Run it Once to Host Heads-Up NLH Tournament to Support Fight Against COVID-19

3 min read

Phil Galfond’s Run it Once poker site is hosting a charity poker tournament on Saturday to raise money to help fight the coronavirus. The heads-up No-Limit Hold’em tournament will feature some of the best players in the world, and you can watch all the action on Twitch.

coronavirus charity poker tournament
A heads-up charity poker tournament at Run it Once will raise money to help defeat COVID-19. (Image: Run it Once)

Galfond himself will take a break from the heavily publicized Galfond Challenge against “VeniVidi1993” to play a little two-card poker for a good cause. The Pot-Limit Omaha specialist holds a decent-sized lead in the challenge through nearly 23,000 hands, but it’s anyone’s game with just about 2,300 hands remaining.

On Saturday, however, Galfond will turn his focus to helping to raise money to fight COVID-19, the global health pandemic that has killed over 82,000 people and infected more than 1.4 million worldwide.

Epic Charity Event

On April 11, Run it Once will host a 32-player, heads-up charity poker tournament. And this one is a must-watch, given the big-name competition involved.

Eight spots in the field will go to those who make the highest donations before the end-of-day on Thursday. You can make a donation through the GiveDirectly COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Even if you can’t make a huge donation, you’ll still have a shot to earn a seat in the Run it Once charity poker tournament. An additional eight seats will be awarded to random players who donate any amount of money.

The additional 16 spots in the tournament have already been filled, and they include many familiar faces. Those players include Galfond, Jamie Kerstetter, Dan Smith, Parker “tonkaaaaP” Talbot, David Tuchman, Sam Greenwood, Luc Greenwood, 2018 WSOP Main Event champ John Cynn, and Marle Cordeiro.

The winners will receive a trophy, access to a Run it Once MasterClass, and additional RUI training sessions. But the main focus of this tournament is to help fight against COVID-19.

Tournament Rules

Each of the 32 competitors in the charity poker tournament will start with 100 big blinds. The format is similar to College Basketball’s NCAA Tournament. If you win a heads-up match, you advance to the next round until one player is the last person standing.

But the format for this event differs greatly from regular poker tournaments. The blinds won’t increase and play in each round will conclude after 30 minutes, regardless of whether or not one player has acquired every chip on the table. A winner will be determined by the player who has the largest chip stack at the 30-minute mark.

The tournament will stream live on the Run it Once poker Twitch channel on Saturday.

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