EPT12 Prague: A great night for Elena Stover and Right To Play
Well it looked like a poker tournament, what with the likes of Jake Cody, Niall Farrell and Chris Moneymaker at the tables. And it sounded like a poker tournament too, with chips and all the banter you might expect. But there was something different about one event that took place upstairs at the Hilton Prague last night, where a group of players gathered to give a little back in the Right To Play Charity tournament.
If you've never heard of Right To Play it's one of those organisations you want to help. It works around the world transforming the lives of millions of disadvantaged children in some of the poorest communities. The way they do it is through sports, games, and play.
"Playing is a universal language, and it is great to see how people can help and get involved in charity events doing what they like to do," said Tum Kazunga, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Right To Play. "Right To Play is currently helping one million children a week, and thanks to this kind of partnership we can aim to double this figure by 2018".
PokerStars will play a key role in reaching that goal, announcing last month that their partnership with Right To Play will be extended for a further 12 months, meaning an additional donation of $300,000.
"Extending our partnership with Right To Play will provide an additional £300,000 through our Helping Hands programme to fund the training of another 2,500 volunteer coaches throughout the world," said Sue Hammet, Head of Corporate Giving at PokerStars. "With this and our previous donations via our staff and players, for a total amount of £800,000 so far, we are enabling the charity to help transform the lives of over 400,000 children and young people across the world."
There wasn't much at stake in the grand scheme of things, certainly not compared to some of the EPT events taking place this week. But the prize pool did include shiny stuff of the type everybody covets.
So while it was a good night for Right To Play the same could be said for Elena Stover, who triumphed in style to win €1,000 in live tournament credits. In doing so she beat Miss Finland herself, Sara Chafek, who at least managed to get the exact prize she wanted - an iPhone® 6 Plus.
Here's the result in full:
1. Elena Stover - €1,000 in Live Event Tournament Credits
2. Sara Chafak - iPhone® 6 Plus
3. Craig McCorkell - €550 in Live Event Tournament Credits
4. Arsh Grover - iPad Air 2
5. Jake Cody - Weekend away for two (any European location of their choise)
6. Artem Fedorenko - Apple Watch
7. John Kitchen - €330 in Live Tournament Credits
8. Richard Brinley Codd - Dinner for two
Some 43 players took part including Team Pros Jake Cody, Chris Moneymaker, George Danzer and Theo Jorgensen. The €150 entry, plus unlimited re-buys, meant more than €8,000 was raised for Right To Play.
"This is an awesome charity because you see how kids affected from things are difference from the ones we're used to seeing," said Jorgensen. "It's fun to think of my kids, who you have to drag out to play while they're stuck on the iPad, and then here you really see kids having real fun for being allowed to play."
It was a sentiment echoed by another father and Team Ro Jake Cody (who would reach last night's final table).
"It's been an honour to work with Right To Play and help such a great cause," said Cody. "Being a father myself the trip to Uganda really touched me beyond words. I now share a passion and hope we can all continue the amazing work."
PokerStars players can support Right To Play by donating FPPs through the PokerStars VIP store. For every 1,200 FPPs donated by a player, PokerStars will make a $20 donation to the charity, which you can find out more about on the Right To Play homepage
Click here to watch highlights of Team PokerStars' recent trip to Uganda when partnership ambassadors Jake Cody, Leo Margets and Fatima Moreira de Melo were able to see first-hand the positive impact Right To Play can make in childrens' lives.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.