The card game of poker, often associated with Old West saloons and gunslingers, has recently seen an explosive upsurge in popularity in the United States. The televised big-money tournament World Series of Poker and World Poker Open games have created poker celebrities and millions of poker fans. Naturally, the next step in the evolution of a sport is charity games. Though the idea is a new one, some organizations are embracing the idea of charity poker tournaments as a new and exciting way to raise money for good causes.
There are many venues jumping on to the charity poker bandwagon, and the events are attracting fans, celebrities, and millions in funds for non-profit organizations. In October of 2005, Pulver Enterprises hosted the "Best Bet for the Cure: Charity Poker No-Limit Texas Hold'Em Tournament" at their Voice on Net conference in Boston. The tournament raised thousands for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and The Barton Center for Diabetes Education, and attracted celebrity participants such as John Ratzenberger and poker star Phil Hellmuth. Since Boston does not allow gambling, the fund-raising took place in the form of a raffle. Ofer Gneezy, President and CEO of iBasis won the top raffle prize - a $10,000 buy-in seat to the World Series of Poker Tournament. Winners of the poker games received the coveted bronze Pulver cup.
Another recent charity poker tournament was held in Las Vegas. The Cory Lidle Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament boasted 103 entrants, several of them celebrities, and raised over $20,000 that was donated to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the tsunami relief effort. Celebrity participants included baseball players Cory Lidle, Adam Dunn, Mike Lieberthal, Ron McKinnon, and Eric Chavez, actor William August, MLB free agents Tom Wilson and Scott Erickson, and rising poker star Thomas Keller. The winner of the event, Kelly Flynn, took home $30,000.
In addition to live charity poker tournaments, many Internet casinos hold charity poker tournaments with the proceeds being donated to various causes. If you love to play poker and like to make a difference in the world through charity, you might consider signing on to play in a charity poker tournament. You will get to interact with other players, do something good, and who knows - maybe you'll meet a poker celebrity or two! Visit your favorite Internet casino or type in "charity poker tournament" in a search engine to find one starting up near you today.
About the Author: A. Awwad is the webmaster of Online Casinos
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