Poker Pro Dan Smith Raises $1.7 Million For Charity

Posted on January 9, 2017 - Last Updated on September 22, 2020

[toc]Last November, poker champion Dan Smith began a donation project that has since raised $1.7 million for several charities.

Smith, 27, began the charity drive in November 2016 with an offer to match up to $175,000 in donations. The ante was then upped to $300,000 before daily fantasy sports veterans Martin and Tom Crowley got involved, donating over half a million dollars.

The total amount raised eventually came to $1,700,818 from 134 different donors. The biggest beneficiary of the drive will be the Against Malaria Fund, which will receive $287,535.

“Malaria is… very cheap to prevent,” Smith wrote on his blog. “Mosquito nets are remarkably effective at preventing mosquito bites and cost only $2.50 each. Five-hundred thousand people per year die each year due to malaria and it is almost entirely preventable.”

Other charitable poker endeavors

Despite poker being a game in which players aim to win money from one another which is almost never played in teams, the world of poker has generated some great charitable donations over the years.


Raising for Effective Giving (R.E.G.) was co-founded by poker players Liv Boeree, Igor Kurganov and others aiming to raise money and educate the poker world about the concept of effective altruism.

This involves donating money in the most effective way that impacts the most lives. R.E.G. has raised several million dollars since its founding in 2014.

Helping Hands and Right To Play

PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site, has a corporate charity program called Helping Hands as well as a global organization named Right To Play.

The former uses PokerStars’ significant player base and staff to raise money for charities, most notably raising more than $670,000 from players (which PokerStars matched) for victims of the 2009 Haiti earthquake. Right To Play uses sports and games to help disadvantaged children around the world.

Ante Up for Africa

Ante Up for Africa was a non-bracelet event played at several World Series of Poker festivals organized by poker pro Annie Duke and actor Don Cheadle. The event was a poker tournament in which a share of the proceeds went to charity efforts in Darfur.

Additionally, many of the tournament’s biggest winners donated their own winnings to the same charities.

About Dan Smith

Dan Smith is an American professional poker player who is considered to be one of the best no-limit hold’em tournament players in the world.

He has won more than $15 million playing live poker tournaments since 2008. His biggest win came in 2014 after winning the Bellagio Super High Roller event for over $2 million.

In 2012, he won three €5,000 buy-in events in Monte Carlo and earned more than €520,000 over five days.

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Matt Perry

A veteran of the online gambling industry, Matt Perry has worn a number of hats since he first began working in online poker and iGaming in 2007. He currently writes for a variety of publications focused on legal online gambling, and in the past has served as an editor, copywriter, content manager and reporter.

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