Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

Phil Gordon Talks About Bad Beat On Cancer At 2011 World Series of Poker

Bad Beat On Cancer Offers 11 Free Poker Seminars From The Pros


Phil GordonThis summer, poker players from around the globe will gather at the Rio in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. Each will hope to avoid bad beats from the competition, but Phil Gordon is hoping that the players will help him put a bad beat on cancer.

Since 2003, the Bad Beat on Cancer initiative has raised over $3.4 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation, an outreach program that promotes research and community education for early cancer detection.

Bad Beat on Cancer is a charity initiative that Rafe Furst and I started at the 2003 WSOP,” Gordon said. “We began by asking that players pledge 1 percent of their winnings and the response we got was overwhelming. Right off the bat, we were able to get a pledge from Chris Moneymaker, who donated $25,000 after winning the $2.5 million first-place prize. In the following years, we’ve actually had two or three players at each of the main event final tables.”

This year, Bad Beat on Cancer has the full support of the WSOP and has planned 11 free poker seminars featuring some of the most brilliant minds in the game.

“This is just going to be a great opportunity for fans of the game, and especially students of the game, to learn from the best,” he said. “Anybody can come and learn. All we ask is that they pledge 1 percent of their winnings.”

You can view the entire schedule of seminars below.

Date Pro Instructor Topic
June 4, 2011 Chad Brown Beating the Odds
June 11, 2011 Andy Bloch No-Limit Preflop Play
June 17, 2011 Doyle Brunson A Poker Life
June 18, 2011 Phil Galfond Pot Limit Omaha
June 25, 2011 Dan Cates Playing Post Flop
July 1, 2011 Vanessa Selbst No-Limit Tournaments
July 2, 2011 Phil Gordon Inquisitive Poker
July 7, 2011 Annie Duke Making Better Decisions
July 8, 2011 Annette Obrestad Playing Turn and River
July 9, 2011 Sam Chauhan Main Event Mindset
July 10, 2011 Phil Hellmuth 11 Ways To Play Stronger

The push for cancer awareness and prevention is of particular importance for Gordon, who lost a loved one to the disease.

“The woman who taught me to play poker was my great aunt, Lib Lucas. She died of cancer the day I won my first World Poker Tour event. I visited her the week before she passed and got a chance to play her heads-up one last time. Of course, she busted me, but I wanted to do something that memorialized the gift that she gave me.”

Poker players who want to attend the seminars or pledge a portion of their winnings can do so by visiting the booth just outside the Amazon Room or by visiting

Poker players have no problem shelling out big chunks of their bankroll for tournament buy-ins on a long shot, but are notoriously stingy when it comes to other expenses. That being said, the support for Bad Beat on Cancer has been nothing short of spectacular and Gordon isn’t surprised.

“It’s a real testament to the generosity of the poker community,” he explained. “Everyone knows someone that’s been affected by cancer, whether you are a 21-year-old in your first event or an 87-year-old veteran. Hopefully you can buy yourself some good karma and have an opportunity to make a real difference.”