Pros Put Bad Beat on Cancer

Andy Bloch
Andy Bloch

Visit the 2010 WSOP Main Event and you’ll see numerous players wearing 1% Bad Beat on Cancer patches.

The Bad Beat on Cancer Initiative began as an idea between poker professionals Phil Gordon and Rafe Furst at the 2003 World Series of Poker event to fund cancer prevention research.

The pair had been raising money for the cause prior, but knew they had hit the jackpot when they came up with the idea to ask poker players to give one percent of their winnings to the foundation as a tax-deductable donation.

Since 2003, participation in the initiative has only grown and to date over $3.2 million has been raised for the Prevent Cancer foundation, proving just how charitable the poker community is.

Some of the more notable names on the pledge list this year include Phil Ivey, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Annie Duke, Chris Moneymaker, Andy Block, Phil Hellmuth, Adam Levy, Phil Gordon and Toby Maguire.

"Poker players lead very lucky lifestyles, so it is good to give back when you can," said Adam Levy, an accomplished Ultimate Bet pro.

It is clear many share Levy's generous outlook with 94 players already listed on the Prevent Cancer Foundation's pledge list.

"It's important for all of us to realize that there is a lot of people in unfortunate situations... a lot of us have relatives or might even have cancer ourselves," said Andy Bloch, Full Tilt pro and former member of the MIT blackjack team.

"I didn't go to school thinking I was going to be a poker player; I thought maybe I'd be an engineer or a lawyer. I wanted to help save the world and this is one way I can do that by still being a poker player."

Prevent Cancer's CEO Jan Bresch Mahrer mentioned how impressed she was with the players.

"I think it's terrific because poker players are not known for their philanthropic endeavors but in reality they are very philanthropic," she said. "They go out of their way for us."

Players at the 2010 World Series of Poker aren't the only one's contributing to this worthy cause. By building awareness through the use of social media tools, such as Twitter and MySpace, there are now weekly events on Full Tilt, home games and tournaments all benefitting the cause.

However, if you are looking to spot a do-gooder on the tournament floor who has already donated they're wearing a green 1% pledge badge.

With files from Crecia Page and Geoff Fisk

The 2010 WSOP continues through July 17. For comprehensive coverage of the WSOP tune in to PokerListings' Live Updates and News.

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