Party Poker is the latest online poker room to dedicate time and effort to helping those affected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti earlier this month. At least 150,000 lives have been lost, though Haitian government officials are predicting as many as 300,000 people died as a result of the brutal natural disaster. Like Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, Party Poker could not stand by and do nothing in the face of such a tragedy, which is why it has organized a charity tournament to raise money for the people of Haiti.
The benefit tournament is set to take place online on Sunday February 7th. The buy-in is $50 + $5 with the entirety of the tournament fees going to charity. Party Poker will also be matching the registration fees, meaning $10 will go towards Haitian quake relief for every person in the event. The money will be going to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), a group of 13 humanitarian organizations in the UK. According to the DEC’s official website, they’ve previously raised £13 million for Darfur and other African humanitarian project, £60 million during its Asian Quake Appeal and an astonishing £390 million after a tsunami ravaged South East Asia in 2004. In the first week following the quake, the organization has already raised more than £42 million to go towards relief and rescue efforts.
Party Poker is hoping to make that number even bigger with its benefit tournament, which will feature a $25,000 guaranteed prize pool. For those who do not want to spend $50 on the event, the site will also be running daily satellites from now until the day of the big event. The tournament is scheduled to take place at 2:30PM ET on the 7th, so mark your calendars now to ensure you take part in an event with a good cause.
As mentioned, Party Poker is not the only online gaming site reaching out to the people of Haiti. Both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker created dummy tournament lobbies for players to donate money and the sites promised to match any and all donations. DoylesRoom donated all of the tournament fees it netted on January 20th and also matched bounty money generated in the site’s popular $50,000 guaranteed tournament. UB Poker also hosted a charity event last week.
Bodog Poker founder Calvin Ayre is trying to encourage those within the online gaming industry to donate as much as they can by promising to match donations from a number of online gaming groups. Ayre hopes to cut a check for $1 million to Oxfam following the affiliates’ convention in London on January 28th.
Even the players themselves have gotten involved. Top online poker pro David “Doc Sands” Sands led a group of players who pledged 5% of their Sunday online poker earnings to the cause and a group of players plan to do something similar at the upcoming Borgata Winter Poker Open in Atlantic City, New Jersey. There have already been several hundred thousand dollars raised throughout the online gambling world and it appears that number is going to continue to grow as concern for those affected by the earthquake continues to drive people to donate.

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