The poker world has a long history of charitable giving but in recent years, more and more young poker pros have made an extra effort to contribute something meaningful to society.
Of those who have made the decision to "give back to the world," many have done so through donating a percentage of their wins to the Raising for Effective Giving (REG) charity.
REG is an organization co-founded by poker pros Phil Gruissem, Igor Kurganov and Liv Boeree that's dedicated to Effective Altruism - meaning maximizing the benefits to at-risk populations via the most effective donations.
888poker has jumped in to the cause as well and, this year alone, generated $100k in contributions to REG via tournament fees collected during the XL series.
888poker Directs XL Funds to Combat Malaria
For the inaugural XL Inferno tournament series back in March, 888poker decided to raise money for REG so declared it would donate all the fees from three major tournaments of said series.
That generated $50,400. During the following XL Eclipse series 888poker repeated that initiative with another three events for charity and gathered another $40,825.
So, with just a few online poker tournaments, 888poker managed to collect almost $100k and contributed it directly to the Against Malaria Foundation, which is one of the institutions REG supports.
And if you’re wondering what they money went to, in the case of the AMF it was something as simple as mosquito nets.
That might not sound like much, but every year more than 700,000 people die from malaria and a mosquito net costs but $2.50.
With the money raised by 888poker during the XL series, almost 40,000 people can be provided with mosquito nets -- meaning that they can protect themselves and their children, the most vulnerable victims of this disease, for the next 2-3 years.
888poker Collaborates with REG
REG was founded in 2014 and has since raised more than $3 million for its various causes. Its founders mentioned above, along with Stefan Huber, have all committed to an ongoing donation of a percentage of their winnings.
Since, many others have joined. If you check the REG website their main ambassadors are listed as WSOP champion Martin Jacobson, Erik Seidel, Cate Hall, Justin Bonomo, Christopher George, George Danzer and John Juanda.
All of these personalities are involved in all sorts of charitable activities, some of which are directly connected to poker and thus easily accessible for the poker community.
This summer, for example, Liv and Igor won the Tag Team event at the WSOP. The teams were allowed to have four members so there were four bracelets for the winning team.
Liv and Igor put the two spare bracelets on eBay and collected a sales price of $10,200. That’s $10k for charity that didn’t hurt anybody, didn’t cost anybody anything and didn’t even involve any work.
Phil Gruissem once told PokerListings that being a poker player and putting his talent to work making money through the game was the way he was 'most useful' in the world. He also compared it to one of the teachings of Buddhism.
“Buddhism says giving will make you happy. I agree with that a lot.”
You Can Contribute, Too
If you play on 888poker you can also support these kinds of important and effective charitable institutions just by playing.
The next XL series - the XL Blizzard series starting in January - will have more REG Chip In events which you can play and contribute your fees to a great cause.
Create your own 888poker account by downloading the software securely from PokerListings’ 888poker review page. You'll have an account up and running within a few minutes and get access to our exclusive $888 bonus.