02/24/2012 :  WORLD POKER TOUR IN CHARITY MOVE
 
A-list celebrities and professional players will use poker to raise funds for positive change in the world
 
Bwin.party digital's World Poker Tour subsidiary has launched a charity initiative aimed at raising funds for needy causes in the world by in-spanning A-list celebrities and top poker professionals in a series of high profile sponsored events.
 
And putting its money on the table, the company has made an initial donation of $100 000.
 
The WPT Foundation will use the poker company's platform to "influence positive change in the world," according to the WPTFoundation.org website.
 
WPT Foundation will hold a series of charity poker tournaments under the umbrella title WPT Playing for a Better World. The events will help raise money for WPT Foundation’s global charity partners, which include Conservation International, Enough Project, We Advance and World Central Kitchen.
 
The first outing for the initiative is scheduled for the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills on March 11, 2012. A poker training session will be run by professional players, followed by a round-robin style poker event, a raffle and an auction.
 
Tickets for WPT Playing for a Better World will sell at $500 each, with raffle tickets beginning at $100.
 
Adding gastronomic delights to the poker action will be a buffet provided by top US chef Jose Andres, who owns a neighbouring restaurant.
 
WPT has assembled a stellar list of celebrities for its charity drive, including Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, Eva Longoria, Maria Bello, Gerard Butler, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Piven, Joel Madden, and many others.
 
On the professional player side, aces like Daniel Negreanu, Dan Harrington, Antonio Esfandiari, Vanessa Selbst, Tony G, Jamie Gold, Maria Ho, Andy Frankenberger, Mike Sexton and Tony Dunst have all signed up.
 
WPT CEO Steve Heller said this week: “World Poker Tour has always been dedicated to supporting charitable causes, but by establishing WPT Foundation we are making a deep, lasting commitment to philanthropy the likes of which the poker world has not seen before.
 
“With poker as a platform for an ongoing program and the support of celebrities, our poker player family and fantastic global charities, we’re confident the world will be shown how WPT and the poker community can be an engine for important change in the world, and we’re pleased to fuel that engine with an initial $100,000 donation."