Pay it forward

When I first started playing poker full time, one of the key principles I had was to give 10% to charities and helping people. Last year I gave to charities, to churches, and organized a charity tournament with the Hong Kong Poker Players’ Association (HKPPA) and generated additional donation money for those in need. However I did that in a losing year. To be honest, the drive to give was a selfish one. I believe if I give, I will be blessed and earn more. I didn’t. Not until after I fixed some things.

This year I had started to do well, especially when I switched my focus to cash games. I have been giving to orphanages, charities, and also a special case I came across – a Cambodian teacher suffering from cancer. I mentioned this in one of my earlier posts where I won a decent amount the night before, and the next day I saw this story on Facebook and contacted the person in charge. I did not want to be scammed again but felt the story was legit. Immediately donated money on the same day. She has gone through the CT scans and thankfully the cancer has not spread to other parts of her body. She is preparing to travel to Bangkok for the surgery soon. Today I met with the fundraisers and contacted the teacher for the first time. It was humbling and yet gratifying to hear that my contribution has made a difference. I also received warm messages not only from the teacher in need, but also a touched fund raiser that was inspired by my actions.

Make donation with your poker winnings to charity

Make donation with your poker winnings to charity

I want to stress that sharing all this is not to boast and I have kept my donations anonymous. The main reason is to inspire you to do the same. Sometimes we are too focused on our own needs, we don’t realize how much more some people around us need that money. For you it might be to save up to buy a car, a house, a nice watch, for them it might be to save their lives. A few months back a friend on Facebook was inspired by me and decided to make a donation to a Vietnamese orphanage. He goes on to share that his experience of seeing the joy he brought to the kids and the volunteers moved him to pledged more donations in the future. The feeling you get seeing how much it means to them, and how much impact you made really doesn’t compare with anything in this world.

Make donation with your poker winnings to charity

Last December I wrote a post “Am I too nice” and at the end I said that I hope I will be rewarded for my actions. I believe I have been rewarded and it is only getting started. I will continue to keep doing the right thing, be more selfless and help others whenever I can.

This year HKPPA and I are doing another charity event this time for the upcoming WPT Cambodia. Proceeds of the charity event will go towards the Cambodia Children’s Fund (CCF). If you can make it, I hope you will join. If you’re just reading this post, I hope it will influence you to pay it forward. The problem with our world today is everyone just cares about themselves. Giving money away seems like such a -EV and dumb thing to do. But believe me, it is more +EV than you can ever imagine.

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