World Poker Tour Launches WPT Foundation



The World Poker Tour has teamed up with several A-list celebrities and poker pros to launch WPT Foundation, an organization focused on "utilizing WPT’s unmatched platform to influence positive change in the world."

WPT Foundation will hold a series of charity poker tournaments called WPT Playing for a Better World. The events will bring together poker pros and A-list celebrities to help raise money for WPT Foundation’s global charity partners, such as Conservation International, Enough Project, We Advance and World Central Kitchen.

The inaugural event will take place at SLS Hotel Beverly Hills on March 11, 2012. The festivities will begin with poker training lessons from the pros followed by a round-robin style poker event, a raffle and an auction. Tickets for WPT Playing for a Better World are $500 each, with raffle tickets beginning at $100.

Food for the event will be provided by award-winning chef José Andrés, whose restaurant is adjoined by the SLS Hotel.

The celebrity host committee includes a who’s-who of celebrity actors and musicians, including Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, Eva Longoria, Maria Bello, Gerard Butler, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Piven, Joel Madden, and many others yet to be announced.

The hosts and other attendees will get to test their poker skills against and win poker lessons from the poker players like Daniel Negreanu, Dan Harrington, Antonio Esfandiari, Vanessa Selbst, Tony G, Jamie Gold, Maria Ho, Andy Frankenberger, and the WPT’s Mike Sexton and Tony Dunst.

“World Poker Tour has always been dedicated to supporting charitable causes, but by establishing WPT Foundation we are making a deep, lasting commitment to philanthropy the likes of which the poker world has not seen before,” said WPT CEO Steve Heller. “With poker as a platform for an ongoing program and the support of celebrities, our poker player family and fantastic global charities, we’re confident the world will be shown how WPT and the poker community can be an engine for important change in the world, and we’re pleased to fuel that engine with an initial $100,000 donation.

"The launch event of WPT Playing for a Better World at the beautiful SLS Hotel will be a night to remember and the first of many such WPT Foundation events to come.”

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