Everyone, it seems, has been touched by the crisis in Haiti. It’s hard to watch the television coverage of the devastation and not feel a desire to do something, to give money, to give something. The people behind two of the major hitters in the online poker world felt the same way and have done much to help with the suffering.
Poker Stars (www.pokerstars.com) and Full Tilt (www.fulltiltpoker.com) both organized tournaments that allowed players to use their poker playing hobby to donate money to the relief efforts in Haiti. Players could do this in two ways – either by letting players play in tournaments and donate money through their personal poker room accounts at the poker sites, or by allowing them to transfer money directly from their personal accounts to “funds for Haiti”.
The use of the site’s poker “pros” has also helped relief efforts. Many of the site’s pros (and poker pros who are known for their play in worldwide – and not just online – tournaments) took to their Twitter accounts to encourage players to donate their money to various relief efforts. Within days, the poker community had responded. Some PokerStars players, in fact, donated more than $1,000 each.
Poker Stars plans to continue its efforts through the end of January, while Full Tilt is continuing its efforts through the week, at least.
Poker players and others can also donate easily from their cell phones, by texting “Haiti” to 90999. Ten dollars will be added to the user’s cell phone bill and sent to the Red Cross for relief efforts. Through Sunday, more than $6 million had been raised this way.