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David Einhorn Pledges All $1M One Drop Winnings to Charity
If David Einhorn wins the $1 million Big One for One Drop at the WSOP he will donate over $18.3 million to a single charity, City Year.
Einhorn is the founder and President of Greenlight Capital, a hedge fund he started in 1996 with $900,000.
Since then Einhorn has been in the headlines for attempting to buy the New York Mets, as well as donating more than $659,000 in poker winnings to the Michael J. Fox Foundation when he finished 18th in the 2006 WSOP Main Event.
Now Einhorn is playing the world’s first $1 million buy-in event and he’s pledged all of his winnings to charity.
City Year is an organization operating in 23 cities around the US. It gives volunteers ages 17 to 22 the chance to spend one year as a mentor and tutor to youths in some of the least successful public schools in the country.
“Volunteers are acting as mentors and tutors and they’re greeting the students in the morning and saying goodbye to them at the end of the day,” Einhorn told PokerListings.com in Las Vegas.
“If the kids don’t show up they’re giving them a call and saying ‘Hey buddy where were you today’ which works a lot better when it’s coming from a 19-year-old.”
So while $111,111 of Einhorn’s buy-in has already been donated to One Drop, up to $18.3 million could go to City Year, depending on how deep he goes.
At time of publishing Einhorn was ninth in chips out of 16 players. Nine spots pay in the Big One for One Drop.
Follow the action live with our Big One for One Drop live updates.
Competition and Fundraising Big Motivators
David Einhorn has been playing card games his whole life and took bridge seriously in his college years. But it wasn’t until 2003 that he took up poker.
And, funnily enough, it was charity that provided his first poker experience.
“Sometime around 2003 or 2004 a friend of mine invited me to a charity tournament for a cause called ‘Math for America’ and I didn’t know a king-queen from a king-deuce but I played in it and had a fantastic time,” explained Einhorn.
“And then we decided to spend a year learning about poker and playing in a few small tournaments, have a few home games and read a few books.
"That led to us to come to Las Vegas to play the Main Event of the World Series of Poker at the end of the year and that was when I had that crazy run,” he said.
Einhorn made the final two tables of the 2006 Main Event, the biggest tournament in history. He cashed for $659k and donated it all to charity.
But poker is about more for Einhorn than just raising money for charity. It’s about competition.
And while Einhorn understands that his poker skills aren’t on par with some of the players in this event, he might have other edges that will help him in the Big One.
“I’m an extremely fortunate person,” he said. “I’m a money manager and I manage a rather good fund that generates a terrific income for me so I have to get into some pretty tough battles with nerves every day at my job at stakes that are way higher than what we’re dealing with here.”
“So for me it’s more that I love poker as a game because it gives me the opportunity to match wits with some very intelligent people and have a lot of fun doing it,” he said.
“I certainly don’t have the same card skill as most of these guys but at least I’ll have the edge as far as nerves,” he added.