Up to 50,000 people may have perished as a result of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit the island nation of Haiti earlier this week. In addition, three million citizens may have been displaced, or nearly one-third of the country’s population. Now, the world’s largest online poker sites have rallied to help raise money for the victims of the natural disaster. In addition, several members of PocketFives.com have offered to donate 10% of their Sunday profits to charity.
Full Tilt Poker is offering “Aid for Haiti” poker tournaments in which the rake collected in each event will be donated to charities benefiting the earthquake’s victims. In addition, Full Tilt will match the amount of the juice, sending even more funds to Haiti. The site has also created “Aid for Haiti No Play” tournaments. These allow players to donate without having to compete on the virtual felts and, as was the case with the traditional tournaments, Full Tilt will match all funds donated. Finally, Full Tilt has created a player account named “Aid for Haiti.” You can make a direct transfer of at least $5 to this user name and Full Tilt will match it. PocketFives.com has confirmed the legitimacy of this account.
Over on PokerStars, all funds raised for Haitian earthquake victims will go directly to the Red Cross. In the PokerStars lobby, head to “Tourney” and “Special” and then enter one of the “Haiti Earthquake Relief” tournaments. These are no-play events and PokerStars will match funds raised dollar-for-dollar. Like Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars has created a user account named “Haiti Fund” to accept incoming player transfers. The opportunity to donate via PokerStars is available through January 31st.
Cake Poker, another USA-friendly online poker site, is allowing its customers to donate to earthquake victims by establishing three “holding tanks” whose donations will go to the American Red Cross. Three donation amounts are available – $5, $25, and $100 – and Cake Poker will equal all funds raised. Information found on Cake Poker’s website reads, “Remember, there will be no actual poker playing involved, these are strictly for donation purposes. The donation tournaments are currently up and open for registration in the Cake Poker Tournament Lobby and will run until midnight ET on January 31.”
DoylesRoomis donating rake from Wednesday’s running of the Bounty Tournament to charity. In addition, the site will match the juice dollar-for-dollar. A variety of celebrities are expected to turn out for the Haiti Relief Bounty Tournament, including Mickey Rourke, Nicky Hilton, and Kevin Connolly. DoylesRoom will match all bounty money won and, for every first-time player in the field, DoylesRoom will ship another $27.50 to charity. The online poker site regularly refunds a first-time Bounty player’s buy-in, win or lose.
Meanwhile, several members of the PocketFives.com community have gotten in on the action. The top player in the Online Poker Rankings, David Doc SandsSands (pictured at right), pledged 10% of his profits on Sunday up to $10,000 for the victims of the quake. Sands explained, “Please recognize how lucky we all are and join me in giving something back if you can afford to do so.” Sands pledged to give at least $250 to charity, even if his Sunday proved to be unprofitable.
Ranked player Ryan gutshtallin Welch (pictured at left) agreed to the same terms as Sands, promising to donate 10% of his profits up to $10,000. Paul badpab2 Foltyn, from the United Kingdom, decreed that he’d be in as well. Recent Triple Crown winner Felipe improved Montenegro, who hails from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in Costa Rica, noted, “I am in same % as Doc's. Good idea and I hope everyone joins in so we can help. As Doc said we are so fortunate to be able to dot his for a living and 1k for us is nothing compared to what it would do for this poor people. Gl all.” Others who will be in on the action this Sunday include Jake jet5087 Toole and Triple Crown winner JLizard.
Visit our official thread in Poker Discussion outlining the online poker sites’ relief efforts.