Poker enthusiast and husband of Celine Dion, Rene Angelil dies, and the poker community pulls together to help a member of the World Series of Poker floorstaff’s sister after a car crash leaves her in dire straits.
It was the place of the happiest moment in her life, and now one of the saddest.
Celine Dion will lay her husband Rene Angelil to rest in the Notre Dame basilica in Montreal on Friday, the location where the couple were married in 1994.
It’s been a horrific week in the life of the Grammy award winning star. Dion’s brother, Daniel Dion, died two days after Angelil’s passing. Both of them died as a result of complications leading from throat cancer.
Angelil is well known within the poker community. He earned over $750,000 in live tournament earnings. His last recorded cash was a 24th place finish in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Dec 2014. His biggest cash came in 2006 when he finished third behind Roland de Wolfe and Ralph Perry in a WPT side event for $62,175.
The Canadian singer and manager discovered Dion at the age of 12. He would later help transform her into one of the greatest female recording artists of our generation. When the pair married he was 26-years her senior.
Tributes from the world of poker have poured throughout social media. Barry Greenstein called him the ‘nicest’ guy in poker. He was 73 at the time of his death. He is survived by five children.
It’s absurd to use a superlative like “nicest” guy in poker, but Rene was exactly that. https://t.co/igfUno2c9L
— Barry Greenstein (@barrygreenstein) January 14, 2016
The Poker Community Unites to Help One of Their Own
Some of the most recognisable faces in poker have come together to help one of their own.
In the summer, Karen Hartwiger, sister of World Series of Poker (WSOP) floorman, Kris Hartwiger, suffered a head on car crash that lead to numerous surgeries and life threatening injuries.
Recently, a friend of Hartwiger, Debbie Harr, organised a GoFundMe campaign to raise $5,000 to help Hartwiger fund her medical and personal bills. Hartwiger was a pharmacy technician for RiteAid, but has been unable to work since her ordeal. Amongst Hartwig’s numerous injuries were broken arms, legs, ribs and serous eye injuries that required plastic surgery.
53 players have so far donated in excess of $6,000 including: Andrew Frankenberger, Mukul Pahuja, Maria Ho, Jon Friedberg, Phil Ivey, Will Failla, Kara Scott, Seth Palansky, Mitch Garber and Phil Hellmuth.
— Phil Ivey (@philivey) January 16, 2016
Hartwiger has two daughters.
If you would like to help, head to GoFundme and make a donation today.