Philipp Gruissem & Igor Kurganov Tithing Their Way to Victory

Philipp Gruissem and Igor Kurganov have evolved from top-notch poker players, to top-notch ambassadors of poker, after declaring their intention to donate 10% of all their winnings to charity.

None of us know quite how this universe works, and if we tried to work it all out it would drive is nuts. Sometimes you just have to have faith with what you see in the world. Accept it for what it is, embrace it and move on.


Take money for example.

When I think of money I can’t help thinking of pig shit. If you spread it around the garden then it will serve a wonderful purpose; pile it up in a heap and will it will stink.

Philipp Gruissem and Igor Kurganov have just stumbled upon this understanding and have decided they don’t want their yard to stink. Instead, they have chosen to do what many great men, and women, have chosen to do with their wealth, and give it back to the world.

When you give you receive…quite how this works is a mystery…but work it does.

Gruissem recently sent this message out through social media.

“Here is my secret for winning in poker: 

A couple of months ago I decided to give min 10% of my yearly income to charity for the rest of my life.  That fact made me get back the motivation I was losing over the years of playing poker. It refreshed my passion for this great game. 
I realized that the biggest positive impact I can currently have on the world is to keep on playing poker and donating a part of the winnings to the most effective charitable causes.

“So after that realization, I worked hard on my game, was more focused and somehow started to hit almost every hand. I came to this conclusion with my good friend Igor Kurganov who had the same positive experience and results. 
I hope it goes on like that…

Good luck to all of you seeking happiness.”

The two players also agreed to match people’s donations up to a combined total of $50k, and they decided to distribute the money on a 50/50 basis to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) and Effective Altruism. They asked for donations to be submitted before 18th Jan and for a minimum donation of $500.

Poker is often the kid who’s desperately trying to faint outside of the headmaster’s office. It has welts all over its hands from the repeated lashes of the cane.

As a member of the media I am partly responsible for this image. I guess it’s human nature to concentrate on the bad, and every now and then gloss over the good. I know this comes naturally to me. I don’t like this, but it’s there.

So it’s good to be able to smile as I write. What Gruissem and Kurganov have done will spread, because poker players pick up on winning habits. Nobody knows why tither’s always prosper, but everyone knows that they do.

With the BIG ONE for ONE DROP created millions for the ONE DROP Foundation, and other successes such as the World Poker Tour Foundation, CalvinAyre Foundation and now the high earning players also getting involved – poker is showing a new side. A nicer side. And I for one am all for it.

Nature gives all, without reservation, and loses nothing; man or woman, grasping all, loses everything – James Allen