The Day 1b field of the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event is full of former champions of Australian poker. Previous ANZPT champions Michael Kanaan, Martin Kozlov, Pete Matusik, Dave Allan and Jono Bredin are all in the field as is former ANZ Player of the Year winners Danny Chevalier and Mishel Anunu. We have WSOPE bracelet winner Jackie Glazier, APPT Sydney champ Aaron Benton, the “Poker Star” Amanda De Cesare and of course there’s 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem.
There’s another title winner in the field. He might not have the profile of some of the above-mentioned, but this Melbourne Poker Championships Main Event winner pocketed $150,000 back in 2009 which is a significant prize in any circles.
The player were are talking about is Tony Kondevski.
We knew him as “Todor” back then, but he prefers to go by Tony, and since 2009 he’s been a regular staple on the Australian poker scene with a string of cashes in Sydney and Melbourne.
One of those cashes was in this very event last year. Kondevski made the final table of the 2013 ANZPT Melbourne event where he went on to finish in 7th place for $27,400 in winnings.
It was a great score for Kondevski, but it was worth so much more to the children of the Starlight Foundation and the Westmead Children’s Hospital.
You see, last year Kondevski made a promise that he would donate 25% of his winnings from the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event to charity. And Kondevski is a man of his word.
Kondevski sent $5,000 of his ANZPT Melbourne winners over to the Starlight Children’s Foundation and another $1,860 went to the Westmead Children’s Hospital where there is now a bed in the children’s ward with a small plaque that acknowledges his generous contribution.
“I have six grandchildren, so children are very important to me,” explained Kondevski. “I wanted to do something good from poker to help them, and I encourage others to do the same.”
It’s nice to know there are people out there contributing directly to charities that mean something special to them, and they are doing it without any fanfare. It’s refreshing to see poker making a difference in people’s lives, and that the message of charity hasn’t completely been lost under a bucket of ice.
Heath “TassieDevil” Chick is a Freelance Contributor for the PokerStars Blog.