Poker News!

Recent poker news!

Charitable Poker

People are motivated to give to good causes.  Billions of dollars are donated every year to a vast list of charitable organizations and individuals in need.  Poker is fast becoming a vehicle through which large sums of money are raised. 

Poker Raises Money for Charity

At one time, when we thought about playing casino games for charity, our thoughts immediately went to bingo.  That’s not the case anymore!  Poker for charity is becoming a big thing.  Poker may be a hard-fought battle when you’re playing for yourself but it softens up considerably when you play poker for charity.

Donate Some of Your Winnings

Of course, you don’t have to be like Scott Wellenbach, who has been donating his winnings from poker to charity since 2010.  Whether you play poker online or at a land-based casino, you can simply decide to donate a specific percentage of your winnings to your favorite charity.

Let’s see some of the recent newsworthy items from the world of poker for charity.

Scott Wellenbach

He is not exactly the stereotypical Buddhist.  He came to Buddhism as a young man and today, at the age of 67, he participates in poker tournaments and donates his winnings to charity.  Ironically, he learned to play poker at a much younger age than when he converted to Buddhism.

Although he knew how to play poker, he didn’t start playing tournament poker until 2010 when he won an online poker tournament.

He recently won over $600,000 at a tournament and promptly donated all the winnings.  As he says, “Being a practitioner of Buddhism we sit around and meditate a lot—and that’s free.”

Scott Wellenbach says that he meditates at least one hour every day but when he participates in a poker tournament he needs to meditate more.  He says that there is so much craziness at poker tournaments that he needs the support that meditation gives him to stay centred and focused.  As he says, “My personal discipline waxes and wanes.”

Hants, Nova Scotia

Hants County, Nova Scotia is a small place with a musty rural population of about 40,000.   It is on the northern edge of Nova Scotia so Americans driving up the Atlantic Coast from Boston could pass it right by.

A woman named Cherie MacDonald recently received some much-needed charity from her fellow poker players who donated all of the proceeds from a friendly neighborhood evening of poker to Ms. MacDonald who is undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer.

A fellow named Brian Rolfe organized the poker evening that was attended by about 25 players.  Cherie MacDonald isn’t the only one in Hants County to benefit from charitable poker.  As Rolfe explained, “She’s going through chemo right now for brain cancer.   We do this every month for somebody who is in need.”  In fact, the local charitable poker nights started only two months ago but the organizers have every intention of keeping them going as long as there are people and families in need.

Cherie MacDonald has a special place in the hearts of the people who played for her.  She has organized fundraising events herself, so many of the people in attendance at her poker night felt that they owed her a debt of gratitude and charitable poker was one way to extend it.


This American state is best known for amazing National Parks and the world’s largest Mormon community.  Mormons are known for their tithing by which they donate 10% of their income to charity.  Giving doesn’t seem to hold the Mormon people back financially; the ethnic group in the United States with the highest per capita percentage of millionaires is the Mormon community.

So, it comes as no surprise that two small towns in southern Utah, Brian Head and Duck Creek, are holding a snowmobile poker ride.  The money raised will benefit the Iron County Care and Share.

The Care and Share runs a homeless shelter and a food pantry among other activities.  It is located in Cedar City which is just west of two magnificent National Parks: Zion and Bryce.

Las Vegas

The Ante4Autism charity poker tournament was held in January in Las Vegas.  This was the 11th year for the charity tournament which has raised over $1,000,000 for autism awareness and for the many household and personal items that autistic people and their families need.  The amount of money raised has increased every year.

This is a different kind of charity event since it is based in Las Vegas, a far cry from Hants County, Nova Scotia. Nevertheless, the cause is good and the money raised helps out many families with an autistic child or adult.

Autism affects an individual’s ability to communicate.  This can create a huge financial drain on the family, as autistic people may need round-the-clock aid.  

The special guest speaker at this year’s Ante4Autism was a 21-year-old autistic adult, Jackson McQuiston.  He spoke about how some autistic people can live satisfying and healthy lives.  He works at Home Depot in his native state of Virginia and is studying to become a welder.  A true inspiration!

The Future of Charitable Poker

The future of poker for charity lies in two factors: the increasing popularity of poker and the increasing affluence of millions and even billions of people around the world.

Charitable bingo lost many players because bingo was an older person’s pastime.  Poker draws from all age groups, both genders, and every ethnic group.  So, it makes sense that as poker reaches millions through online poker rooms such as Intertops, and as the world’s population becomes more and more affluent, poker will become a source for fun and generous charity events.