Give a Little

Before the PPC event at Turtle Lake last week I publicly took the Reg-Charity Pledge and and promised to donate 2% of my tournament winnings to their charities. It was tiny gesture really, costing me a few hundred dollars at the most, but I wanted to get the ball rolling because I want to be able to support them and the great work they do. I was also hoping that I would have a cash in the events to be able to make a point about how a very small amount of money can go a long way if it is spent wisely.

Unfortunately, that worked out perfectly when the eventual winner busted me on day two not long after we reached the money and I was stuck with a min-cash. While I hoped for a higher finish, it gave me a perfect opportunity to make my point about Reg-Charity and how much good we can do if we practice effective giving. says it perfectly on their site –

“The idea behind effective giving is to rely on science and rational decision-making in order to find the interventions most effective at reducing suffering in the world.”

Since I only pledged 2%, and only cashed for $492, my donation was going to be tiny. The minimum donation on their site through Paypal was $50, so I rounded way up and it gave me an easy number to work with. The following idea came from the speech given by Andrew Barbour when he accepted his bracelet after winning the HORSE World Championship this year. Andrew told me about and is a big supporter of what they do.

If you were to donate enough money to ALS to buy one Quality-Adjusted Life Year, it would cost you $56,000. That means you basically gave someone a year of reasonably good life. This is admirable indeed. But with that same $56,000, you would be saving over 500 life years by donating bed nets to prevent Malaria in Africa or providing deworming treatments for 17,000 children. Children in Vietnam, India, Kenya, and other developing nations who are affected with these awful intestinal parasites are in pain, unable to study, and often have stunted growth and malnutrition problems because of the infestation.

This is the idea behind effective giving. You decide what is more important, but organizations like Give Well and Reg-Charity help you see how effective charitable organizations are.

So what will my $50 do? It’s hardly any money right?

It could provide approximately 8 hours of quality life for an ALS patient, six months of quality life if it is used for malaria prevention, or it can provide deworming treatments for 162 children. I went with deworming treatments and chose to have my $50 go to the Deworm the World Initiative.


And why publish my receipt? Why do I need to talk about my donation? Doesn’t that make me look arrogant or like I am seeking attention and approval?

Well, it’s only $50. I have given away a hell of a lot more than that, so if I was looking for a pat on the back I could do better than to brag about donating $50. I don’t think it makes me look too bad. But more important is the idea that I have an audience. People are reading this blog and some people care what I think and what I say.

So, if I can influence a few people, this blog post is a great use of my time and if I can help one more kid have a happier life, free from intestinal parasites, then I don’t give a damn if I have to post every receipt from every donation and make Phil Hellmuth look modest, I should be doing it.

Using the idea of getting the most bang for my buck, how can I get the most bang for my time? A blog post that takes me an hour to write and post will certainly raise more money for charity than I make in a typical work hour, so it is very efficient.

To help make it efficient, please help me out. Check out and and tell your friends about them. And join me in taking the pledge to donate 2% of your poker winnings to a Reg-Charity approved organization.

If you enjoyed this blog, please support it by buying my book or joining a fantasy sports sites through my links
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