From Online Poker to Live Charity Poker Tournament

When on the online poker treadmill, seeing things when sleep deprived is one thing (see last post), but I know a lot of players that struggle with the raison d'etre of a poker player. True like any other gig you are chasing the dollar, and if you really step far enough back, your pursuit of that dollar and your winning of that dollar costs somebody else that dollar--there's really few jobs with the moral high ground as long as somebody else desires that job.

In that respect poker is no different than any other job just more immediate and more direct. You could argue, in other pursuits, you win the dollar that is up for grabs where poker consists of you taking it from somebodies stack (or pocket). Even tournament poker there is an ebb and flow of cash that is more in your face than traditional jobs.

So naturally. it feels good to play poker for charity especially tournament poker. There were times where I wished I knew more people that would volunteer for a charity tournament or would play in one to help friends of mine. We know a friend who has battled and hopefully bested cancer and we had thoughts about throwing one in his benefit. I think the only reason we didn't was we wanted to see how things went. I figured we'd only be able to pull it off once (if at all) so we wanted to save it until it was really needed. Currently, with another friend that is something we want to save as an ace in the hole should things worsen.

That's the thing about charity is we seem to give in certain spots, a specific time of the year, an annual fund, or immediately after a great calamity like Haiti. Some people will do it once and then feel guilt free about declining to give again, even if the need is more pressing. I'm an advocate of charitable giving, I wish I could give more, or in regards to those friends been able to give enough to eradicate the problems.

Let's say you are a selfish person, here's my one appeal to you, I think even the selfish benefit from charitable giving. Some selfish reasons: 1. You feel better about yourself. 2. Good karma. 3. When you are willing to help someone else out more likely someone will help you out down the line. 4. If you are religious or a moral atheist you are compelled to do it by faith or by logic.

Okay... that was a weird tangent. On Friday, Joe C and I headed to Lafayette to participate in the Acadiana Poker Series to benefit the Lafayette, United Way. I hope those of you on our email list and that read our site regularly braved the weather for the cause. I got to meet my contact there, Mary Arton, for the first time when I registered and she was just as nice in person as she has been in email.

Gene D, David Anderson, David Spicer and Derrick Sonnier were also in attendance as well as a number of other friends of GCP. It wasn't a particularly memorable night in terms of poker for any of us. The play was just south of awful and the must be over by midnight mandate meant faster than doubling blind structure. Not much in the way of poker strategy there. Though the rationales these guys would verbalize for making a decision were unreal and worth the price of admittance. Then when the whole table agreed in unison with the most backasswards logic you got to wonder if you are the only person who can see Gurple (again refer to last blog post).

Last year, the event made it to over 500 players. This year the foul weather might have knocked it down to 300. We were a little late in promoting it and we wish we could have done more. I also noticed that the rebuys were a little more subdued, perhaps an effect of the economy.

Still as always a first class event by the Small Town Poker Tour, the volunteers from ULL, and from all the supporting partners like Chevron and the rest. I think Joe C out of the New Orleans group lasted the longest. Spicer was still in the event when we left hoping to duplicate his final table (3rd place) finish of last year. It was great to see him again. Really should be more than a yearly event, he's a funny man, but duck hunting has kept him out of the casinos. When I busted I had played two to three hands and that was it, but unlike most tournaments I didn't get unhappy as I headed to the rail.

After the tournament Dave A, Derrick S, and Joe C and I all dined at a classy little Italian restaurant nearby. Being a life nit I got the $8 spaghetti but it was terrific. Yes, I did say classy and that it had an $8 spaghetti (and meatballs!), the rest of the entrees ranged up to $30. I-Minelli's I think it was called. Dave and Derrick shared a lot of laughs and we had a good time. I hope if you are reading this and you didn't make it to the tournament you consider going next year. Might be good to get out of the house and do something positive for once.


Emma Nicolson said…
Charity should be a way of life and definitely you feel better and light hearted after charity.

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