As you are probably aware, the European Poker Tour has arrived to Italy in the wake of a national disaster. Close to 300 people died last month when an earthquake struck in the Abruzzo region of the country and more than 25,000 people are now living in temporary accommodation after their homes were destroyed.
As ever with disasters of this magnitude, no words nor spirited humanitarian efforts can ever fully repair the massive damage done. But it is gratifying to know that people are always inclined to do what they can, and Luca Pagano’s recently-established PokerForLife.it charity has moved its focus firmly in the direction of the earthquake victims, providing as much assistance as it possibly can to the bereaved and the displaced.
Poker players like playing poker, and the most sensible way to raise a significant sum of cash is to arrange a tournament in aid of the charity. And so it came to pass. Many of the players here in San Remo will also take part in a €1,200 buy-in tournament tomorrow, from which the casino is waiving its €200 administration fee, allowing it to go direct to the charity. PokerStars will also donate a further €300 per person to the charitable efforts, meaning €500 per player will make its way to the people who need it most. The poker community is doing its bit.
Registration for the tournament remains open and players can come down to Casino Sanremo to reserve their seat or simply to make a donation. It will doubtless be a fiercely competitive event, with a monstrous prize pool, and the added bonus of such a worthy cause. Hope to see you here tomorrow.
*A number of high-profile players already donate one percent of their tournament winnings to the cause.