Poker Community Helping Japan Disaster Relief

Japan DisasterAnyone following the international news over the past few days would have heard about the awful earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. The damage caused from this tragedy has been huge, with the final death toll still unknown. There are also fears that one of the damaged nuclear reactors is at risk of complete meltdown.

The earthquake struck during the final table of The Big Event Main Event. When it was down to heads-up play between Joe Hachem and Victor Ramdin, the two players stopped playing and contemplated whether they should pause play and call it a night in light of the incident, which was a really nice gesture on their part.

A short while after the devastating tsunami, tweets started pouring in from all corners of the globe from players who were watching the devastation take place in real time on TV.

It was only a matter of time before poker players wanted to try and help out in any way possible. With this new generation of online players who live on the Internet, it provided a medium for players to get involved.

Many high profile poker players began tweeting the Red Cross text number, 90999, to raise awareness of how everyone can get involved. The Red Cross number is an emergency service that makes it possible for anyone to donate to the aid of Japan.

Full Tilt Poker Red Pro Justin “BoostedJ” Smith threw out a challenge to all of his followers on Twitter, that he would donate $1 for every retweet of the Red Cross text number. Apparently the response was so overwhelming that his twitter recount broke, and he was required to do it manually.

UB’s Maria Ho gave away a seat to her weekly $300 buy-in tournament with a $50,000 guarantee to the first person to send her a twit pic of their $10 Red Cross text.

When asked about the devastation in Japan, Ho said, “The coverage on the devastation in Japan has been absolutely heartbreaking to watch and I think it’s important for us to take action.”

“But most importantly, we should remember that there is so much else going on in the world today between natural disasters, political turmoil, and social and gender inequalities that we should really step outside ourselves and find ways to get involved and help our global community.”

Every time there has been a terrible tragedy in the world, the poker community has stepped up to offer a helping hand. There have been charity poker tournaments all over the world, with all poker players helping a cause close to their heart. The same offer of support from poker players was demonstrated during the earthquake in Haiti.