Welcome to the Poker-Players-Unite.org Blog

Helping People Directly From The Felt!
$50,489.14 raised since 2010!

Past Events

January 1st- December 31st, 2017
Over the course of 2017, all Team PPU members paid monthly dues that would be used to make donations at the end of the year.  Please find the list below:

Bringing Hope Home: $1176
St. Judes: $400
WomanSpace (Domestic Abuse Foundation in NJ): $400
Bridges Outreach (Serves The Homeless in Newark, NJ): $200
Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia, PA: $200

Total Amount Donated: $2376

November 1st- December 31st, 2017 4th Annual Mark Blumenthal Pokerthon
We teamed up with Bringing Hope Home during their Adopt-A-Family event.  Our family had a loved one battling stomach cancer and needed some help.  All funds raised from this event went to them so they could pay monthly bills while focusing on their loved one.

Jacob Roybal, Jeffrey Pinyan, Joseph Utter, Rudy Schultz, Peter Olley, Shaun Hazard, and Rick Blumenthal all played during the month of November.  We decided to leave the fundraising page up all of December so people could make donations.  

Amount raised: $2830 ($1176 donated by PPU from dues collected over the year)

April 8, 2017: Mini Pokerthon Benefiting Bringing Hope Home
This was put together last minute by Rick Blumenthal.  He was able to get 3 sponsors for a single tournament.  Sadly he busted in level 6. Big thanks to those who sponsored him!

Amount Raised: $30

March 12, 2017: 888NJ Online Event Benefiting WaterAid

Our first online event with 888nj had 14 players battle it out for over $400 in tournament tickets. Dobby22 took home the top prize of a $215 tournament ticket, followed by Heisenberg14 and our very own founder, Rick Blumenthal.  This event benefited WaterAid America.  

Amount Raised: $200

June 25- July 9, 2016: Shaka For Trucker Pokerthon

Three-year-old Trucker Dukes, from Maui, Hawaii, was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma at 19-months old.Trucker is part of a clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for brain relapse in Neuroblastoma patients. He and his mom travel between Maui and New York for treatment in the hope to save his life.
TeamPPU decided to name this 
pokerthon after Trucker’s favorite hand sign (and the inspiration for the social media campaign #Shaka4Trucker.) called “shaka”.  The shaka sign conveys the "Aloha Spirit", a concept of friendship, understanding, compassion, and solidarity.  It consists of extending the thumb and smallest finger while holding the three middle fingers curled.

Big thanks to Peter Olley, Shaun Hazard, Kristen Sullivan, and Rick Blumenthal!

Amount Raised: $160

To make a donation, please go here!

November 1-30, 2015: 3rd Annual Mark Blumenthal Pokerthon
For our 3rd Annual Mark Blumenthal Pokerthon, we teamed up with Bringing Hope Home during their adopt a family program for the holidays.  Our family had a loved one fighting Gastric Cancer.  

Thanks to our players; Amy Conner, Shaun Hazard, Anthony Maio, Peter Olley, Jaydon Ogden, Travis Stanley, and Rick Blumenthal, they raised $3413.  We would like to thank all of those who made donations during our event!  

We would also like to thank our prize sponsors for this event; Blue Shark Optics, Deeg Poker Apparel, Collin Moshman, and Jared Tendler.

Prize winners:
1st place: Shaun Hazard (Blue Shark Optics Horn Sharks & a Deeg Poker Prize Pack; T-shirt, Hat, and other Deeg Poker Goodies)

2nd place: Amy Conner (1 Hour Live Training Session with Collin Moshman & a Deeg Poker Prize Pack; T-shirt, Hat, and other Deeg Poker Goodies)

3rd place: Peter Olley (Choice of either "The Mental Game of Poker 1 or "The Mental Game of Poker 2" signed by Author Jared Tendler & a Deeg Poker Prize Pack; T-shirt, Hat, and other Deeg Poker Goodies).

Amount Raised: $3413
June 5-7, 2015: All-In For Alayna Pokerthon

We found the heartbreaking story of  2
year old, Alayna on NJ.com. She was allegedly beaten by a relative and his girlfriend.  The beating was so severe, she suffered a retinal hemorrhage, bleeding on the brain, and a stroke, which left her paralyzed on her left side. She would spend over a month rehab, and her mom, Melissa was out of work, taking care of her little girl.  PPU held a pokerthon to help pay some of their mounting bills.

Amy Conner, Ron Floyd, Christa Pryor, Blake
Mallot and Rick Blumenthal helped raise $260.50 during this two day event!  Melissa, Alayna, and PPU thank you for your efforts!

Amount Raised: $260.50

To make a donation, please visit Alayna's Go Fund Me Page

February 2015: Bringing Hope Home Pokerthon

We teamed up with an amazing foundation from Philadelphia, PA, Bringing Hope Home, that helps pay critical household bills for local families with cancer. Rick played in 8 events and lasted a total of 84 levels.  Sadly, he didn't have any
cashes or wins, but was able to raise $219.  Thanks to all those who donated!

Amount Raised: $219

November 15-30, 2014: 2nd Annual Mark Blumenthal Pokerthon

We teamed up with the Gastric Cancer Foundation for the 2nd straight year, to help raise awareness and
much needed funds for Gastric Cancer research. Kristin Laverty, Jacob Roybal, and Rick Blumenthal took part in this event!  

Kristin's donation was made in Mark's name to the Alberta Children's Hospital in Alberta, Canada.

GCF:$1834 (Donations can still be made via the First Giving Page)
Amount Raised: $2279 

October 11, 2014: Team Weston Pokerthon

We teamed up with Weston's Warriors to help raise awareness for pulmonary hypertension and becoming an organ donor.  Weston battled illness for 7 years and waited for a lung/heart donor for 3 years. He finally received his gift of life on December 12, 2013. No matter how sick he was, Weston was always trying to find ways to help others. From fundraisers to organ donor drives, he strived to make a difference.

Mark Terruso, Dave
Terruso and Rick Blumenthal played the Harrah's Philly 11:30am $2k Gtd Daily.  The event drew 129 players and created a prize pool of over $4k, paying the top 12. Dave had a deep run and busted in the top 20. Rick busted in 3rd.  

Amount Raised: $175

August 22-26 2014: All In For
Shronk Pokerthon

This was the fourth event we held in memory of Justin Shronk.  Thanks to everyone who participated, and especially to those who donated!  

Amount Raised: $442

May 27-July 14 2014: Raise It Up

Poker Gives & TeamPPU teamed up for the 2nd time in 10 months for this 6 week campaign. The top 3 fundraisers won some cool prizes! Our own, Rudy Schultz, won a Card Player Cruise for two. Another TeamPPU member, Brian Lindsay, took 2nd and earned himself a training session with November niner, Jeremy Ausmus.  Diane
Rozniktook 3rd and won a pair of Blue Shark Optics.  Thank you to everyone who participated and most importantly, to those who donated! 

Amount Raised: $3759.14

April 18-19 2014: Toytle.org Pokerthon

We teamed up with Toytle.org to help raise some awareness and funds for the Phoenix Children's Hospital.  TeamPPU members, Brian Lindsay, Jacob Roybal, Rudy Schultz, and Rick Blumenthal played in various poker events across the country during this
two day event.  We would like to thank all of our sponsors for their generosity!

To make a donation please go to PCH's website.

Amount Raised: $1058

November 10-27 2013: 1st Annual Mark Blumenthal Pokerthon

We teamed up with the Gastric Cancer Foundation (via the Jimmy V Foundation) to help raise awareness and
much needed funds for Stomach Cancer.  This event was held to honor our beloved photographer, Mark Blumenthal, who lost his short battle on July 12, 2013.  Seven players from across the country played in various poker tournaments over 17 days!  Thank you to everyone who played, and to those who sponsored our players!  We set our goal at $3k and we are 45% of the way there.

Amount Raised: $2011

September 20-22 2013: Poker Gives Pokerthon

We unveiled our newest concept called "The Pokerthon"  during Poker Gives "National Poker Month".  Twelve players from across the country played in various poker tournaments to help give back to those in need!   Thank you to everyone who played, and to those who sponsored our players!  

Amount raised: $1629.50
August 3rd, 2013: Justin Shronk Scholarship Fund Fundraiser

This event was supposed to be an online poker tourney, but it was 
cancelled last minute by Pokerstars.  Instead, we turned it into a good old fundraising effort.  We will be hosting a poker tournament in 2014!  

Amount raised: $270
August 18th, 2012: Justin Shronk NLHE Tourney @The Revel Casino

This was a $215 event with unlimited re-buys through the first 3 levels. Twelve players, including poker pro's Brian Lemke, Matt Glantz, Paul Volpe, Mark Herm, Al "AlCan'tHang" Rash, and Mariealena D'Agostino all played for a $3300 prize pool.  In the end, we had a
3 way chop between David Krauss, Tyler Blickman, and Gary Howard.  Each took home $1100, but David also took home the trophy. Mark Blumenthal handled all the photography duties and Fifth Street Radio covered the entire event live!  Thanks to all the players, The Revel Casino, Mark Blumenthal, Mark hoke and the Fifth Street Radio team, Kim Shronk, and Courtney Mrusko for making this a success. 

Amount raised: $3400

November 13th, 2011: All-In for the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware

Jason's Angels and PPU teamed up to honor the memory of Jason Lamonaca.  Jason lost his battle with colon cancer back in August, but always found time to help out the RMH of DE.  Rick decided to play in the Philadelphia Poker Championships, which was hosted by Harrah's in Chester, PA.  His goal was to donate at least 20% of any winnings from the 
event and reached out to family and friends to make donations while he played.  Sadly, he busted 30th out of 172 players.  The top 18 got paid.  We are waiting for the totals to be revealed.

Amount raised:$0 (No donations were made.) 

To make a donation please send a check to:
 Ronald McDonald House of Delaware
1901 Rockland Rd.
Wilmington, DE 19803
August 7th, 2011: Justin Shronk Memorial Scholarship Fund Live Event
Cigars and PPU teamed up to help raise money for the JSMSF.  Ten players turned out including two pro's, 2009 WSOP bracelet winner, Brian Lemke and Mariealena D'Agostino.  Brian went on to win the tournament.  Please see pics from this event in our picture gallery.

Amount raised: $475

April 30th, 2011:  All In Against Tay-Sachs Pokerthon
I made my return to the live felt for the first time in over two years. I would be playing to raise awareness and money for the National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases, Inc. My
battle ground would be at Harrah’s Chester Casino (Chester, PA) during the WSOP circuit events. The event was the $125 NLHE event which drew 114 total players and created a prize pool of just over $10k. The top 12 would get paid with 1st place taking home just over $3100. Sadly, I went out in 40th and did not cash.

Amount Raised: $0 (No donations were made.)
December 12, 2010: North Wales Library

The North Wales Area Library had been housed in the basement of the North Wales Elementary School since 1927. Over the years, the collection had outgrown its space, and facilities for community programming were highly desired. The present building at 233 Swartley Street was purchased in 2008. A two-year renovation commenced. On January 4, 2010, the North Wales Area Library re-opened containing 30,000 volumes with community space for activities.

Today the North Wales Area Library is used by a much larger community, including the residents of North Wales, Lansdale, Hatfield, Upper Gwynedd, and Montgomery and Towamencin Townships. The North Wales Area Library is much more than a collection of books. We offer a variety of reading, science and humanities programs, book clubs for all ages as well as access to required books on summer reading lists.

The North Wales Area Library is a vital part of the North Penn community and is moving forward with our plans for an exciting future that will continue to meet the needs of area residents.

TID:5109336 2nd Sunday's Charity Hold'em
Hosted by: Maria Ho
Prize pool: $2,150
UB 100% match: $2,150
Charities account transfers: TBA
Total: $4,300

To make a donation please call the library at 215-699-5410
November 14, 2010: Justin Shronk Memorial Scholarship Fund

PokerRoad Radio Producer and poker player Justin Shronk passed away on April 19th, 2009. The Justin Shronk Memorial Scholarship Fund ("JSMSF") was established in 2009 at the Temple University School of Communications and Theater, to honor Justin's life and passion for his career in communications. Justin graduated from Temple in 2005 with a degree in Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media (BTMM). At the time of his passing, Justin had established himself as an integral and
much lovedmember of the poker media, having also enjoyed stints working at PokerNews, Bluff Media, and CardPlayer.
The JSMSF is currently providing support for students majoring in BTMM with financial hardship, particularly those whose need has been increased by the loss of one parent, and who may also possess the same absolute zeal for everything media, a similar quick wit, and a loyalty in their
friendships, as embodied by Justin.

TID:5109335 2nd Sunday's Charity Hold'em
Hosted by: Joe Sebok
Prize pool: $2,060
UB 100% match: $2,060
Charities account transfers: $52
Total: $4,172

To make a donation please go here and follow the directions below:

1. Click Give Now. On the next screen,
2. Fill in your name and email address. Enter your amount.
3. Choose School of Communications and Theater on the first menu.
4. It appears the Shronk Memorial fund no longer appears in the second menu, so choose Other and enter "Justin Shronk Memorial Scholarship" in the field
5. This part is optional, but I entered "memory of" and Justin Shronk on the next part. It doesn't really matter because all donations to that fund are essentially in
6. From there, click Next and complete all the stuff for payment type, address, etc. 
October 10, 2010: Dravet Foundation

The Dravet Syndrome Foundation is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization dedicated to aggressively raising research funds for Dravet syndrome, a rare and catastrophic form of epilepsy beginning in childhood, and related conditions.  It was an honor to work with such a great foundation, and I hope we can team up again in the near future.

TID:5769789 2nd Sunday's Charity Hold'em
Hosted by: Brandon Cantu
Prize pool: $1,450
UB 100% match: $1,450
Charities account transfers: $0
Total: $2,900

August 8, 2010: 3 Girls, 13.2 Miles, 1 Cause

I was reading the Metro newspaper a few weeks ago and found a heartbreaking story about a Clifton Heights (located in PA) man named Jason LaMonaca, who has been battling colon cancer for 4 years, had his parents home broken into. The thief or thieves made off with his mother’s
jewelery as well as $2000 dollars that was raised for him by family and friends. This happened while he was at the hospital and was told that his cancer h...ad spread to his lungs! This is the one of the worst things anyone can do to someone else I am pleased to announce that Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker and Poker Players Unite.Org are teaming up again to help out a good cause!

TID:5670233 2nd Sunday's Charity Hold'em
Hosted by: Annie Duke
Players: 223
Prize pool: $2,230
UB 100% match: $2,230
Charities account transfers: $0
Total: $4,460
July11, 2010: Crystal King Benefit Foundation

I heard about this cause on Pokerroad.com during one of their podcasts.  Jeremiah Smith said that Gavin had pledged a percentage of his
wsop winnings to help out Crystal and her family, after she was involved in a horrible car accident with her 3 year old twins.  Sadly, Caden didn't make it, and luckily Camrea only suffered a slight nose fracture.  Crystal was injured pretty badly and will require months of physical therapy.  It was an honor and a pleasure working with Amber King, Crystal's sister, and Andres from UB on this event!

TID:5625616 2nd Sunday's Charity Hold'em
Hosted by: Tiffany Michelle
Players: 237
Prize pool: $2,370
UB 100% match: $2,370
Charities account transfers: $0
Total: $4,740

13 2010:  National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Association, Inc.

The mission of the NTSAD is to lead the fight to treat and cure Tay-Sachs,
Canavan and related genetic diseases and to support affected families and individuals in leading fuller lives. Today, thanks to the tireless work of the NTSAD, more than two million have been tested for Tay-Sachs disease, thousands of Tay-Sachs carriers have been identified, and hundreds of healthy children have been born to high-risk couples.

TID:5109328 2nd Sunday's Charity Hold'em
Hosted by: Joe Sebok
Players: 284
Prize pool: $2,840
UB 100% match: $2,840
Charities account transfers: $10
Total: $5,690

Combine that with the $435 raised during Pokerstars Scoop event in May 2010: $6105

To make a donation please go here and choose "make a gift".

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