Tag Archives: phil ivey

Poker Players Leading the Charity Craze

Poker Players Leading the Charity Craze

Yeah, I said it. Charity craze. As the economy continues to tank, celebrities are stepping up to donate big bucks in efforts to remind us that some of ‘em aren’t so bad. And I would say hands-down, ‘poker’ is going all-in with their players. This year alone, we’ve got Annie Duke on the Celebrity Apprentice 2; Phil Ivey and his Budding Ivey Foundation passing out books to kids; and Jennifer Harman is at it again with several charity poker events taking place.  One of the most recent scores for ‘charity’ through poker comes from new Aced.com sponsored player Jamie Gold. Gold, who recently signed an insanely lucrative deal with Aced.com, is making sure we all know he’s for real…Gold recently hosted a $5k buy-in charity poker tournament at the Beverly Hilton Oscar party to support Children Uniting Nations. “I was called by Daphna Ziman, who runs Children Uniting Nations, and she said, ‘Listen, I know you’re playing in the LAPC, but I heard that you have a new sponsor that is very generous, Aced.com, and is there any way you would donate money and help us run a charity poker tournament?’ I said sure, we would do that, but I can’t be there, I have to play in the main event. And then, when I talked to Aced, they said, ‘No, screw it, you get a million chances to win a poker tournament, you have very few chances to connect.’”

One thing that’s hooked me on Gold is the fact they he’s genuinely interested in the causes he’s playing for, “This program is amazing; they’re lobbying congress successfully, and they are also donating a ton of money to foster children. I’m so proud to be a part of this, and so when the guys from Aced said they would donate all of this money, then I thought, let’s make this really special, I’ll donate a buy-in to the World Series. I’ll fly them out, I’ll put them up, and I’ll coach them. I don’t think anybody’s ever done that before; I’ll coach the winner through the World Series so they have the best shot at winning. I may not be the best player in the world, but I can definitely help them more than they can help themselves.

Annie Duke: Refugees International Jamie Gold: Children Uniting Nations

Something else exciting is coming from Gold…according to this interview Gold has created ‘a new TV show’ called ‘Jamie Gold’s Big Deal.’ Gold: “It’s poker, celebrities, and charity, it’s called Jamie Gold’s Big Deal. It’s going to be the new show after Real Time with Bill Maher…I hope my legacy is that I’ve raised as much money for charity as I possibly could; I hope other people do more than I can, and I hope that I really affect change in the world and help poker become more mainstream.”

Gotta also give a shout out to Freddy Deeb…Deeb just won $100k at the WPT L.A. Poker Classic Celebrity Invitational and donated $37,000 of that prize money to the event’s featured charity, The Vine Group USA. “This is huge,” said Mekhi Phifer, Chairman of The Vine Group USA. “The funds raised will allow us to complete the Mekhi Phifer Research Center we are currently building in Nigeria, which will service more than 100,000 students as well as neighboring universities. Our goal is to save millions of lives by providing the tools for education and the ability to build a future full of possibilities.” The event raised over $112,000 in less than three days of poker for charity.
As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Jamie Gold Lands Richest Online Sponsorship Deal in History

Jamie Gold Lands Richest Online Sponsorship Deal in History
I am looking for, and will find a (poker) site that we can all trust, accepts US players, and will teach and support their players without worry of impropriety or monies not being safe,” Jamie Gold stated late this past week.


Most of you will scratch your head while asking ‘Who is Jamie Gold?’ Unless you’re addicted to Poker After Dark, the humor of Phil Laak, the sex appeal of Antonio Esfandiari and the philanthropy of Don Cheadle, Jennifer Harman and Phil Ivey, then I wouldn’t expect you to recognize his name. But take notice, Jamie Gold is the 2006 World Series of Poker champion and the all-time money leader in the game – And he has just inked the industry’s most lucrative multi-year contract in history with upstart poker brand Aced.com.

“We’ve been careful and patient in waiting for the right deal,” stated Gold’s agent Sean Fredericks. Now here’s the 8-10 kicker, Gold turned down several endorsement offers over the past two years because they didn’t mesh with his philosophy of charitable giving. Since his 2006 WSOP win, Gold’s been heavily involved with over 50 charity related events, he’s helped raise more than $110,000 for such charities as MDA/ALS Division, The Sunflower Organization, Montel Williams MS Foundation, and The Michael J. Fox Foundation. He’s not just a poker player-he’s a philanthropist.

“I’m really proud of the example we, as a poker community, are setting,” he said, “Professional poker players, celebrities, athletes, and captains of industry have worked tirelessly and participated honorably in support of charitable gaming events to impact important world causes. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to give back,” added Gold. “But it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Aced and I plan to leave our mark, not just on poker, but on the world, making it a better place for future generations.”

So, how much is the deal worth? Mums the word…but according to “sources,” Gold is about to earn upwards of eight figures. Aced.com will also fund Gold’s participation in major USA, European, and Asian events. “I am not at liberty to disclose details of the arrangement,” commented Gold’s attorney Les Abell. “However, I can say that this contract is valued at more than any deal I’ve ever heard of.”


Not convinced that Jamie Gold is worth the price of Tiger Woods? Think again. His name is one of the most searched on the Internet and his compassion is infectious. I dare you to read this amazing piece Gold wrote about Parkinson’s Disease and Michael J Fox without being moved. It appeared in Bluff magazine in 2006. In part, Gold wrote:

    I have a new hero, not to replace my others, but one who has already motivated me to be a better person. For years, I have been aware of the fight to cure Parkinson’s disease. I have been intimately aware of the issues facing those who have PD, but had yet to get involved in the cause. I heard about a Hollywood poker event for PD and I just had to be a part of it. The more research I did about the organization behind the event, the more impressed I became. Then I attended the event and was blown away. From an opening speech to tireless involvement throughout the evening, the force leading this charge was truly inspiring. His name is Michael J. Fox.

Aced.com launched in September 2008…Aced poker room manager Brandon Berndt stated in regards to signing Gold, “We are extremely excited to have Jamie on board, not only because of his obvious value as an ambassador for us within the poker world, but for the unparalleled enthusiasm, insight, and creativity he brings to the ongoing development of our brand. He could have chosen so many other sites, but we share his values and vision. He is worth every penny — or billion pennies.”

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Charles Barkley To Play Poker for Charity: Ante Up for Africa; Steve Nash Kicks it for ‘Showdown in Chinatown’ Celebrity Soccer Event


The 2008 Ante Up For Africa Poker Tournament at the World Series of Poker will be held on July 2 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event, which raises money and awareness for the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan, raised more than $700,000 last year, and this year, you can expect them to raise even more…thanks in part to Sir Charles Barkley, who kept good on his “not gambling” promise during the Pro Team Sports Challenge despite the fact that the event was held, in part, at a casino. “We were at a casino and he said he was on the wagon,” said Jason Kidd, a participant in the Pro Team Challenge. “He’s strong. He didn’t gamble. I think Charles, once he decides not to do something, I think he’s pretty good at keeping his word.” Barkley has pledged to donate all of his winnings to one of the two designated charities if he wins the event in Vegas…Past celebrities, athletes and poker professionals giving some love to Darfur via the Ante Up For Africa Poker Tournament include: Ben Affleck, Jason Alexander, Hank Azaria, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Cheryl Hines, Mekhi Phifer, Ray Romano, Adam Sandler, Martin Sheen, Donnie Wahlberg, Montel Williams, Doyle Brunson, Annie Duke, Antonio Esfandiari, Chris Ferguson, Jamie Gold, Phil Gordon, Barry Greenstein, Joe Hachem, Jennifer Harman, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Mike Matusow, Daniel Negreanu, and many others.


Steve Nash is taking off his sneakers and putting on some cleats to take part in the “Showdown in Chinatown” celebrity soccer match for charity. The face-off, which includes New York Red Bulls midfielder Claudio Reyna along with celebrity athletes from two of the most beautiful games in the world-soccer and basketball- takes place in New York City on June 25. Nash and Reyna will be joined by former Liverpool FC stars Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler as well as NBA players Raja Bell (R), Leandro Barbosa, Nate Robinson and David Lee.

His name should be familiar to you if you’ve been a regular reader of mine…Chicago Bull Luol Deng. Remember his name. He’s one of the good guys-right alongside Dikembe Mutombo, Steve Nash and Yao Ming-in terms of really, really making a difference in this world, but specifically for his work with the NineMillion.org campaign. Deng has been a staunch supporter of the cause, donating $50 for every basket he scored to the organization that helps more than nine million refugee children gain better access to education, technology and everything else we take for granted.

Today, Deng, who is a former refugee from Sudan, will receive the 2008 UN Refugee Agency’s Humanitarian of the Year Award at World Refugee Day in Washington, D.C. ”I am honored to receive the UNHCR’s ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ Award,” Deng said. “Giving back is important to me. The ninemillion.org campaign is a cause that is very close to my heart, and I am committed to helping refugees make a new life for themselves.”

As always, thanks for reading.

Magic Johnson Foundation Gets a Boost from Spike Lee, Phil Ivey Foundation BBQ& Poker Charity Event, Rafael Nadal Wipes the Smirk Off Roger Federer’s Face, Team Italy Takes a Beating from the Dutch, US Open Takes Over San Diego


The Magic Johnson Foundation, along with the Lakers’ legend himself, and director Spike Lee have teamed up to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS for two PSA’s, “Stand” and “Talk”. Lee directed the spots that feature Magic and his powerhouse of a wife Cookie encouraging the public to get informed about the disease, especially the younger population. “I think a lot of times we just don’t have the information,” Magic said, “Especially young people. They think they’re invincible and nothing can happen to them but the numbers are showing that those getting HIV are real young now. We have to now do something about that. If it was 16, 17, 18, 19 years ago you should be afraid because you don’t know what might happen and people were dying at alarming rates,” he says. “Now you have almost 30 drugs that can take care of you, and you can live a healthy and long life.”

On July 1, the TANK at the Golden Nugget will host the Sixth Annual World Series of BBQ & Phil Ivey Charity Poker Event. Ivey wants you to join he and his hot poker buddies (a-hem, Antonio Esfandiari), and other poker pro’s & celeb’s including Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, Mike Matusow, Jennifer Harman, Carrot Top, a few Brunsons, Annie Duke, David Hasselhof, Chris Moneymaker, Daniel Negreanu, and Vince Neil to compete in some off-the-hook festivities such as Chutes & Ladders, Battleship, Operation, Hula-Hoops, and most importantly Phil Ivey’s $1000 No-Limit hold’em Charity Poker Tournement to benefit his new Budding Ivey Foundation. See my charity events page for more info and visit the Budding Ivey Foundation to learn about all the great things Ivey is doing to give back to the communities.

It took Rafael Nadal less than two hours to defeat Roger Federer (6-1, 6-3, 6-0) and win his fourth consecutive title at Roland Garros. Sunday’s victory also gave Rafa some impressive numbers to add to his resume: 28-0 for his career at the French Open; 115-2 on clay since April 2005; and 22-1 in clay-court finals. “I am humble,” Nadal said, “but the numbers are the numbers. If I am playing my best tennis ever, I’m never going to win 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 against Roger Federer, no? For sure, it’s impossible,” the second-ranked Nadal said. “He didn’t play very well. Everybody knows that.”

During the trophy ceremony, Federer, of course, didn’t smile and our classy Tapa felt compelled to apologize: “Roger, I’m sorry.” But, FINALLY, it seems that the Swiss Mister has reached into his soul and yanked outta a little bit ‘o praise for the King of Clay. “He dominated from the first point until the end,” said Federer, “It’s the strongest Rafa that I’ve ever seen. He was more dominant than the previous years. He no longer plays short balls, the way he did in the past. You can no longer attack him on his forehand, the way I could in the past. He is getting much more aggressive, and it’s becoming much more difficult…I still go out of this tournament with a positive mind-set. Not with a mind-set: ‘Oh my God, I had no chance today.’” Shhhh…you almost won me over with ‘strongest Rafa you’ve ever seen’…don’t blow it now R-Fed.


Italy is feeling the pain in Fabio Cannavaro’s leg as much as the benched hottie is. Italy was powerless against the Netherlands who delivered a crushing 3-0 victory to my boys while I was out frolicking in the desert…all hope may not be lost though if Luca Toni can manage to pull some mojo outta his hat when they attack the weakest link in the Group of Death: Romania.


Oh yeah…the US Open hot-hot-hotties have converged in my hood in attempts to tackle the greens at Torrey Pines while effectively dodging a certain redhead. Last time I checked, we had about 10,000 peeps per day for the Buick, and estimates for the Open are nearing 1000,000. This means traffic, closed roads, shuttle buses, no parking and long lines. You can certainly expect me to be there at some point in efforts to help Ian Poulter find better things to do with his time than watch videos of himself…

And I am also painfully aware that Justin Timberlake and Tony Romo were kicking it at the Pines over the weekend, but since I’ve already molested Justin Timberlake in Vegas, and Romo has been tainted by a certain blond, I preferred to be in the desert raising awareness for the Pro Team charities…

As always, thanks for reading.