PokerGives makes donating easy for players

Mike Sexton

There are plenty of charities worth donating money to, but not everyone wants to take the time to search out a suitable organization and write out and send a check.

That's why PokerGives is making the process of giving simpler for poker players.

PokerGives is a nonprofit charitable organization administered through the Nevada Community Foundation of Las Vegas. It collects donations in order to redistribute them to selected charities.

The organization was founded by Lisa Tenner, Queens of Heart creator and founder; Mike Sexton, poker player and World Poker Tour commentator; Linda Johnson, poker player and writer; and Jan Fisher, tournament director and poker instructor.

" will act as a charitable vehicle to collect and redistribute donations from card rooms, fundraisers, poker players and special events," Sexton said.

The goal of the organization is to raise funds through the poker world to be donated to five mainstream charities - Special Olympics, Sunflower Children, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, American Cancer Society and Paralyzed Veterans of America.

"We believe our combined efforts will set new standards for charitable giving. Many poker players want to give to charity and don't know the best way to do so," Fisher said.

" will make it easy for them. All they have to do is send a check to PokerGives in care of the Nevada Community Foundation. The donations will be gathered and distributed to worthwhile charities."

The address for sending contributions is:

Poker Gives
c/o Nevada Community Foundation
300 South Fourth Street, Suite 1009
Las Vegas, NV 89101

Poker players can send in donations at any time, but they'll also have opportunities to take part in fundraising events to benefit PokerGives.

The first major event is scheduled in conjunction with the Women in Poker Hall of Fame Induction Celebration taking place June 5. A portion of Women in Poker Hall of Fame ticket sales, silent auction and live auction proceeds will benefit PokerGives.

Lupe Soto, founder of the Ladies International Poker Series, solicited the Women in Poker Hall of Fame board of directors to approve as the official charity for the celebration.

"I admire the founders of PokerGives so much that I jumped at the opportunity to be involved," Soto said.

Tenner said she hopes the Women in Poker Hall of Fame event will be the first of many major events to come offering poker players an opportunity to give to charity. Poker events such as Ante Up for Africa have shown that poker players are very generous when given the chance.

"If you create something for them, where they've got an opportunity to give, they'll participate," Tenner said. She also emphasized that people are more likely to give when it's easy for them, and PokerGives keeps the process very simple.

Donors aren't limited to PokerGives' selected charities either. Tenner said that participants in any of the organizations events can also ask that their money go to the charity of their choice and PokerGives will make sure it gets there.


"Poker players are a generous group," Johnson said. "There are so many people in need. If players and card rooms would pledge just one percent of their winnings and/or annual profits, the poker community would help in a big way. Our goal at PokerGives is to hold administrative costs to five percent or less so that a maximum amount of money can get to the charities."

Tenner said the organization is also hoping to team up with one of the major poker leagues or tours such as the World Series of Poker or the World Poker Tour to give players even more opportunities to donate.

Tenner said Barry Greenstein is known as "The Robin Hood of Poker" because he gives 100% of his tournament winnings to charity, but perhaps more players would follow his example if it were as simple as pledging a certain percentage of winnings at a tournament like a WSOP event.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring to life with the support of our friends, colleagues and families," Tenner said. "We know that one person can make a difference. We are on the forefront of cause-related marketing and in this case, it's all for charity."

For more information about the organization, visit


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