There are many reasons I'm proud to call the people of PokerStars my friends. This is one of them.
A window popped up on my computer screen Wednesday. It was Lee Jones.
"Are you aware?" he began, and what he said next warmed my heart.
As you might know, PokerStars' HQ is on the Isle of Man, a place that experienced an historic and devastating snowstorm in the past few days. It's been forty years since the countryside there had seen as much snow.
Lost--literally lost--in the giant drifts were as many as four thousand sheep and cattle. It was heartbreaking for both the animals and the people who raised them. The simple thought of that many animals freezing to death was too much to bear.
And so a staff-wide email went out to PokerStars' employees in the Isle of Man. Management made sure there were enough people to man the PokerStars ship for the afternoon. Everyone else? Well, everyone else was given the option to spend the afternoon helping local farmers to dig out the animals. Staffers ran to the store and bought shovels and donned bright yellow hi-vis jackets. Some requisitioned four-wheelers and tractors.
People from all over the Isle of Man joined 60 members of the PokerStars staff. They dug and trenched and climbed through 9-foot drifts. This wasn't just the line staff at PokerStars. Everyone--from new hires to the most senior of senior management--was out in the freezing cold digging paths and searching for frozen animals.
I'm proud to know those people. It's not only because PokerStars is made up of good corporate citizens. It's because those workers also call Isle of Man home, and they know neighbors help each other when it's needed. The people at PokerStars are good, and they are good in ways you'll never know, especially when it comes time to dig deep.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging