Want to Play Poker Phil Hellmuth at the WSOP? You’ll Need $16,700
“We care most about the special experiences we enjoy.” That is the opening line from a page on the online charity marketplace IfOnly, a relatively new suite that offers unique experiences with top luminaries from fields such as food, golf, and more importantly to readers of Flushdraw.net, poker.
IfOnly currently has six poker players on its books, all of who are trying to raise money for their chosen charity. Phil Hellmuth (The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation), Antonio Esfandiari (ONE DROP), Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital) and Liv Boeree (Greenpeace ), 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Jamie Gold (Global Creative Forum), and Phil Laak (Camp Sunshine) being the sextet of poker stars available to choose from.
One of the cheaper experiences are offered by former European Poker Tour San Remo champion Liv Boeree. For $3,400, IfOnly will set up a meeting at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino between you and Boeree where she will “pose for a photo and sign an autograph for you to take home as a momento.”
Stump up $5,000 ($1,250 per person), you and up to four friends can join Boeree on a two-hour hike at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area that is situated outside of the hustle-bustle of Las Vegas.
The same meet-and-greet package that costs $3,600 for Boeree weighs in at $16,700 for the 13-time WSOP champion Phil Hellmuth. The self-proclaimed “Poker Brat” can also be hired to play poker with you and up to six people for two hours for the princely sum of $42,900, the same price IfOnly charges to have a two hour poker lesson from Mr Hellmuth Jr.
One experience package that could prove popular is the VIP Vegas Night with “The King of Clubs” Antonio Esfandiari. Costing $35,800 ($5,970 per person), the VIP Vegas Nigh includes limo service, VIP entry and premium table service throughout some of the most exclusive clubs and nightlife spots that “Sin City” has to offer, all with the Big One For One Drop winner in tow.
If you prefer not to hang out with poker players, you can choose from people such as Joe Montana, skateboarder Tony Hawk, former tennis ace Andre Agassi, Lady Gaga, Beatle Paul McCartney, or Cher.
Trevor Taina, the IfOnly CEO, recently featured in a Bloomberg interview where he revealed “Right now we give to charity 70 cents for every dollar we take – and that’s great.” Taina, whose company Traina Interactive Corp. created IfOnly also said in the interview, “There are so many stores where you can buy things, but people don’t want to buy things, people want experiences. So I thought, why not build a store that sells experiences rather than things? And well, if we can also do some charity at the same time – even better.”
On the surface, giving 70 cents per dollar to charity seems like a superb deal, but think about that figure and you realize that a whopping 30 per cent is kept, presumably to pay those poker players who are offering experiences and to the IfOnly coffers. It will be interesting to see how the poker community reacts to removing such a large slice of “rake” from each of the charitable events.