The Urban Justice Center will hold its “Blinds & Justice 2015” poker tournament on September 29th with Vanessa Selbst, the only woman to ever reach #1 on the Global Poker Index serving as host, but the future hall of famer won’t be the only poker superstar in the building as Daniel Negreanu is also scheduled to appear.
Selbst, who sits on the Urban Justice Center’s Board of Directors, says proceeds will benefit the non-profit that provides free legal representation for New York City’s low-income residents, advocacy for systemic change, community awareness and political organizing.
“I’ve attended a lot of charity poker events and have always had so much fun, so I’m excited to finally organize and host one of my own,” Selbst said of the inaugural event.
Players interested in competing at “Blinds for Justice” in Manhattan will need to bring $1,000 to buy into the event, and while cash payouts won’t be present several amazing prizes will including a $15,000 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure package that comes with a $10K entry and nine-night stay at the Atlantis Resort.
“Poker and social justice: now that’s a winning pair,” Doug Lasdon, Urban Justice Center executive director and founder said. “We are thrilled to work with these extraordinary poker players to host such an exciting event.”
If you’re the one poker player on planet earth not enticed by the appearances of Selbst and Negreanu, another hall of famer will be in attendance, that being Erik Seidel.
The eight-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and 1998 Main Event runner-up will join several other celebrities including actor Hank Azaria, a longtime poker fanatic, and New York Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh.
“The Urban Justice Center is comprised of innovative people who do fantastic and absolutely necessary work, so I can’t think of a better beneficiary for the first major poker tournament for social justice,” Selbst stated.
“Apparently it’s the in-thing to do now days, to have a charity poker tournament,” Selbst told PokerNews last month. And she’s right, poker stars around the world have been stepping up for to support good causes, and while that’s nothing new, charity tournaments do seem to be growing in popularity.
Its attractiveness in raising money has recently come to light as the game has low overhead compared to other fundraising ideas like a golf tournament.
A venue rental, few dozen decks of playing cards and chips costs a non-profit much less than hosting at a country club with greens and cart fees.
From the Chad Brown Memorial to raise money for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research, and Hollywood Cares benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project and One Heart Source, to Tiger Woods’ tourney that raises money for his foundation, poker is doing great things.
Negreanu, Selbst, Moneymaker, Brunson, and so many more are actively participating in charitable tournaments. But perhaps no personality is more giving than Phil Hellmuth, the 14-time WSOP bracelet winner who now focuses on philanthropy, participating in all three aforementioned events.
“Poker has become the most popular way to raise money for charity events globally,” Negreanu said recently. “It is great to see so many poker players finding ways to contribute to society in a meaningful way.”