Amongst the many accolades that Daniel Negreanu has accumulated over the years, this Canadian professional superstar poker player can now add one more, a nice guy.
This past weekend via Twitter, Negreanu announced his participation in a fundraising campaign to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to the tune of $100,000. He is hoping to raise the funds over the next 7 days. He has also pledged to match every donation, up to $50,000. For every donation of $2500, 4 of these donors will be chosen at random to attend a dinner in Las Vegas, hosted by Negreanu, followed by a fun and educational poker evening at Negreanu’s personal residence. Negreanu, in his posted video, joked in his Canadian self-deprecating manner by saying, “$2500 to spend time with me, how awesome is that?”
While this act of charity is no surprise coming from someone like Negreanu, who has really changed the image of professional poker players for the better, it is interesting to hear the motivation prompting this campaign. In November of 2012, Negreanu began a course of study on Emotional Intelligence with ChoiceCenter Leadership University in Las Vegas, Nevada. The course focuses on the soft skills such as empathy, conflict resolution, and active listening skills, that are often overlooked in the workplace, but have the greatest impact and are traits of successful individuals, both personally and professionally.
Negreanu has summed up the course by stating it is about “…being a better leader…whether it is a better leader for your family or for your community.” Negreanu has hopes that his goal will not only be met within the next 7 days, but it will also be exceeded, “I’d really like to exceed that goal and set another one, because I think we can.”
Negreanu has asked those in the poker community to share his campaign message through social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook, to spread the word and raise as much funds as possible. He has the highest praise for St. Jude’s, describing the hospital and the charity as “top shelf”. As part of his video campaign, Negreanu also included a video of a family whose baby girl was helped by St. Jude’s.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was founded in 1962 by entertainer Danny Thomas as a personal promise he had made to the patron saint of hopeless causes, St Jude Thaddeus, one of the 12 apostles. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee, and it is funded by the efforts of the American Lebaness Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC) through their many fundraising events throughout the year.
On Negreanu’s personal fundraising page, he is currently near the $30,000 mark, with 5 more days of fundraising to go. It is expected that Negreanu’s personal goal will be well exceeded before mid-week, proving that nice guys can finish in the money.
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