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This took place during live competition in South Africa. That is a big shark. Yikes.
When the online poker boom hit in 2003, poker fast became one the most popular pastimes – and for a few, full time income generator – in the world. Amateurs and professionals alike rushed online, hoping to make it big in the live tournament scene and be the next Chris Moneymaker.
Moneymaker was the first person to ever win a major tournament after qualifying for the event through an online casino, and his win has since seen millions flock to the game. As Intercasino explains, many choose to go to online casinos, because “playing it online offers players the chance to play the different variants of the game and savor the excitement and fun that each variant provide.” Nowadays there are 60 million poker players in the US alone, and over 100 million worldwide.
Out in the real world, the boom also had a pleasant side effect: it helped shine a spotlight on poker runs. Poker runs are races where the objective isn’t to be the first to cross the finish line. Instead, all participants have to form the best poker hand that they can by using cards they get from stations found along the race course.
Poker runs have become popular fundraising activities in recent years. Most poker runs are held for charity, which ties in perfectly with poker’s newfound status as a charity fundraising tool. Hollywood celebrities and famous athletes are always hosting charity poker tournaments, for example.
“When done properly, they result in a ‘win-win’ situation for the organizers and participants, with large sums being raised for the cause at hand and those participating having a memorable experience that keeps them coming back year after year,” the PokerRun.org site explains.
Originally the domain of motorcycle clubs, other groups eventually came up with their own versions of the fun charity race. Kayakers, paddlers, and rowers call them “poker paddles”. The ethos is the same, though: it’s not a race, so take your time to enjoy the course. After all, poker paddles are more about having a leisurely experience with a group of like-minded individuals than it is a mad dash for the finish line.
One such poker run variant is the Annual SUP Poker Run that takes place in Florida in the summer. It was created “with the sole purpose of raising money to help offset the cost of attending the highly anticipated invitational, which includes bussing, food and housing.” In Illinois, SUP Poker Paddle Runs have been used to raise funds as part of the Leukemia Cup Regatta, a series of events benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
So how does a poker paddle event sound to you? Would you be willing to break out the SUP boards for charity? Not only will it be a great way to raise money and call attention to a benefit or issue, it’s also the perfect excuse to take to the water on a weekend.