Posts Tagged ‘Creating Organ Donation Awareness (CODA)’

Vinny the GrinderBy The Grinder

I spent Thanksgiving at my friend Kenny’s house for a home-cooked delicious Thanksgiving meal. Initially, I was getting ready to reach his house in the evening, because that is exactly how I used to spend Thanksgiving in Texas, at Paul ‘My House My Rules’ Marvin’s house. We all gathered to watch the Big 12 Longhorns vs Aggies game, warmed up near Paul’s backyard fireplace, drinking and eating till we could eat no more. However, I guess it’s a little different here in the Midwest. In any case, I am looking forward to a day of, or should I say, another day of indulgence. Today, however, I decided to pay a tribute to some really charitable poker players.

Charitable Poker Players

Let’s start with Daniel ‘Kid Poker’ Negreanu who donated 20 poker tables, 40 decks of cards and 200,000 poker chips to a tournament in the name of Adam Pulling, who died of cancer in 2004. Adam was a Michigan State University student, and this was great gesture by the Kid. He did win the WSOP Player of The Year in 2004, and this was indeed a great way to give back. Our next Poker Robin Hood is Jennifer Harman, who has had both her kidneys replaced by way of organ donation. Jen is heavily involved in charitable causes related to organ donation, and formed Creating Organ Donation Awareness (CODA) in 2004.

Phil Ivey raised $260,000 to support underprivileged children in 2008 organizing and playing in a tournament. Let’s face it—if you have world-class poker celebrities playing in your tournaments then everyone wants to be in. This is a great way to raise funds and I think a lot of casinos should do this more often. The best part about Ivey’s charity is that he likes to keep it hush, and never publicizes it. In fact, Victor Ramdin, who was Ivey’s Protege, donates a lot of his prize winnings to his home country Guyana, providing dental and educational services and funds for underprivileged Africans.

Lastly, we have our most famous Poker Robin Hood, Mr. Barry Greenstein, who donates both his poker winnings and losses to charity. It’s hard to imagine how spiritual one can be. He has a PhD in Mathematics, and who knows, maybe being intelligent has got something to do with being charitable. If you want to start your poker charity, today is a good day to begin! www.pokergives.org, is a site started by Lisa Tenner, and you can find a lot of ways to be involved in poker charity through this website.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

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