Seeing Poker in a Different Light

Enhancing sports fundraisers through poker

Sports stopped being a merely about the competition a long time ago. Today, sports activities are carried out by a brotherhood of men who don’t only contend with each other, but also support charities and youth organizations in need.

Athletes and organizers of basketball, baseball, football, and even extreme sports such as BMX and kite surfing all regularly play games and hold events for charity. While all sports fundraisers generally raise good amounts of money, there are some that still do better than others. Their secret? Including an element of poker in their events, appealing to a wider audience and increasing participation immensely.

Since poker is the most popular mind sport on Earth, it’s no surprise how it can help boost a fundraiser’s efficiency. After all, millions of people play poker, whether professionally or just to pass the time, and charity organizers have found that poker-playing crowds are great participants in fundraisers. Retired NBA star Allan Houston regularly conducts poker charity events for the benefit of his foundation, which supports single fathers and entrepreneurship programs. He was once able to raise a whopping $250,000 – something made possible through the integration of poker games.

Apart from charities, there are also sports organizations that use poker in order to help youth programs. For example, the NFL Alumni Association once held a poker tournament in order to benefit Bolder Options, an organization that focuses on youth development. Several NFL stars like Darrell Thompson and Marion Barber took part in the tournament. By the end of the event, the stars and their supporters were able to raise $20,000.

In addition to supporting charities and youth programs, poker is also useful as a channel for connecting sports communities together. On one occasion, Betfair.com’s marketing manager of online poker Asko Heiskanen enlisted the help of other people to raise funds for the hospitalization of poker celebrity Thor Hansen. The call for help was quite successful, and the sports community was able to contribute financially to Hansen’s cancer treatment.

With such positive feats, poker is now being seen in a different light. It’s not only a game where everyone tries to bluff each other for the sake of winning big. Today, poker makes everyone a winner by allowing people to do good for their community, and provide relief to those who are in need, all while enjoying a game of poker.