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Liv Boeree and German high-stakes poker pros Phil Gruissem and Igor Kurganov have founded a new charity to promote humanitarian aid within the poker world. Gruissem and Kurganov have been advocates of the Effective Altruism movement for some time and are now putting that concept into practice by helping poker players donate their money to effective, efficient charities. All three of these poker players have won huge sums of money playing poker but they all say there were still lacking a sense of fullfilment. They suggest that any poker player at any level can make a positive difference in the world and be happier by engaging in philanthropy. Check out the video to hear why these three poker pros are so excited by this new project and keep watching PokerListings.com for the latest news and video from the 2014 World Series of Poker.
Liv: I'm just really excited because, through effective altruism, we found a way to marry being successful at poker and actually making a positive contribution to the rest of the world.
Igor: So, altruism is about the concern for the welfare of others. And effective altruism just puts in the goal of business, or a mathematical mindset, where looking to be the most effective. So, it means that we want to have the highest impact for the resources that we can put in to it.
Phillip: Yeah. I think, especially as a poker player, it's easier for us to judge those things because we think a lot about things like the expected value. What do we get out of this? How do we do that? Strategy. And it's kind of a strategy involved in this. We want to do something good, but we want to do it smart and in the best way.
Liv: A lot of people, myself included, we want to give, charitably, but we don't know where to give to. REG, which stands for Raising for Effective Giving, is a charity that Phil, Igor, and I helped create. And basically our goal is to get poker players who are often winning large amounts of money, sometimes regularly, sometimes irregularly, to think about giving back charitably to these highly effective charities.
Igor: If you just notice that you're helping others a lot with what you're doing, then you will always feel better about everything that you do. And I was lucky enough to find that out after four years. People who climbed the normal career ladder found that out after 20, 30 years. And it's just incredible how much you can help with so little that you have to give away for that.