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  • Charity Poker Event ‘All-in for CP’

    Friday, November 4th, 2011 by Nadia

The Venetian Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, will play host to the fourth Annual All-In for CP charity poker event in December, 2011. The tournament is being organized by Sam Simon Foundation and One Step Closer Foundation. Both groups aim to raise funds for those who are affected with cerebral palsy.

How it Works

The tournament will feature a $500 buy-in and a $40 registration fee. Players will be allowed to purchase rebuys valued at $200 in the first one and a half hours of the game. Several poker professionals and celebrities are scheduled to make appearances. Some of them are – Barry Greenstein, Sam Simon, Shannon Elizabeth, Mekhi Phifer, Dan Fleyshman, Phil Laak, Montel Williams, Jennifer Tilly and Antonio Esfandiari.

Clinton Robinson (27) is an Australian poker player who hopes to participate in the event. Robinson has had cerebral palsy since birth. CP is a neurological disorder which affects the movement and co-ordination of the body and its muscles. Unable to drive or work, Robinson became a pensioner before the age of 30. He first got a taste of poker in 2005 when he watched a Celebrity Poker Showdown episode. He loved the game instantly and for the next few years, he watched poker on television tirelessly. He eventually began playing the game online for fun, on sites like Full Tilt Poker.

Problems Robinson faced in the Game

Robinson decided to try his luck at playing pub poker in 2007. The tournament was organized by the National Poker League of Australia. Clinton ended up being a spectator, watching his friend play, rather than participating. Too nervous to play, he was convinced he lacked the necessary social skills required to be a good poker player. Soon after, Robinson fell into heavy depression and for about eight months, he couldn’t bring himself to speak.

He says that he only spoke for a grand total of five minutes during the entire period. He lost his appetite and wasn’t able to eat or drink, resulting in him being on several medications. Doctors were baffled by his condition and no one knew how to help him. In 2008, on New Year’s Eve, Robinson managed to defeat his depression. In retrospect, Robinson says that it was poker that saved his life and brought him back. He remembered how much he loved playing and even watching the game. At this point, he decided to play and refused to allow his disability to hinder him.

Other Health Problems faced by Robinson

In June 2011, Robinson began having problems with his vision. He soon found out that he had a tumor behind his eye. He was admitted into Royal Melbourne Hospital. He then successfully had an operation to remove the tumor. Remnants of the tumor remain, so his health has to be monitored regularly.

Clinton’s dream of making it to Las Vegas for the All-In for CP event is slowly becoming a reality due to donations from well wishers the world over. This includes Vanessa Rousso, a poker professional. Robinson truly feels that poker saved his life.

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