Malibu Seen

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

The event was big-really big. What would you expect with the larger-than-life L.A. Lakers on board? The occasion? A celebrity poker tourney to benefit the team’s L.A. Lakers Youth Foundation.

Because the big guys love their comfort food, A-list caterer Along Came Mary was called in-dishing out sloppy Joes, cornbread cups, turkey burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas and crab cakes by the score.

In celebration of L.A.’s most winning team, the VIP party was awash in a sea of purple, with purple tables, purple plates, purple balloons, purple tulips-even purple cocktail napkins.

We found a who’s who of famous faces making the rounds, plus more security than a presidential procession. Malibuite and Lakers fan Rich Fox was quick to strike up a conversation with assistant coach Tex Winter. “I just met a legend,” Fox said with giddy delight. “He created the triangle offense that won the championships.”

While most of the Lakers luminaries were getting ready to play their hands, gaming was not in the cards for Dr. Phil. “I’m not playing tonight,” Jackson told Malibu Seen. “I only like to take calculated risks.”

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Soon, Kobe sailed in with wife Vanessa, who was decked out in eye-popping yellow chiffon and those glitzy rhinestone lashes favored by Madonna. Prime Time queen Marsha Cross picked a lacy cream and black combo paired leather boots while Paris the heiress went for casual chic. TV producer Adrian Maher admired many of the evening’s fashion statements, especially those worn by the bouncy Bodog cheerleaders in their tight Bodog tees.

To classic tunes from Kool and the Gang, partygoers made their way into the main tent. The place was done up in what can only be described as “Staples Center meets the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion,” with crystal chandeliers, basketball backboards and towering pics of Phil, Kobe and the crew.

As notables got ready to wheel and deal, acrobatic performers dangled from the ceiling, go-go dancers grooved to the beat and a live auction was in the works.

Next came the highlight of our all-star lineup. It featured a racy burlesque show courtesy of celebrity stripper Dita Von Teese. Divine Dita (also known as Mrs. Marilyn Manson) took the stage in a Rita Hayworth-worthy red bustier, sexy satin opera gloves and towering platform shoes. To trombones squealing “Love Potion Number Nine,” Ms. Dita removed her undergarments, pranced around with a pair of strategically placed ostrich fans and wiggled her fine figure before slipping into a mammoth martini glass and frolicking with an oversized olive. Yowza!

But the evening’s biggest success was the bottom line. The non stop revelry raised a cool $250,000 to help at-risk kids with medical care, education and after-school activities. Now that’s what I call a winning combination!

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