On Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, poker venues across the United States and Canada will take part in "Restock The Shelves," a poker initiative by Ante Up Magazine and Blue Shark Optics that encourages poker venues and players nationwide to help restock the shelves of their local food banks.
The initiative, which will see representatives of local food banks be on-site to collect donations of non-perishable food items, was the brainchild of Ante Up's Scott Long and Blue Shark Optics' Kerry Karoutsos. Initially designed as an annual online charity tournament, the two decided Restock The Shelves didn't need to be limited to the virtual felt. Instead, they chose food banks as a beneficiary to have a singular charitable effort spread across the country.
"The interest in Restock The Shelves, and the generosity of our participating properties, volunteers and sponsors is nothing short of heart-warming," Long told PokerNews. "This is the first year we've done this event, so we really had no idea what to expect, and when my inbox and voicemail box starting filling up with poker rooms wanting to be a part of it, it was validation that the endeavor was going to be a success right out of the gate. A number of properties have told that they would have participated if they had more lead time, so we fully expect the 2016 event to be even larger."
"We structured it in an effort to maximize participation from poker rooms, by not putting a lot of restrictions on what the rooms had to do to participate," Long continued. "We simply asked that they co-brand one of their existing tournaments as a Restock The Shelves event and allow representatives from a food bank in their local community to be on hand to collect donations from players who wish to donate. That's it. What happened is a number of our participating properties decided on their own to go above and beyond, and look for ways to make their events special and to encourage players to be generous. And that's been the best part of this for me - watching the creativity."
While expanding to brick-and-motrar properties, Restock The Shelves kept the online component and is offering two, completely legal, free online tournaments as part of the initiative.
"That means players anywhere in the world can be a part of this, even if they don't live close to one of our live venues," Long concluded. "Players who participate in those events are asked to make a donation on the honor system to Feeding America, which funnels those donations to the communities of the donors, which really ties the whole thing back into the ultimate goal - to benefit the communities where the donors come from."
Here are the cardrooms across the country and in Canada participating in “Restock The Shelves":
The 101 Casino
Benefiting Redwood Empire Food Bank
Event details: 6:30 p.m., $60 buy-in. Hold'em Radio will be broadcasting live.
Benefiting the Monterey County Food Bank
Event details: 6 p.m., $65 buy-in with one $60 rebuy and one $60 add-on.
Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort
Benefiting Interfaith Foodbank
Event details: 7 p.m., $50 buy-in for 4,000 units and a $2,000 guaranteed prize pool, and an additional 1,000 units for players logging one hour of live play before the event. Players who donated a non-perishable food item receive a $5 discount on the buy-in.
Benefiting Tri-Valley Haven
Event details: 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. $45 buy-in with $20 rebuys and add-ons and $1,000 guaranteed for first place. Players get an additional 1,000 units for making a donation of cash or a non-perishable food item.
Benefiting North Peninsula Food Pantry & Dining Center of Daly City
Event details: 9:30 a.m., $65 buy-in with one optional $50 rebuy. Lucky Chances is donating $10 for each player above whatever players donate on their own.
Red Hawk Casino
Benefiting Twin Banks Food Bank
Event details: 6:15pm; $60 buy-in for 5,000 units. Donation of money or non-perishable food items gets additional 1,000 units.
Cool Mule Poker
Benefiting the Thornton Food Bank
Event details: Noon Jan. 18 at 705 Ontario Poker, 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at Last Shot Bar & Grill ($20 gift certificate for the player who has made a $20 donation and knocks our Team Blue Shark Optics representative Steve Brydson) and 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at Wild Wing.
Benefiting the Salvation Army Oakville Community Church Food Bank
Event details: Events starting Jan. 10. Visit Georgetown Poker's website for details
Orangeville Poker Tour
Benefiting the Orangeville Food Bank
Event details: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16. Visit Orangeville Poker Tour's website for details
Foxwoods Resort Casino
Benefiting the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut
Event details: 11 a.m., $300 buy-in. All players who make a donation will be entered into a drawing for 10 seats into the $200 Super Satellite.
Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room
Daytona Beach, Florida
Benefiting the Jerry Doliner Food Bank
Event details: 12:30 pm. $65 buy-in for 5,000 units. Players making an optional $5 add-on for charity receive an additional 2,000 units. All players who make a cash or food donation will be entered into a raffle for prizes.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Benefiting charity Metropolitan Ministries
Event details: 1 p.m., $80 buy-in for 10,000 units. Optional $5 add-on for 2,000 units, and a donation of a canned food item gets players an additional 5,000 units. Knock out our Team Ante Up or Team Blue Shark Optics representatives and get a Derby Lane hat and jacket made by Poker Joker Gear. An Ante Up Poker Cruise package will be given away during the event, and the winner and a guest will get to ride on the 98Rock/Derby Lane float in the Gasparilla Parade on Jan. 31.
Tampa Bay Downs
Benefiting the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center
Event details: 1 pm. $30 buy-in PPC Tampa Bay Downs Winter Fest satellite and 7 p.m. PPC Tampa Bay Downs Winter Fest Event #2 $120 buy-in with a $5,000 guarantee. All players who make a cash or food donation will receive an additional 500 units for the 1 p.m. event and an additional 1,000 units for the 7 p.m. event.
Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf
Benefiting the River Bend Foodbank
Event details: Please note that this event takes place on Jan. 20 - 6 p.m. $45 buy-in for 4,000 units.
Coushatta Casino Resort
Benefiting Food Bank of Central Louisiana
Event details: 7 p.m., $20 buy-in that goes to charity for 500 units. $20 rebuys for 500 units and a $40 add-on for 4,000 units offered, as well as a $10 dealer appreciation for 1,000 units.
Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel and Casino
Bossier City, Louisiana
Benefiting Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana
Event details: 6:30 p.m., $65 buy-in with $40 rebuys. Players can double their starting stack with a donation of a non-perishable food item, and will be entered into a drawing for a $120 seat in an upcoming $5,000 guaranteed tournament.
Running Aces Card Club
Benefiting Family Pathways
Event details: 6 p.m. freeroll. Players start with 2,000 units and may purchase up to five, $10 add-ons for 5,000 additional units. An extra $5 add-on for an additional 3,000 units will be offered, with all proceeds benefiting Family Pathways.
Pearl River Resort Casinos
Benefiting the New Choctaw Baptist Association
Event details: 7 p.m., $35 buy-in with rebuys. Players may donate food items in the poker room between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. and receive an additional 1,000 units for their first donation, and one drawing ticket for each of up to five food donations. At 9 p.m., five winners will be drawn and each receive $100 in casino chips (one hour of cash-game play required to be eligible).
Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada
Benefiting charity Three Square
Event details: 9 p.m., $80 buy-in. 10,000 units, 20-minute levels, with $1,000 guaranteed to first and $400 guaranteed to second. Donations will be taken during all tournaments that day.
Bonfire Bar & Grill
Indian Trail, North Carolina
Event sponsored by 1 Move Poker
Benefiting Operation Reach Out
Event details: 7 p.m., $20 buy-in for 10,000 units. One rebuy and one add-on offered. Get an additional 5,000 units by donating two non-perishable food items.
Cherokee, North Carolina
Benefiting Manna Food Bank
Event details: 7 p.m., $60 buy-in, 3,000 units. Get 1,000 additional units for a donation. Chip Bully Poker is donating a $59.99 World Series of Poker Circuit qualifier entry.
Shark Tank Poker Club
Benefiting Mid-Ohio Foodbank
Event details: 7 p.m., $50 buy-in, no club fee. Players get 1,000 additional units for each donation of a food item, up to 10,000 additional units.
Benefiting Penndel Community Food Pantry
Event details: 7 p.m., $110 buy-in green-chip bounty.
Little Creek Casino Resort
Benefiting charity: To be announced
Event details: Please note that this event takes place on Thursday, Jan. 15 - 7 p.m., $55 buy-in. 5,000 units. Donate two cans of food and receive 500 bonus units.
Advanced Poker Training
Benefiting Feeding America
Event details: 8 p.m. Free to enter. All players are asked to make a donation to Feeding America via its website prior to the event. Prizes include one-year Advanced Poker Training Membership, Mike Caro Grand Power Poker package and an Advanced Poker Training t-shirt.
HogWild Poker Leagues
Benefiting Feeding America
Event details: 8 p.m. All players are asked to make a donation to Feeding America via its website prior to the event. Winner gets a laptop donated by HogWild Poker Leagues, and various prizes from our other sponsors will be awarded
For more information, click here.
*Lead photo courtesy of revelstokecurrent.com.