SUN Hockey Pool

Charity tourney good gamble

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

Scoring his first goal of the season in Wednesday's 5-4 win over the San Jose Sharks didn't give Wayne Primeau any more confidence about his chances at the card table in last night's Calgary Flames charity poker tournament.

"No, still not really feeling too lucky. But it should be a good event," said Primeau. "And for a good cause."

Earlier Wednesday, Primeau admitted he wasn't much of a card shark.

"I don't play cards, really. The only thing I played was in the summertime, playing at the college, was euchre," he said. "Poker, not a chance."

Another one of Wednesday's heroes was the odds-on favourite to outlast the rest of his Calgary teammates at the Deerfoot Inn and Casino, where all the Flames and coaches were among the 350-plus participants.

Owen Nolan's hat-trick was a good sign luck was on his side.

"Hopefully it continues," said a smiling Nolan after the game against the Sharks.

It didn't. Nolan followed Miikka Kiprusoff as the first Flames ousted from the tourney.

Guys like David Moss, a regular in the poker games on the team plane, don't believe Nolan needs any more luck when it comes to cards.

"Owen Nolan's actually good. He doesn't play very often, but when he does play he usually takes our money, so that's a good thing," said Moss, who was knocked out early in last year's tournament.

Nolan didn't dispute his success on the charter.

"I think I've played six times and won four times," he said. "And I've been in the finals the other two, so I've got a pretty good track record."

Moss, Dion Phaneuf and Mark Smith are regulars in the team games, but the mass interest that followed the lockout has died down, says defenceman Rhett Warrener.

"It's kind of faded a little bit, but there's usually a game going on," said Warrener, who was one of the top players in last year's game, which saw Darren McCarty finish third overall.

"I didn't make the final table," said Warrener. "I think I was at the last two, three tables.

"It's a fun event. It's probably my favourite event the team puts on."


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