Tis the Season…For Charity Poker

Regardless of what Joan Rivers thinks of poker players, everyone inside the industry knows that pros are some of the most generous people in the world. Even “Poker Brat” Phil Hellmuth defrosted his cold, hard heart recently to help actor Steve Martin cohost the 2010 All In for Kids poker tournament earlier this month. Hellmuth must be as good at fundraising as he is at heads-up Hold’em, because the event raised nearly a million dollars for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. While the year is nearing an end, the charity poker tournament season is just kicking off. Here are just a handful of the notable charity poker events coming up in the next couple weeks.

This very weekend one of the MMA’s most recognizable fighters – Randy Couture – will host the sixth annual Operation All-In charity poker tournament. This is a single, standard NL Texas Hold’em MTT that will take place at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas on October 30. So far the only headlining celebrities at the tournament are other MMA fighters and a few lesser known actors, but Couture did some networking at this year’s WSOP, so there’s a good chance that some pros will also make a showing. If you think you’ve got a good shot at defeating the fighters (on the felt at least), then the buy-in is a modest $225 and play starts at 2pm.

On Monday, November1, online players across the pond can also buy-in for a good cause when pro John Tabatabai and rugby champion Will Greenwood host a special charity tournament at Betfair. The buy-in is $20+$10 with unlimited rebuys for the first hour of competition. All proceeds will benefit the Anthony Nolan Trust which helps leukemia patients to find a transplant match. In addition to the usual cash payouts for top finishers, there will be special giveaways including both live and online tournament entries and rugby and race tickets. The player that takes out Tabatabai will get three free coaching sessions from him (though they may not need them), and the player that takes out Greenwood will get a signed rugby jersey. In addition to hosting the event, Betfair is making a rake match donation to the trust.

Finally, back in Sin City on November 7, Motley Crue’s notorious Vince Neil will be hosting his sixth annual Off-the-Strip poker tournament at the Rio. You may not have made it to this year’s final table, but you can still see some action at the Rio during the conclusion of the WSOP Main Event. The $500 buy-in event promises $50,000+ in cash and prizes. One lucky player will even earn a seat to the 2011 Main Event. All proceeds benefit the Skylar Neil Foundation. This tournament has a 200-seat maximum and a reputation for attracting some of the game’s more fun-loving pros, so interested parties need to claim their seats while they can.

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