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The massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked Nepal in late April devastated much of the country, killing more than 8,800 and injuring over 23,000.

Aftershocks followed that also contributed to the destruction. Thousands were left homeless and in desperate need of relief and assistance.

PokerStars and Full Tilt stepped up to do their part, much the same way as was done when Typhoon Haiyan bore down on the Philippines in 2013, killing over 6,300 and shattering the lives of thousands more. PokerStars extended an appeal to players to help out and promised to match any and all donations that came in.

More than $500K Raised

Players were listening and in a tremendous display of generosity, donations in the amount of $255,447.47 were pledged. That total was matched by PokerStars, resulting in over $510,000 making its way to Nepal in order to contribute to relief efforts and bring some semblance of normality back to the lives of the Nepalese affected by the tragedy.

The money went to CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere) International, who have been providing humanitarian aid to countries in need around the world for decades. A CARE representative gave a big thank you via video to PokerStars, Full Tilt and those players who reached into their pockets to make a difference to the citizens of Nepal who needed assistance.

CARE was overwhelmed with the generosity of the poker community, as they were when over $500K was raised two years ago for the relief effort in the Philippines. Helping others around the world who are less fortunate puts the game of poker and its players in a better light, a light that often shines toward negativity by those who don’t truly understand poker and the players who love to play it.

New Film to Show Devastation

Efforts are underway to provide additional relief to Nepal earthquake victims. The earthquake struck just six weeks ago and that is certainly not enough time to complete clean up and relief efforts.

An L.A.-based company called RYOT shot film footage in Nepal just days after the April 25 earthquake. RYOT plans to release a four-minute film to show viewers throughout the rest of the world just how devastating the earthquake actually was.

Film actress Susan Sarandon is the narrator of the virtual reality film that aims to give more of a first-hand account of the aftermath. The goal is to raise even more money, as estimates indicate that some two million Nepalese are still without basic necessities of food, shelter and sanitary living conditions that many of us take for granted.

“When you’re standing on the streets of Katmandu and you see the scale of devastation, I think it really gives people compassion and empathy to be involved, to understand the magnitude of it, and hopefully make some donations that can really help people,” the co-founder of RYOT, Bryn Mooser, told International Business Times.

Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.

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