SAMOHI — Looks like the Vikings baseball team is calling in favors from friends in high places.

To raise money for the upcoming season, Santa Monica High School’s new head baseball coach Sheldon Phillip-Guide and a newly formed booster club calling itself the Santa Monica Diamond Club have organized a celebrity charity poker tournament featuring Samohi alum Charlie Sheen among others.

Scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 10 at The Parlor on Wilshire Boulevard, the fundraiser, it is hoped, will raise money to rehabilitate the baseball field at Samohi.

Phillip-Guide said that the money raised from the poker tournament and a silent auction will go to repair the playing surface at the field as well as renovate the school’s aging batting cages. If all goes well, he would like to build a snack bar and a public restroom to bring the facility up to date.

“We’re trying to feed off the energy from last year,” he said of the original impetus for forming a booster club, something the school hasn’t had in some time. “We know there are lots of parents … who want to get involved with making a better program for the community.”

The list of celebrities playing in the tournament features a diverse group from both sports, the media and film. Among those scheduled to appear are sportswriter JA Adande, a Crossroads alum, and legendary baseball slugger Jose Canseco.

Those who sign up early will get a discounted buy-in for the poker tournament.

Helping organize the event is actor and Samohi alum Tony Todd. The actor, known for playing baseball innovator Jackie Robinson in an episode of “Cold Case,” helped Phillip-Guide and Diamond Club organizers attract the star-studded lineup of poker players.

“Tony has been a great help,” he said. “He’s a real asset to have.”

Aside from helping with fundraising efforts, Todd, who played major college baseball, has been helping the team get in shape for the upcoming season.

For more information on this fundraiser, visit

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