Brian Buchholz hit the jackpot on Monday.
For nearly an hour, the long-time Blues Season Ticket Holder was playing blackjack with his wife, Denise, with Blues forward Chris Porter dealing them the cards.
“Chris has been a big help in giving us a heads up on when we need to bet,” Brian Buccholz said. “Not only did we get a fun evening, but you just naturally get to talk to the players. It really makes it special. It’s my fourth time coming and it’s always a blast.”
The blast he’s referring to is Monday’s Totally ‘80’s Casino Night, presented by United Fruit and Produce Co., which was held on the floor at Scottrade Center. And in case you were wondering, no, it wasn’t just another manic Monday.
Here’s the 411 on what went down: Blues players served as celebrity dealers at poker, blackjack and roulette tables. Fans attending the event received $5,000 in Blues Bucks to gamble with, and following nearly two hours of casino-style games, guests turned in their winnings for raffle tickets to win great Blues prizes, including a team-autographed jersey, a Club Level suite to a game, a $100 gift card to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and more.
The event’s atmosphere was totally awesome to say the least. Blues players wore teal-colored t-shirts with a Blues logo from the era and white blazers, similar to what Don Johnson might have worn in Miami Vice. Rubix cube tables were scattered throughout the floor, while arcade games like Centipede, Millipede and Donkey Kong were popular with the guests. A Cinema Bar featured ‘80’s movie posters such as The Goonies, Ghostbusters, Breakfast Club and Dirty Dancing, while spiffy neon lights in blue green, yellow and red appeared nearly everywhere you looked. Dinner tables were decorated with cassette tape centerpieces, neon glow sticks, sunglasses (“I-wear-my-sunglasses-at-night”) and pixie stix.
“It’s definitely a wonderful experience that everyone should come out to and try,” Denise Buchholz said. “It’s a lot of fun and it’s an experience you can’t do anywhere else.”
The event also included silent and live auctions. Items included autographed jerseys, game-used equipment, autographed canvases, pucks, a signed Justin Bieber guitar and more.
In addition, guests were treated to dinner courtesy of the St. Louis Originals restaurants.
Monday's event raised more than $113,000 for the Blues 14 Fund, which was established in 1998 to honor former Blues player Doug Wickenheiser, who scored arguably the most memorable goal in franchise history in the Monday Night Miracle game in 1986. Wickenheiser died of cancer in 1999.
“He was a tremendous person,” Brett Hull, who attended the event, said of Wickenheiser. “(The Blues 14 Fund) is not only now for Doug Wickenheiser, but it’s for a lot of people in the community, and when you can help people in need, that’s what the St. Louis Blues and St. Louis are all about. That’s why I love being here.”
The Blues 14 Fund has contributed more than $2.8 million to the St. Louis community. Areas of giving include cancer care and awareness, health and wellness, education and youth hockey development.
To steal a phrase from the 1980’s, it’s safe to say the sixth annual Blues Casino Night was the bombdiggity.
“Being here just two years, I know how important the Blues 14 Fund is to the St. Louis community,” defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. “To be able to contribute in any way possible is huge. It’s a fun night to connect with the fans, connect with everyone and let loose for a little bit.
“It’s totally rad.”