1/4/09 – Not long ago InfoPowa highlighted the good works of American professional online poker pro Dusty ‘Leatherass' Schmidt, who has riased subtantial funds playing poker for the Transition Project – a charity in Portland.
Schmidt is one of a growing number of pokerheads with big hearts who raise money for the less fortunate; Don Cheadle and Annie Duke with their Ante Up for Africa campaign is another great example of what the game can achieve in helping others.
This week we focus on a talented woman player from Toronto who donates a portion of her winnings in major tournaments to charity. Elizabeth Bennett-Martin's latest project is to play in the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure, winning enough to donate a significant amount to the Cambodian Legal Education for Women project started by the Toronto law firm Bennett Gastle P.C in which she is a partner.
The focus of the charity is to provide educational assistance and living expenses to help young women in Cambodia attend law school, and escape a life of poverty. The charity helps women who live in extremely deprived, cramped conditions, sleeping on mats on a bare floor, and will assist in improving dormitory conditions – the accommodation has no furniture or cooking facilities, other than hot plates.
The project aims to improve the possibilities for these woman by helping them to become lawyers in a country where legal help is extremely rare (in 2009 there were only 538 lawyers for a population of over 14 million people).
Last year Bennett-Martin was one of only 14 women in the entire PCA tournament and one of a mere seven female online qualifiers. She won a $24 satellite to compete against a field of 1 347 players…. and picked up $40 000 for a 25th place finish. This year she plans to improve on her performance and raise more cash, and has again secured a place through an online satellite.
In addition to earmarking a portion of any winnings in the PCA main event for charity, Bennett-Martin intends to compete in the inaugural PCA Ladies Event, and will donate all winnings to the charity if she is successful.