Poker is a game that is typically synonymous with winning money, usually lots and lots of money. While there certainly is big money in many games of poker, philanthropy is also a major part of poker at the professional level.
That is something that can be seen by the amount of money for the One Drop campaign at this year’s World Series of Poker. Over $1.32 million was raised during the event for the charity, which was started in 2007 by businessman and poker player Guy Laliberté.
One Drop aims to develop “integrated, innovative projects with an international scope, in which water plays a central role…” The organisation has spearheaded projects all over the world including Burkina Faso, India, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua.
A total of $1.08 million was raised from the part proceeds of two WSOP tournaments dedicated to the One Drop organisation. They were the $111,111 ONE DROP High Rollers tournament, won by Tony Gregg, and the Little One for ONE DROP event, which was won by Brian Yoon.
The rest of the funds were raised through a campaign throughout the event known as the ‘All in for ONE DROP’ campaign. Poker players gave part of their winnings at the WSOP to the campaign, which led to a little under a quarter of a million dollars being raised.
Mr Laliberté expressed his delight at the amount of money donated and said that the successful campaign was highly indicative of the desire of poker players to do something meaningful through the game.
“I am thankful to WSOP for their dedication and to the poker community for their generosity, he said. “The real winners are the people for which ONE DROP will provide access to safe water. Together we have shown the world once again how giving the poker community is and that the ripple effect continues on.”
What the total amount of money raised shows is that the poker community are certainly aware of their privileged positions and have commendably taken it upon themselves to positively contribute to the world. It is a fully genuine undertaking as seen by the relatively small publicity it has received in the mainstream media.
Although members of the poker community could raise their voices at initiatives such as these, it just isn’t the poker way to do things. That is what makes poker a great game; the fact that players can do what they love best, help out the world while doing it and not make a song and dance about it.
They deserve to be proud of themselves.