Neymar Jr., the star soccer player from Brazil, became PokerStars’ brand ambassador in May 2015, and the first thing he did as the brand ambassador was to host a charity poker tournament as a side event of the Brazilian Series of Poker (BSOP), which is currently being played in Sao Paulo. The aim of this charity poker tournament is to raise funds for the Neymar Jr. Institute, a charity started by the soccer star.
The event attracted a field of over 80 players and included as many as 40 re-buys before it reached conclusion. Among those who participated were professional poker players from Brazil such as Felipe Ramos and Andre Akkari. Although Neymar Jr. was eliminated, the smile did not fade from his face as he knew that he had raised as much as $100k for the poor people of Sao Paulo. Moreover, it was time for him to head over to Barcelona, where he was scheduled to undergo some pre-season training.
Charity poker tournaments enjoy a great deal of popularity, especially as they have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to not only raise funds for worthy causes, but also promote the game of poker. One of the most popular sports stars who use poker to raise funds for charity is Tiger Woods. He hosts an annual poker event called Tiger Jam, which many in the community consider to be a big party in Las Vegas. This year, a large number of wealthy people such as Ed Sheeran and Mark Cuban took part in the event, raising as much as $1 million for Tiger Woods Foundation, a charity founded by Tiger Woods.
Guy Laliberte, a Canadian of French origin, is yet another billionaire who has used charity poker to raise funds for charity. He is the creator of the WSOP One Drop tournaments, which have successful raised more than $2 million for the One Drop Foundation, an organization that strives to provide safe drinking water to people all over the world.
Phil Hellmuth, a poker pro who has won 14 WSOP bracelets in the course of his career, has also worked hard to raise funds for a wide range of worthy causes. Thanks to his charity poker activities, well-known charities such as All In for Kids, Habitat for Humanity, and Doctors without Borders have benefited.
Hellmuth says: “Giving to charity makes me feel great about winning big and setting records…increases my own sense of entitlement.”