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Poker Players Help Put a Bad Beat on Cancer

Phil Gordon's "I'll Raise You a Million Challenge" Succeeds


The final day of the 2002 World Poker Tour Aruba championship event was bittersweet for Phil Gordon. He clinched his first major title but had to say goodbye to the woman who taught him the game, when Marie "Lib" Elizabeth Lucas lost her battle with cancer the same day.

Along with longtime friend and World Series of Poker bracelet winner, Rafe Furst, Phil Gordon initiated the "I'll Raise You a Million Challenge" prior to the start of the 2006 World Series of Poker. The goal was to raise $1 million for the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation (CRPF).

"We wanted to raise the money between the start of last year's WSOP and the start of this year's," Gordon said, "and we've had over 1,000 players contribute during that time period."

Players involved in helping put a "bad beat on cancer" pledged to donate one percent of their tournament winnings. Paul Wasicka, runner-up in the 2006 WSOP main event donated $61,000, and Andy Bloch, runner-up of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event, contributed $17,000 of his earnings. Also, 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth has given upwards of $25,000 to the cause in the last year.

Other efforts that contribute to the challenge include the Harrah's-sponsored Congressional Poker Night held in Washington D.C. Senators, members of the House of Representatives, and friends come together once a year to play a charity poker tournament. Proceeds of around $250,000 are donated to CRPF.

Gordon also donates proceeds from his book and DVD sales. In addition, he gives private lessons and hosts poker parties for significant contributions.

The 2007 WSOP is set to begin in June, and with two months left, they have already surpassed their goal. The "I'll Raise You a Million Challenge" has proven successful, and it looks as though the "raise" has been called by the thousands of poker players who donated.

"The poker players deserve all the credit for the success of this initiative. This is their cause, their generosity, and their warm hearts that made this happen," Gordon said. "I'm going to significantly raise the stakes in 2007, and with the ongoing generous support of the players, Harrah's, and the WSOP, I'm sure we're going to win again."

For more information visit the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation website by clicking here, and the Bad Beat on Cancer website by clicking here.



15 years ago

I'm with the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation. I can't tell you how very much we appreciate this effort! We are so grateful that so many poker players are participating. You've helped us raise important funding for cancer prevention research. Keep it going! Thanks, Phil. Thanks, players! You're the best!


15 years ago

What a wonderful thing Phil, Jennifer, Barry, and so many other "Poker Players" have done and are doing all over the world for Charities. Even, owner Annie Van Bebber and WPA board member now has a Poker Charity division. So many will benefit from un-selfish efforts by so many