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WSOP finalist pledges money to charity
The November Nine are still a couple months away from finishing off the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event, but one player is already making plans to give away some of his winnings.
Dennis Phillips, who will return for the final table with the chip lead, announced he plans to donate 1% of his tournament winnings to the Prevent Cancer Foundation's Bad Beat on Cancer fundraiser.
"I am thrilled to contribute a portion of my WSOP earnings to the Prevent Cancer Foundation," Phillips said.
"Charity involvement has always been an important part of my live, and hopefully more poker players and final table participants will follow suit in upcoming poker circuits like the European Poker Tour and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure."
PokerStars has taken up Phillips' challenge itself already, pledging to match his donation to the Foundation dollar-for-dollar.
Should Phillips take down first place in the Main Event, he will receive a payout of $9,119,517. His 1% plus the add-on from PokerStars would result in a donation of more than $182,000 to the Bad Beat on Cancer fundraiser.
"Dennis Phillips is a stand-up guy who brings a positive feeling to the WSOP final table," said Chris Moneymaker, 2003 WSOP Champion and Team PokerStars Pro.
"Most guys get to the final table and just see a big pile of money and a new life. Dennis is just happy to be playing poker and sees an opportunity to help others. His efforts are inspiring to the poker community and I'm excited to see how it all turns out in November."
The Bad Beat on Cancer fundraiser started in 2003 as a drive to help fund cancer research and prevention. Organizers asked their friends in the poker community to pledge 1% of their winnings at the WSOP Championship Event to the Prevent Cancer Foundation as a tax-deductible donation.
Since 2003, the Bad Beat on Cancer initiative has grown to include other major poker tournaments, home games and leagues, and has inspired some players to pledge for life.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation isn't the only thing Phillips is involved with. He is also active with a number of multiple sclerosis charities, which he got involved with when his brother was diagnosed with the disease.
PokerStars has spearheaded other charitable endeavors as well. Recently the poker site donated $51,000 to the Kentucky Hemophilia Foundation. It also gave Donald Hobbs, a young man with hemophilia, a chance to play in the 2008 WSOP Main Event with his idol, Chris Moneymaker.