In my blog from this past weekend, I talked about my recent third-place run in Event #24: $700 NLHE of the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker. While the focus of that blog was the event and analyzing some of the key hands I played, I did more than just play poker in Toronto, and that’s what I’d like to talk about today.
NORTH OF THE BORDER
As some of you know, I do most of my online playing these days up in Toronto. Without online poker available nationwide in the U.S., Americans have to set up some form of residency elsewhere in order to grind online. I chose Toronto because I’ve got a lot of good friends up there and am familiar with the city. It’s a fairly quick flight up from Florida, and the fact that Toronto has many similarities to a U.S. city makes going there convenient.
I flew to Toronto that weekend to play that Sunday of WCOOP online and to participate in the Terry Fox Run, but I also was able to spend a good amount of time with my best friend Darko Trifunovic.
THE TERRY FOX FOUNDATION AND CHARITY RUN
For those of you not familiar with it, the Terry Fox Foundation is an organization that’s main goal is to raise funds for and aid in cancer research. Fox was a well-known Canadian athlete that was diagnosed with a form of cancer in the late 1970s. His right leg was amputated, but that didn’t stop him from continuing to run with the help of an artificial leg. In 1980, Fox began running the Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research. Unfortunately, Fox was forced to end his run due to the spread of the cancer to his lungs, as he then died in June of 1981.
I’m a huge sports fan. Recently, I saw an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary called Into the Wind, a story focusing Fox and his quest to run 30 miles each day all the way across Canada from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Through some connections of mine, I heard about the Terry Fox Run located in Toronto during the same time I was going to be up there and really wanted to take part, so this trip served two purposes.
The event gave you the option to participate in a 1, 5, or 10 kilometer run, so there was something available for all comers. Through donations, the run has helped cancer research for a few decades, and it was great to be able to be part of it and help out an amazing cause. I’ve done some limited charity work in the past, but I am planning to be more involved in the future. The Terry Fox Run was a great fit with my personal goals in this area. He, and the foundation named for him, are truly inspiring.
I highly encourage everyone to get involved in some form of charity work of interest, like a Terry Fox Run near you. I’d love to hear some of the great things that others are doing out there, so feel free to drop a note in the comments box.
The morning of the run I tweeted that I was going to the event. My fellow Team PokerStars Pro Victor Ramdin quickly messaged me and wanted to know where the event was being held. He ended up coming out to support the event, which gave us some time to visit. While I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like to, it’s really refreshing to be able to talk to poker players outside of the poker setting about things going on in their lives and the world. Victor is a great guy, a proud family man, and a successful businessman. I am blessed to have friends like Victor.
After the run, myself, Victor, and some of my friends, Darko, David Nowling, and Ally Peters, all went out to breakfast. It was actually Darko’s company, Neighbourhood Landscaping, that had signed up for the charity event. Big thanks to them.
A NEW ADDITION TO THE FAMILY
After the weekend and wrapping up the WCOOP event, I quickly flew back to Florida. I really wanted to get back as soon as possible because my niece was due to be born on September 22nd. She came five days late, just in time for me to see her before departing for Toronto once again for the last two days of WCOOP.
I’m really excited to play these last two days of WCOOP highlighted by the $10,000 8-game event and the enormous $5,000 Main Event that has an $8 million guarantee on the prize pool, which are both on Sunday. PokerStars is outdoing themselves once again and guaranteeing $1.25 million for first place. I hope it’s got my name all over it! Check me out in those events on PokerStars if you want to sweat some exciting online poker!