Poker is considered a game where success is measured by the amount of money that a player wins in each tournament. Nonetheless, many poker players donate a considerable amount of money to noteworthy causes that they support and believe in.
One of the most famous poker players known for his charitable giveaways is Barry Greenstein, also known by his moniker as "The Robin Hood of Poker". Greenstein, who has won a total of $5.5 million in tournament winnings, donates most of it to charity.
His main charity is Children Incorporated, which provides food, shelter and clothing to underprivileged children in about 21 countries. Many other poker pros also donate a part of their winnings to charities, such as Mike Sexton of the World Poker Tour, who has donated half of his $1 million prize money from the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions to about 5 different charities.
Sexton has given about $100,000 to the Buoniconti Fund, Children Incorporated, World Warriors Project, the Special Olympics and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Many players of the game of poker also do not forget where they came from like Liz Lieu and John Phan, who are close friends and of Vietnamese descent. They have visited the country many times now, bringing about 20 tons of rice to give out to poor villages, children's orphanages, elderly homes, and temples.
The other foundation that Liz and John Pahn support is the Baby Hannum organization, which has attracted a lot of support from the poker community. The organization was formed after the death of World Poker Tour photographer, Paul Hannum. He died while his fiance Sarah Percy was 7 months pregnant with their first child.
WPT Player of the Year, Gavin Smith, organized a tournament before the WPT Legends of Poker main event in honor of Baby Hannum. The tournament attracted around 115 players who had a $1,000 buy-in.
Jennifer Tilly and Gavin Smith placed first and second in the tournament. Both players generously donated most of their money to the charity. Some famous poker tournaments which include the participation of Hollywood celebrities are the Hoopology Celebrity Tournament by Trent Tucker, the Opportunity Village Poker Tournament and even Carmen Electra's Head to Hollywood Tournament. These tournaments were attended by many celebrities and famous poker players.