Vice Squad
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Nonprofits Profiting From Poker

Hoping to raise some money for a good cause? A gambling-themed event might be your path to riches! But not just any gambling theme: bingo probably won't pack them in, and even those glitzy Vegas nights are beginning to look a bit staid. Texas Hold'em, now that is where the action is, at least according to this article at (Massachusetts). Here's an excerpt:
The United Way of Merrimack Valley sponsored its first poker fund-raiser in August, and raised $31,000, John Licciardi, vice president of the United Way capital campaign, plays poker and has watched the game grow through television and the Internet.

"It was a backyard game because no one was doing it," he said. "Now everyone's doing it."

The United Way is organizing a two-day blitz Oct. 29 and 30 in Haverhill. It hopes for at least 270 players, which, at $125 per head, for a $33,750 profit.

Fund raisers say there are other advantages to poker. Licciardi said poker requires less planning than other events. Brian Teahan of Billerica, floor manager at the New England FUNdraising tournaments in Nashua, said his tournaments are growing and supporting numerous charities, such as Nashua Symphony, Pastoral Care Center, and Nashua Center for the Multiply Handicapped.
The online article includes a picture of Greg "The Fossilman" Raymer, identified as the winner of the World Series of Poker. (I thought I had heard something lately about Massachusetts and some business about a World Series...) I mention the photo because I was intrigued by this tidbit of information: "Raymer is known as 'Fossilman' because he holds his cards down by placing fossils on them." Or maybe he's just really, really old.

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