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The poker community is notoriously generous when opportunities arise to donate time, effort, and money to good causes. Even in a small but growing online poker market like New Jersey, charity tournaments are not uncommon.

PokerStars partnered with Autism Speaks only a short time after its New Jersey launch and dedicated an entire month to raising awareness of autism and funds for research. The efforts were successful with the help of Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker at the forefront of the campaign.

With so many deserving organizations and poker players wanting to find ways to help, it was only a matter of time before another effort arose. Rick Louis of Poker Players Unite had been working with the executives at 888poker in New Jersey to find the right partnership, and Tiffany Langston of WaterAid stepped in to be a part of the action.

Stacking Chips 4 Charity

This is the hashtag used by Poker Players Unite, a grassroots organization that works with various charities to raise money through the game of poker. Founder Rick Louis is a longtime recreational poker player. He presents various opportunities for fellow poker lovers to work with him throughout the year to raise money for good causes via tournaments and pokerthons, which have brought in nearly $47,000 thus far in more than 21 events. All of them are low buy-in or microstakes games, giving everyone the opportunity to participate in #StackingChips4Charity. Anyone is welcome to join Team PPU.

Louis had been trying to find a charity that was willing to work with 888poker in New Jersey for recurring tournaments, and he found that recently with WaterAid. On the second Sunday of each month, players located in New Jersey can play in the $10 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament, which starts at 8pm. The $10 garners a chip stack of 3,000, and rebuys are available for the first 60 minutes of play. As the entirety of the buy-ins go to WaterAid, 888poker puts up $400 worth of tournament tickets as prizes for the players. The winner receives a $215 tournament ticket, second place $55, third and fourth $30 each, and $10 tickets for 5th through 11th place finishers.

Louis couldn’t be happier that the events will be running on a regular basis. “Knowing that our events are helping WaterAid achieve their goals of bringing safe/clean water, hygiene, and sanitation to some of the world’s poorest communities is inspiring. Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of taking those basic necessities for granted.” He continued, “We are very thankful that 888NJ was willing to work with us on this project. It gives New Jersey players a way to use the game we all love to give back to those who need it most.”

Clean Water for All

WaterAid is a nonprofit organization that works with communities in 38 countries around the world to provide access to clean water and safe toilets. And in its initial efforts, they have provided water to more than 23 million people.

Langston works as the communications manager for WaterAid, and as a longtime poker player herself, she was hoping to find a way to merge the two to benefit the organization. Early in 2017, it happened.

“I had been looking for partnership opportunities for WaterAid for a few months,” Langston told PokerUpdate. “Since we do programmatic work with the One Drop Foundation, poker seemed like a good fit. The amazing folks over at Poker Players Unite were looking for a nonprofit organization recipient for a monthly series of online charity poker tournaments. The timing just happened to work out. It’s awesome to be able to promote the work we’re doing together to reach the 663 million people worldwide who lack access to clean water and the 2.4 billion people who don’t have a safe, private toilet.”

The next chance for New Jersey poker players to help is on Sunday, May 14. Look for the tournament before its 8pm start time to participate in a fun poker event that benefits a very good cause.

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer has been a freelance writer in the poker industry for a decade. She left a full-time job with the World Poker Tour to tell the stories of poker. She now lives in St. Louis, writes about poker while pursuing other varied interests, and speaks her mind on Twitter… a lot.