The Poker Players Alliance made a grand statement by hosting a charity poker tournament amidst the Democratic National Convention and all of the accompanying festivities. In an effort to bring poker, politics, and charity together for the benefit of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, poker and Hollywood celebrities joined in the event to raise $60,000 for the organization and celebrate a successful event.
And it couldn’t have ended better. Ben Affleck, long time poker aficionado and generous philanthropist, won the tournament that was at the center of the festivities for the evening.
Held in Denver alongside the Democratic National Convention, the PPA hosted “Poker at the Ballpark” at Coors Field. Numerous celebrities were in attendance, including Ben Affleck, Seth Meyers, Sarah Silverman, Montel Williams, and the unannounced Richard Dreyfuss. Poker players joined the tournament as well, including Andy Bloch, Barry Greenstein, and Erik Seidel. After a VIP reception, the tournament began with more than 100 players and lasted approximately six hours. In the wee hours of the morning, Affleck claimed victory.
The PPA paid the $500 buy-in for the players, per Colorado gaming laws and state ethics rules, and the total donated to the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) came to approximately $60,000. Since its formation of the PVA in 1046, the non-profit group has been dedicated to assisting military veterans with disabilities, specifically helping paralyzed veterans by providing access to medical research, education about civil rights, ensuring accessibility, and advocating for oft-neglected benefits for America’s veterans.
The PPA, the membership-driven lobbying organization focused on protecting the game of poker, sent the message to government officials that poker is not only the preferred game for the Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, but it is an American pastime that should be protected and regulated by the U.S. government.
There will be a follow-up tournament held at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota next week with a higher buy-in of $1000 per player. However, it should be noted that members of Congress and their staff have been invited and will be allowed to play at no cost.