Play Against Fatima de Melo, Chris Moneymaker In PokerStars Play-Money Charity Tournament

April 4, 2018
Play Against Fatima de Melo, Chris Moneymaker In PokerStars Play-Money Charity Tournament

PokerStars is making history, and it has nothing to do with a prize pool or the number of hands dealt. Instead, the online poker room is hosting the very first play-money charity poker tournament to benefit Right to Play.

Right to Play and PokerStars are partnering to raise much-needed educational funds for disadvantaged youth globally.

“This huge tournament will raise vital funds for our global charity partner, which has made such a positive impact on so many children around the world,” said Sue Hammett, Head of Corporate Giving for PokerStars, in a press release. “We’re aiming to have at least 5,000 players take part, which would raise enough to educate over 1,500 disadvantaged children for a year. So, please sign-up and invite your friends.”

The pros are playing and so should you

The poker community is very generous and is always looking for ways to get involved in making the world a better place.

The fact that PokerStars is hosting the very first play money tournament means you will see plenty of familiar names on the virtual felt.

Don’t miss your chance to play with your favorite players and collect a 5,000,000 play money bonus when you send a Team PokerStars pro to the rail. The tournament takes place on Friday, April 6 at 8 p.m. ET

A few of the players already committed to play are:

  • Former World Champion Chris Moneymaker
  • Team PokerStars Pro and Right to Play Ambassador Fatima de Melo
  • China’s ‘Poker Queen’ Celina Lin
  • Play Money ambassador Barry Greenstein
  • EPT Main Event winner Jake Cody

Fatima de Melo and the importance of sports

Sports has always been an important part of life for Olympic Gold Medalist Fatima de Melo. Her relationship with sports makes her the perfect ambassador for Right to Play.

“I’ve experienced that sports and play make people feel connected and have common ground by a joint goal and pleasure,” de Melo told USPoker. “Learning life skills like communicating more effectively and solving problems is important to become better at working together to achieve those goals.

“It also teaches kids to understand and feel that you have to work hard at something to become better and achieve a goal, but at the same time, sports and play keeps them motivated because of the fun of it! It’s really a mini-society in which each individual has a different role and in which sports and play have a connecting and catalytic role.”

De Melo is excited for the opportunity to help raise funds for an organization she holds dear. She was able to play any sport she wanted while growing up, a luxury not afforded to every child. In the end, she settled on field hockey. Being able to play any sport she wanted, however, was something she looks back on as a privilege.

“It has made me feel very grateful for every opportunity I’ve had in my life and grateful to my parents for being able to give me the chance to try any sport I wanted and drive me everywhere to exploit my talent,” said de Melo. “I feel lucky to have been born in a country where women are able to feel free and independent.”

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De Melo and her relationship with Right to Play

When looking for ways to give, Right to Play seemed a natural fit for de Melo. As an organization that empowers youth through sport and play, de Melo was honored to accept the role of Ambassador.

“I’ve seen kids in Uganda carrying their baby sister on their back when they were going to school and carrying them still during play time, without any sports shoes to support their feet and not even knowing what a marathon or the Olympics are,” de Melo begins as she describes how being an ambassador for Right to Play has impacted her.

“Right To Play helps them with learning all the basics, like hygiene, speaking up when there’s a problem at home, and understanding anticonception because aids is still a big problem there. I can keep going on and on about all the work that still needs to be done. But I’ve also seen that the younger generation is more developed, speaks up more, knows about the importance of condoms, and have more ideas about how they can make a safer and better life for themselves than the older generation. So that gives me a bit of hope.”

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

The General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed April 6 as International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

UNESCO declared sport and physical education a fundamental right for all. Holding the Right to Play charity tournament on April 6 makes perfect sense. The intention is to bring awareness to the role sport plays in promoting peace and tolerance across borders.

“We’re very grateful to our global partner, PokerStars, for delivering this exciting tournament to mark the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. It will help raise vital funds to help children in our programmes,” said Nikki Skipper, National Director for Right To Play UK. “It’s a fantastic initiative by PokerStars and will have a big impact on the lives of disadvantaged children around the world. We hope you will show your support for this tournament.”

Play and Support Right to Play

Play some poker and support Right to Play’s mission to “educate and empower children and youth to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict, and disease in disadvantaged communities.”

The tournament takes place on April 6, 2018, at 8 p.m. ET. Simply head to the Play Money Lobby and search “Right to Play.”

The buy-in for the event is 1,000,000 in chips, and there is a 5,000,000,000 chip guaranteed prize pool. If you don’t have 1 million in play money, you can purchase it via the cashier for $4.99.

If you can’t play the tournament, you can still support Right to Play.

“Of course people can donate to Right To Play themselves through their website or even share social media posts about Right To Play so more people will get to know this great and effective charity,” de Melo concluded.

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