David Einhorn Donates All $659,730 WSOP Winnings
The Michael J. Fox Foundation Will Benefit from his Tournament Run
David Einhorn has just raised $659,730 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research by finishing 18th in the World Series of Poker's main event.
Einhorn sits on the foundation's board and planned from day 1 of the main event to donate all his winnings to the nonprofit organization.
It just so happened that Einhorn almost made it to the final table. He entered the day with $2,340,000 in chips and had a real shot to win the whole thing and its $12 million prize. Einhorn would've gotten a very nice bracelet; the Michael J. Fox Foundation would've gotten an even nicer donation.
Despite his premature exit, it still got a very nice donation and Einhorn got a lot of memories from playing in the WSOP.
"It's been an absolute blast," Einhorn said soon after he was knocked out. "It feels great."
Einhorn was knocked out by chip-leader Jamie Gold, who has been outflopping everybody today. Einhorn held K-Q, and Gold held Q-6. Einhorn found himself all in against Gold's two-pair on the flop and that was enough to send the philanthropist back to New York City with a huge check that he'll immediately sign over to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
"Obviously, this is (Gold's) tournament. He's catching lots of cards and playing very well," Einhorn said. "And I'm just really thrilled that I got to where I did. What a couple of weeks."
He doesn't know if he'll play in any other major tournaments because of his demanding job as the President of Greenlight Capital, an investment firm that manages $3 billion in assets. He said he really enjoys the game of poker and wouldn't count out the chance of playing in another event.
"It wouldn't surprise me to play in more poker tournaments in my life," he said.
He has a history of working with social organizations and can afford it, because, he said, he has had a great decade managing hedge funds.
Einhorn has a personal connection to the disease. His grandfather suffered with Parkinson's and he jumped at the chance to sit on the foundation's board after he was asked by Michael J. Fox. He is currently the cochair of a fund-raising event at the Waldorf Astoria in New York scheduled for November.
There's no doubt the event will partially become a celebration of Einhorn's poker achievements and his extreme generosity. After all, $659,730 can go a long way in helping cure the disease.
"It's going to be a great night. I think this is a disease that a cure will be found for," he said. "I think sometimes you have to go a little bit outside the box to go about that. I think that the Michael J. Fox Foundation is doing it."
He called his two weeks of poker at the main event "a real easy, fun way to raise money" for the foundation.
Along with the Michael J. Fox Foundation, he also sits on the board of the Robin Hood Leadership Council, an organization that fights poverty in New York City.
A few years ago, he paid more than $200,000 in a charity auction to have lunch with investment guru Warren Buffet. The benefactor was Glide Memorial Church, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that runs programs for the poor and homeless.
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