WSOP 2016: The deeper she goes, the more Boeree gives
Day 4 of the WSOP began with such promise for Liv Boeree. She had 554,000, a stack that put her in the top 25% of the field. Then, within the first two hours in the day, she had aces cracked by 7♦8♦ and then ran ace-queen into ace-king. Left with only 26,000. It looked as if she would be gone before the first break.
It felt like a punting situation, and when reduced to just a few blinds, Boeree didn't have many choices. That's when she dug in.
Boeree, an EPT champion and Team PokerStars Pro, would like to win this event as much as anybody would. She also had another source of inspiration: how much more she could give away.
Boeree is one of the principals behind the REG (Raising for Effective Giving) charity, a fundraising group aimed at supporting the most effective charities they can find. The WSOP is prime ground for donations, and Boeree is the first to serve as an example.
"Whatever I cash, I'll be donating a minimum of 5%," she said this morning.
Boeree takes a pragmatic view of her chosen profession. She knows what she does. She knows what it contributes to society, and she knows, in short, how good she has it.
"Our life is so good anyway. As poker players, we have it pretty much as good as it comes, you know. We have the ultimate freedom," she said.
With that in mind, she looks at charitable giving as more than something nice to do. She sees it as a duty and responsibility.
"It's extremely important to me. It makes me feel good to give something back," she said.
She and the others at REG have seen just how fertile of ground the WSOP can be. In particular, she saw what one-time champion Martin Jacobsen did after his win.
"He ended up giving $250K," Boeree marveled. "$250K! Which was enormous to a number of the charities that we fundraise for."
Boeree said today that research shows as little as $3,000 can save a life, and by not giving, it's the equivalent of actively choosing not to offer someone a future.
Now, Boeree and REG are encouraging everyone at the WSOP to give some attention to their #WSOP4Charity campaign for which they are asking people in advance to pledge 3% of their final table winnings to charity.
"A little bit can go a long way if it's given to the effective causes," she said.
In the end, Boeree's day ended after four hours. After working her way back up to 260,000, she eventually lost some and then ran sixes into aces. While it was a big disappointment for Boeree, her tenacity after the initial losses made a difference. If she had busted when she was down to 26,000, she would've made $16,000. Holding on for another few hours meant she placed 528th for $22,648. That extra $6,000 means she'll be giving more to charity. That doesn't take all the sting away from busting, but it helps...in more than one way.
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Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging. Follow him on Twitter: @BradWillis. WSOP photos by PokerPhotoArchive.com.