It seems like forever ago that Ultimate Poker closed their operation in Nevada…actually it was less than three weeks ago. But in any case, this failure took some wind out of the sails of US online poker proponents. After all, Ultimate was the first legal US site, opening in April 2013.
Unfortunately nothing can be done to help UP, but some of its former players are doing something to help the less fortunate. A charitable movement started a couple weeks ago when writer Marco Valerio found that he would receive a check for $0.18 upon cashing out. Seeing as how you can’t get a 12-ounce can of soda for this amount, he tweeted the following:
Looks like a lot of Nevadans are getting Ultimate Poker checks for tiny amounts. Is anyone interested in pooling them & donating to charity?
Since this tweet, Valerio has received a fairly large amount of support from Nevadans. $2,741 has been pledged to the cause from former UP players while Valerio has collected $1,666 of the pledges. He announced through his blog that donations are still being accepted for charity.
Not that the size of the donation is all that matters, however, it’s worth mentioning that former Team U member Danielle Andersen has given $500. And perhaps other players will give some sizable donations in the near future.
So where is all of this money going? Valerio plans on teaming up with Billy Vogel, who’s worked with the poker community before to drum up funds during the holidays. And Vogel donates this money to help get presents for kids in need. So all in all, it’s great to see something like this arising out of a negative event like UP closing.