Poker was always a big part of Missoula police Sgt. Bob Heinle’s life. Even after he was paralyzed when he was shot in the line of duty, Heinle’s wife Lisa said playing cards remained one of her husband’s favorite activities.
On Saturday, for the eighth year, a Texas Hold 'em poker tournament at Stockman’s Bar will raise money for a good cause while honoring Heinle’s life.
In 1998, Heinle — who had been with the Missoula police for seven years — was ambushed and shot while pursuing a man who tried to cash a forged check at a downtown bank. Heinle, paralyzed from the neck down, survived the attack. The shooter, James Martin, received a life sentence in prison.
Saturday’s tournament benefits I Run For Bob, a foundation Lisa Heinle started after her husband’s death in 2010 at the age of 47. It provides adaptive equipment to children and adults who have life-altering injuries and disabilities, to allow them to stay active and enjoy doing the things they love.
“Recreation was a big deal for Bob,” she said, adding that Heinle continued to pursue his passion for traveling and hunting with the aid of adaptive equipment. “The equipment can be so expensive, but it elevates the quality of life in a big way.”
Saturday’s tournament at Stockman’s Bar begins at 2 p.m. Buy-in for the tournament is $100, with optional $50 re-buys, and interested players can register online at irunforbob.com, although walk-ins also are welcome.
Cash prizes will be presented to the first- and second-place finishers, along with other prizes given out through raffles and drawings. Lisa said free snacks and beer will be provided for players, but spectators are encouraged to attend as well.