On Saturday, gaming streaming platform Twitch came alive with hordes of movie fans and poker fans who had tuned in to watch two large charity poker tournaments live-streamed. The tournaments were benefits for charities responding to the COVID19 crisis in the USA.
32 Player Heads Up – Hosted Run It Once Poker
The first MTT was a 32 player Heads-Up No Limit Holdem tournament played on poker site Run It Once Poker (which is owned by high-stakes poker legend Phil Galfond).
The game saw seasoned poker professionals go head-to-head with everyone else in the field to raise money for Charity GiveDirectly (an organization which helps families in need – with direct donations of cash). more than $30,000 was raised.
Poker philanthropist Dan Smith’s Double Up Drive charity pledged to match funds up to $250,000 for GiveDirectly. What an amazing gesture.
Celebrity Extravaganza – Hosted by Americas Cardroom
The site, a bitcoin poker room which is part of the Winning Poker Network donated $1,000,000 to the charity Feeding America. Players bought in for $10,000 – ALL OF WHICH WENT TO CHARITY.
Dubbed the “All-In for America Celebrity Poker Tournament”, and featuring huge A-list celebrity names like Ben Affleck, Tom Brady, Jason Bateman, Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Matt Damon (Rounders), Tobey Maguire (Spiderman!), Adam Sandler, Sarah Silverman, Adam Levine, and John Krasinski.
The tournament wasn’t just celebs though – many Philanthropic poker players joined the game too, such as Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth Jr.
The ACR Charity tournament had a total of 65 entries, totaling a prizepool of of $650K. (This came from 58 unique players – some of who made re-entries after busting their starting stacks).
Ebony Kenney Wins The big charity tournament, bragging Rights and has a cool story to tell
Congratulations to @Ebony_Kenney for taking down the event and bringing awareness to this great cause!!!
— Americas Cardroom (@ACR_POKER) April 11, 2020
Recent figures show a global five-year high in online poker play and players. with over 45,000 players playing poker online right now – an incredible 50% rise on the corresponding period in 2019. High profile charity tournaments such as this one as certain to bring more players into the game, via the huge mainstream media coverage they have been proven to bring.