Poker Pros Turn Borgata Tournaments Into Harvey Fundraising Drive

Poker Pros Turn Borgata Tournaments Into Harvey Fundraising Drive

Asher Conniff and WSOP Main Event Champ Scott Blumstein are just some of the New Jersey players pledging some of their Borgata winnings to Harvey relief.

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Almost 50 poker players are trying to turn one of the biggest East Coast poker events of the year into a big opportunity for charitable fund raising as well.

A group of poker players are each pledging five percent of their earnings at the upcoming Borgata Poker Open series to Hurricane Harvey relief in Texas. At time of writing, 45 players are signed up, but the hope is to hit at least 50 players before all is said and done. Even if you are not making the trip to Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, you can still contribute.

Asher Coniff sparked interest on social media

When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas earlier this month, New Jersey poker pro Asher Conniff took to Twitter to try and make a difference. He started by auctioning off a percent of his action in the Borgata Poker Open’s first event. The winning amount would then go to Harvey relief.

Victor Ramdin won the auction for 10 percent of Conniff’s $500 buy-in with a bid of $225. Poker pro Melissa Burr agreed to match the winning bid, while pro Luke Vrabel agreed to donate as well.

Seeing the interest his auction generated, Conniff posted this sortly afterwards:

Other players quickly chimed in that they would do the same. In order to keep track of everyone, organizers even put together a website where people can pledge.

Some of the notables taking part in the charity drive include:

  • Jesse Cohen
  • Mike Wang
  • Jared Griener
  • Katie Stone
  • Blake Bohn
  • Victor Ramdin
  • Melissa Burr

One very big name on the list is reigning WSOP Main Event champion Scott Blumstein. He appears to be already stepping up when it comes to serving as a good poker ambassador.

It is interesting to note that a large number of the players on this list have no ties to Texas. They are New Jersey or Pennsylvania players who simply wanted to do something to help. While poker gets a bad rap sometimes as a degenerate gambling game, this is the latest example of how giving they can be.

Will there be equal support for Hurricane Irma?

One place many East Coast players have ties is Florida. Atlantic City and South Florida are arguably the biggest poker spots on that side of the country. Many players divide their time traveling between the two regions.

Several poker events in Florida, like WPT Deepstacks, were cancelled in advance of the hurricane. Perhaps because Irma has not hit yet, the fundraising efforts remain focused on Harvey and Houston, where people are trying to return to normal after the storm.

Knowing how important Florida is to the poker world, it is safe to assume someone will organize a similar effort in the coming weeks.