raising much-needed funds for Giant Steps, an organisation that offers support and education for people with autism.

Amongst the VIP guests in attendance included Marco Materazzi, Merv Hughes, Billy Slater, Steven Baker, Damien Oliver, Willie Mason and MC Brendan Fevola.

Three-time HMG event champion and Melbourne identity Mick Gatto also made his return, alongside Australian Poker Hall of Fame Legend Joe Hachem; the 2005 WSOP Main Event Champion reached the final table of the tournament, which was won by Altrim Shaqiri, who walked away with a brand-new MG.

The highlight of the evening, however, was a moving speech from Giant Steps principal Davina Bate, followed by a personal video tribute to international cricketing legend and poker ambassador: the late, great Shane Warne.

“It’s an event that’s close to my heart … to see how’s it’s grown from year-to-year and the celebrities that attended this year was fantastic,” said HMG Managing Director, Tony Hachem.

“The important thing is that when you look around the room, people have got smiles on their faces. I hope that we raised [a lot of] money tonight and I’m glad everyone had fun!”

Donations to Giant Steps Melbourne and Sydney can be made via their website,

PokerMedia Australia appeared at Poker with the Stars and stayed on location at Grand Hyatt Melbourne courtesy of Hachem Management Group.

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