Pay­ton in on-deck cir­cle

Chicago Sun-Times - - Quick Hits Sports -

When it comes to wor­thy causes, Jar­rett Pay­ton is all in.

When it comes to at­tend­ing the Black Col­lege Foot­ball Hall of Fame in­duc­tion for his late fa­ther, leg­endary Bears run­ning back Wal­ter Pay­ton, you’ll have to deal him out.

If all this sounds like it has a card­play­ing theme, there’s a rea­son.

Jar­rett will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in a Chicago Slaugh­ter Celebrity Poker Tour­na­ment from 2 p.m. to mid­night Feb. 20, the date of the Hall of Fame in­duc­tion in At­lanta.

The poker event at the Sears Cen­tre in Hoff­man Es­tates has a $250 buy-in with a por­tion of the pro­ceeds go­ing to the Wal­ter and Con­nie Pay­ton Foun­da­tion. Among the celebs sched­uled to par­tic­i­pate are for­mer Bears Jim McMa­hon, Steve McMichael (also Jar­rett’s coach with the Slaugh­ter), Mar­cus Robin­son and Otis Wil­son and Com­cast SportsNet’s Jen Pat­ter­son.

How do the run­ning back’s poker skills stack up against his foot­ball skills?

‘‘I do not play cards at all,’’ Jar­rett told Quick Hits.

In that case, maybe Quick Hits can sit at a ta­ble with him.

‘‘I am not a gam­bling man,’’ he said. ‘‘But I’m go­ing to try, though. Right now I’m go­ing to start learn­ing and play­ing on­line a lit­tle bit — see if I can get my skills up.’’

His sis­ter, Brit­tney, is sched­uled to be the Pay­ton pres­ence at the Hall of Fame in­duc­tion.

‘‘We wish we could all be there to . . . ac­cept this honor on be­half of my fam­ily,’’ Jar­rett said. ‘‘At least one of us will be able to be there.’’

Does Jar­rett’s un­cle (and Wal­ter’s brother) Ed­die Pay­ton have any ad­vice for his nephew?

‘‘Oh, yeah: Get in and get out in one hand,’’ he told Quick Hits by phone from Mis­sis­sippi. ‘‘If you

stay long enough, you’ll lose.’’

JEAN LACHAT~ SUN-TIMES

Jar­rett Pay­ton says he’s ‘‘not a gam­bling man’’ — but for a good cause, he’ll give it a tem­po­rary try.

JEAN LACHAT~ SUN-TIMES

An­other first is on tap for ‘‘Mr. Cub.’’

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