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  • Tsunami Relief Efforts Created by PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker

    Friday, November 15th, 2013 by Ryan

It’s always incredibly devastating to see the terrible storms and natural disasters that happen around the world, but many are stepping up and trying to do their best to help out in other’s times of need. Currently, I’m sure you’ve heard about the massive Typhoon Haiyan that happened in the Philippines, and the massive destruction that it caused. This is an absolutely terrible situation, and we’ve seen many different poker sites, players, and other parts of the poker community step up big when it mattered. Currently we are here to talk about the Rational Group, who is the owners of the popular online poker sties PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. They have gone out of their way to make sure to offer plenty of ways for the players to help out with the disaster relief efforts, and we are here to break down exactly what they are doing.

On both of the two popular sites (PokerStars already has it running, and Full Tilt is finalizing setting it up), players are going to be able to donate directly to the relief efforts by using the money that is actually in their online poker account. PokerStars players are able to do it in two different ways, with the first one being entering what is called a “dummy tournament”. This is a tournament that actually features no play, and it’s just a way to collect the buy-in’s and put the money towards the disaster relief funds. No cards, no prizes, and no play. Players are going to choose a tournament size for the dummy tournament and pay the entry fee as their donation. You can also do a direct transfer to the “Typhoon Fund” if you want to, and from there all money is going to go right to the charities supporting the relief effort.

As far as the dummy tournament options go, you’ll see many different choices out there. It will feature by-in’s ranging anywhere from $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1,000, €1, €10, and €100. All you’ll need to do in order to find these tournament options is to search for the “Typhoon Haiyan Relief” through the PokerStars tournament lobby. Now, if you don’t want to donate through your actual poker account but are still interested in donating, you can go the PokerStars’ relief page at CARE International, through the following link: http://www.careinternational.org.uk/pokerstars-helping-hands-philippines-typhoon-appeal. After you click that link you’ll find that you can deposit with a credit card if you’d like to, and the partnership between PokerStars and CARE is new, and this is the first time that they’ve put it into affect.

Based on this morning, the death count is an insane 2,275 due to Typhoon Haiyan, and we’ve also seen 80,000 homes destroyed. All in all, we have 582,000 people who are homeless, and can use all of the help that we can put forward. PokerStars and many other online poker sites have taken part in these types of donations when we’ve seen tragedies like this happen before. Back in 2004 players raised a total of $187,768 after the Indian Ocean tsunami, and PokerStars put that number up to $400,000 out of their own pocket. Then in 2005 Stars and the players raised over $100,000 for the American Red Cross to help with Hurricane Katrina. We’ve seen PokerStars help raise money for many other things included Darfur relief, AIDS research, Cancer research, and the 2008 Chinese earthquake relief.

There are many other charitable options throughout the world ran by poker players and organizations as well. We’ve talked before many times about the Big One for One Drop at the World Series of Poker. In that we saw $111,111 of each players’ buy-in go to the charity, and David Einhorn, who is the Greenlight Capital founder donated his entire winnings in the event (he finished in 3rd and won $4,352,000) to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. There is also the Bad Beat on Cancer charity, which was created by Phil Gordon, and it encourages poker players to donate one percent of their tournament winnings to the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Jerry Yang, who won the 2007 World Series of Poker Championship pledged to donate 10 percent of his winnings to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Feed the Children, and the Ronald McDonald House.

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