Players Raise Nearly $10K  For Area Nonprofits at 3rd Annual Nashville Poker Challenge NASHVILLE, Tenn. 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Third Annual Nashville Poker Challenge on Feb. 5, and congratulations to this year’s winner, John Carpenter! Thanks to 57 entries and 81 rebuys the event raised $9,365 for local charities.

“Hopefully, the event lived up to its billing as the most fun way to raise money for charity,” said organizer and co-founder Bob Bernstein, owner of Nashville’s Bongo Java coffeehouses.

The big nonprofit winners were Friends of Radnor Lake ($4,000) and MafiaoZa’s Godfather Fund ($2,450).

Four of the top nine players played for the 20-year-old pizzeria’s charitable fund that was established in 2012 and administered by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. They included: tournament co-founder Mike Dolan, co-owner of MafiaoZa’s; his wife, Ashley Kuzma, her sister, Angie Kuzma; and long-time employee Mary Reagan.

Further congratulations to Ashley Kuzma and Joe Mabile for earning their Second Final Table Bracelet! Others already on this list are Paul Lohr, Darin Lashinsky, and Bob Bernstein.

The fourth annual Nashville Poker Challenge is set to take place on Feb. 4, 2024, the Sunday before next year’s Super Bowl, at a site to be determined

The top 2023 finishers are:

1st: John Carpenter — $4,000, Friends of Radnor Lake

2nd: Mike Dolan — $2,000, The Godfather Fund

3rd: Charles Ramer — $1,250 The Nashville Food Project 

4th: Joe Mabile —$500, UniCycle

5th: Ashley Kuzma — $250, The Godfather Fund

6th: Angie Kuzma — $100, The Godfather Fund

7th: Brandon McBride — $100, Centerstone

8th: Cole Childress — $100, Nashville Humane Association.

9th: Mary Reagan — $100, The Godfather Fund


The Nashville Poker Challenge Fund is a component fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

About The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

The Community Foundation exists to promote and facilitate giving in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee and beyond. It does this by accepting gifts of any size from anyone at any time and by empowering individuals, families, companies, nonprofits, and communities to respond to the needs and opportunities that matter. The Community Foundation works with people who have great hearts, whether or not they have great wealth, to craft solutions that reflect the intentions and goals of their charitable endeavors. For more information, call 615-321-4939 or visit