Is Poker a selfish game? Not always.
The end of the year is drawing near, that time when people start to think about the holidays and also giving to charity. Not coincidentally, there are several different charity poker tournaments happening these days, and it just so happens I'm writing in the middle of some of them.
The first was the MS Turek Charity Classic in Harrison, New York, a tournament that raised a lot of money to help with the fight against multiple sclerosis. There were a number of pros there besides myself, among them Bernard Lee and Matt Matros. A very nice group of people came out, and the event was run very well. It was the 11th year they've had it, and I was glad to have been able to take part.
A few nights after that I was playing another charity event in New York, this time with Phil Hellmuth, Dan Shak, Andy Frankenberger, and a number of others. It was the All in for Kids Poker Tournament at the Mandarin Oriental to raise money for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
A total of $910,000 was raised for research into the causes of and treatments for food allergies at that event. It was another terrific get-together as well as another good cause.
Finally there is another charity event coming up that I'll be playing, again one for which the charity is aimed at helping children. This one is being put together by poker pro Brandon Steven and his brothers. It's called the Aces for Kids - Brandon Steven Motors Annual Charity Tournament and it will be raising money for the Genesis Foundation for Fitness and Tennis. I believe Daniel Negreanu is going to be there, too, along with Dennis Phillips, Joe Cada, and a number of others.
I'm someone who is always looking for opportunities to give to worthwhile causes and help where I can, and it's nice to be able to combine that sort of effort with my other love -- poker -- as I get to do when getting involved with these kinds of events.
As anyone who has ever played poker seriously well knows, it's a game that in a lot of ways is "selfish" or at least self-interested. You play to win money for yourself, and of course you can't win without other people losing.
But poker can also be a great way to be selfless, too, such as with charity events like these. More and more poker players are starting to look for ways to give back to their communities or to those in need, and the game can be a great way to get people to think of others.
If you're someone who likes poker and are also looking for ways to be charitable as the holidays arrive, take a look around -- you might find a charity tourney in which you can take part, too.
Victor Ramdin is a member of Team PokerStars Pro