PokerGives: A Bright Side to Poker by Mike Sexton

We’ve seen that poker is a great platform to raise money for charitable events throughout the country.  I salute those players who help organize, put on, and participate in charitable poker tournaments.  I believe the time has come, however, to parlay those efforts where the “outside world” will see that poker can be a large contributor to worthwhile charities.  Thus, Linda Johnson, Jan Fisher, Lisa Tenner, and I created PokerGives in an effort to unify the poker community in this effort.

PokerGives is a charitable organization set up to benefit worthwhile charities and it’s done through the poker community.  The founders don’t make a dime and we expect 95% of all contributions to go directly to the charities we support.  Right now, we are supporting four charities, all very special to our hearts:  Paralyzed Veterans of America, Special Olympics, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, and Step by Step Foundation.

With the support of players, card rooms, industry leaders, and the poker media, the poker world has an opportunity to make a significant difference to the lives of many and bring a well-deserved positive outlook on poker and the poker world.  Even those who oppose gambling and/or poker will take a step back and say, “Hey, those poker people are all right.  They’re contributing a lot of money to worthwhile charities.”

Most of us take our health and our freedoms for granted.  I wish every person, young and old, could go to a VA Hospital such as Walter Reed and see the paralyzed veterans, those who have been paralyzed as a result of serving in the Armed Forces to protect our freedoms.  I promise you that visit will impact you forever, change your thinking about life, and make you a better person.  The Intrepid Fallen Heroes have made the ultimate sacrifice for us, and their families have suffered. We can help them.

If you’ve never gotten involved or been to a Special Olympics event, do so.  It’s something you should put on your “bucket list,” especially those blessed with healthy children.  It truly is a moving experience.  Step by Step is an organization providing for the underprivileged children of the world.  Think how lucky you were to be born where you were.

The people who volunteer their time and money and those who work with these charities are special people.  To me, they are walking angels.  Through PokerGives, the poker world now has an opportunity to get involved, help these wonderful charities, and do it by doing what we love to do, playing poker.

September has been designated as PokerGives month.  Card rooms from across the country are holding PokerGives charity events where 50% of the prize money goes to PokerGives.  This is the first-ever PokerGives month and about 25 card rooms have signed up!  Please go to to see when and where you can play in a PokerGives charity event.

We are so grateful for the card rooms that are supporting PokerGives and we’re hopeful that poker players everywhere come out and play in these events.  In addition, Poker Nation is hosting an online PokerGives tournament on Full Tilt on September 19th.  I guarantee you that if you play in a PokerGives event and get knocked out, you’ll still feel good because you helped out one of these worthwhile charities.

Winners of all PokerGives events will be put into a drawing and could win a number of prizes.  And the card room that hosted whoever wins the drawing will get a free seminar at their card room from Linda, Jan, and me.

We’re off to a good start with PokerGives and are excited about September, PokerGives Month.  A sincere “thank you” to all of the supporting card rooms and the players who play.  The potential of what we can do as an industry in charitable contributions through PokerGives is awesome.

Looking down the road, my dream would be to see all tournament players contribute 1% of their prize money to PokerGives and every card room and online site host PokerGives tournaments.  Can you imagine how much money we could raise for these charities if that happened?  By supporting Poker Gives, you’ve got the chance to make a Royal Flush in the game of life.


Mon, August 30th, 2010

Related Poker News:

Poker slang:

  • STRAIGHT FLUSH - A hand consisting of 5 cards in sequence and the same suit.
  • FLAT CALL - To call a bet. Emphasizes that the caller did not raise.
  • MARKED CARDS - Cards that have been (illegally) altered so that their value can be read from the back.
  • TABLE STAKES - A standard rule whereby during a hand players can only bet the money they have on the table. If the bet to a player is more than the player's stack, that player may call with all his chips and be eligible to win only that portion of the pot he contributed to equally. A side pot is created, for which only the remaining players may compete.
  • PASSED OUT. - A hand in which nobody opens. What happens next is a function of the game being played.
  • EVEN-MONEY - A bet that pays off exactly the amount wagered. E.g., "Double or nothing" is an even-money bet.
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