By Delinda Lombardo on
Fresh off the heels of inking one of the most lucrative online endorsement deals in history, poker star Jamie Gold isn’t thinking about the cash, but the kids. The 2006 World Series of Poker champion opted out of the prestigious L.A. Poker Classic this year so he could host a fundraiser for the kids.
“Some things are more important,” said Gold. “These kids need our help.”
The kids Gold speaks of are the ones of Children Uniting Nations, a non-profit organization that provides mentoring to at-risk and foster children. Gold held his fundraiser tournament on Oscar night, and was joined by a slew of celebrities including the Black Eyed Peas. The tournament, which was also being held as a part of the Hollywood Reporter/Children Uniting Nations Gala, was a black-tie extravaganza, which featured presentations to those who’ve been supportive of Children Uniting Nations, and Speaker of the Assembly Karen Bass.
Prior to the event, Gold spoke to CardPlayer.com about his involvement: "My whole life in the past was in Hollywood. I used to be an agent for 20 years, and so this was a great way for me to reconnect with all of my old friends and host the first time that poker has ever been connected to the Oscars.
“Children Uniting Nations is a mentorship program…through mentor programs, 95 percent graduate high school, and 87 percent of people who are incarcerated are coming from the welfare system. So, it means that most of our criminals did not choose to be there. They had no mentors, they had no parents, they had no guidance, they had no shot, and you or I or anybody could have been out on the street. And what do you do if you can’t eat? You might turn to drugs or crime; it could happen to any of us…this program is amazing; they’re lobbying congress successfully, and they are also donating a ton of money to foster children.
“I’m so proud to be a part of this, and so when the guys from Aced said they would donate all of this money, then I thought, let’s make this really special, I’ll donate a buy-in to the World Series. I’ll fly them out, I’ll put them up, and I’ll coach them. I don’t think anybody’s ever done that before; I’ll coach the winner through the World Series so they have the best shot at winning. I may not be the best player in the world, but I can definitely help them more than they can help themselves.”
As promised, the winner received a prize package that included a $10,000
WSOP main event seat, a dinner and coaching from Gold and private accommodations at Gold’s mansion. The prize package was sponsored by Aced.com – the upstart online poker site that announced the signing of Gold to a lucrative endorsement deal.
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