One of the more refreshing things that have happened since the poker 'boom' started early in this decade is the philanthropic efforts that have developed. The World Series of Poker chose poker professional Phil Gordon's charity drive 'Put A Bad Beat On Cancer' (for the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation) as its featured charity for the run of the 2005 tournaments and has selected NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon's charitable foundation as its featured cause for the 2006 renewal of the event. In addition, there are many other tournaments that happen around the world which raise money to benefit many worthwhile causes.
In the online poker world, that same beneficial heart has been shown through a variety of tournaments at many different sites. From relief efforts for the tsunami victims of Asia in late 2004, aid for the devastated areas of the Gulf Coast from the 2005 hurricane season in the United States, to smaller benefits to assist popular online poker players who have fallen ill, rounders will often speak with their wallet and get into these tournaments to show support for a cause or to help the less fortunate. Now an online poker site has been specifically set up for such philanthropic endeavors.
BenefitPoker.org was created with the distinct reason of raising funds for many deserving organizations. While the events have buy-ins, the tournaments usually offer a range of excellent cash outs or prizes and the money collected from the players goes to benefit the efforts of a wide range of organizations. The site is a part of the Excapsa Poker Network, which counts Ultimate Bet as its premier poker site, and has the support of the members of Team UB. European poker champion David "The DevilFish" Ulliot, American poker legends Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke and Antonio Esfandiari and online poker great Jim "KrazyKanuck" Worth participate in some of the charitable events for many fine organizations.
Such groups as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis, Junior Achievement, the Arthritis Society and many more have all had tournaments at the site to raise funding for research into various afflictions and to assist young people in today's volatile world. Another tournament for a very deserving cause will be coming up next Sunday which should allow poker to once again show its heart.
On May 7th at 3:40PM (Eastern Time), BenefitPoker will have a tournament to benefit the efforts of the American Stroke Association. The tournament has a buy-in of $25, with $15 going into the prize pool and $10 going to the ASA for research into the causes of strokes, which unfortunately affect many persons and families throughout the world today. It should be a popular tournament and it is possible that many poker professionals will be playing the event, providing a strong test of poker skills while helping out a very deserving cause.
For players who already have accounts with UltimateBet, you can download the BenefitPoker software and use your UB information to participate in the tournament. For those that are interested in helping out worthy causes and haven't looked the site over yet, be sure to visit benefitpoker.org for more information on the concept of the site and the charities that benefit from the tournaments. We'll keep you updated on the American Stroke Association charity poker tournament and we will also be sure to learn more about BenefitPoker in the near future.