3: Barrels of a financial theme including Jens Kyllonen’s decision to quit poker, Andrew Robl’s monthly charity drive, and Kenny Hallaert’s request to help REG in return for WSOP spreadsheet sweat.
Yesterday, I visited a baby fair in ExCel, London. I spent close to £200 on toys, clothes, and saltwater solutions I can squirt up my daughter’s nose to soften those dreaded buggers enough so I can suck them out while leaving her tiny brain intact.
My wife loved it.
Me, not so much, I couldn’t stop worrying about the money we were spending. And so, for me, when I read self-help books telling me that money doesn’t improve my happiness, I think:
“You are full of shit.”
More money would make a big difference to me, but I am also hyper-aware that the situation changes when I reach a certain income threshold. And I hit that limit when I am earning £7,000 per month in passive income. Once I hit that point, having more money won’t necessarily increase my happiness.
I imagine Jens “Jeans89” Kyllonen went through the same money machine as I did. I assume the Finnish Pro once struggled for money like everyone else on the first rung of the economic ladder.
Then he found poker.
Kyllonen started earning money quicker than Indiana Jones went through whips. He had so much money he booked a seat on a Virgin Galactic flight to outer space and played in the $1m buy-in Big One for One Drop without selling any action.
And then, one day, he thought, “What’s the point?”
In the excellent book The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically the author Peter Singer points to a study that showed single people earning a median income, increased happiness by 767%, once then found a partner.
During a recent interview with the Finnish newspaper, Iltalehti, Kyllonen explained he was quitting poker for a variety of reasons, including attending the Hanken School of Economics so he can improve his financial education. But he also pointed to his relationship with his girlfriend as another reason to quit the game that made him so rich.
For Kyllonen, having more money no longer pushes his buttons, improving his relationships and educations are now essential.
Andrew Robl’s Charity Drive
The decision to question the good that poker does in the world has risen to the forefront of our headlines with more frequency since Raising for Effective Giving (REG) started asking poker players to donate a percentage of their funds to help reduce suffering in the world.
Suddenly, playing poker had a purpose, and this gave some players like Philipp Gruissem, for example, the impetus to remain within the game to try and use his skills to benefit those less fortunate than he.
Another person who chooses to use poker as a vehicle to help others is High Stakes Pro, Andrew Robl, and he has taken a leaf out of the Dan Smith effective altruism playbook by hosting a charity matching drive.
At the turn of the year, Robl took to his Twitter account to advise his 24.5k followers that he and his partner was going to choose four charities and match donations capped at $25k per month. The plan was to raise over $600k for charity by the end of the year, with $300k coming out of the Robl Family Piggy Bank.
With a goal of living more purposefully in 2017 Christal and I will be matching $300,000 in charity donations. https://t.co/j61dRKFogw
— Andrew Robl (@Andrew_Robl) January 23, 2017
It seems his Twitter followers didn’t take the bait, so in February, Robl decided to increase the stakes by matching donations by 4x (still capped at $25k), and it did the trick with $9,020 received in donations, and Robl and his partner Christal donated $36,080 to charity.
REG’s rise in prominence has created some meaningful conversations within the community on the benefits of donating to causes dear to your heart or your head.
What is good about Robl’s charity drive, is he takes care of both. His four charities are a mix of both head and heart charities.
Robl’s Four Charities
2. Charity Water
3. Tony Robbins Foundation
4. Pencils for Promise
If you want to be involved in donating to charity, then following Robl on Twitter and taking advantage of his charity matching drives each month is a great place to begin.
Kenny Hallaert Shows REG Affiliation
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is Lapland for adults.
For the six weeks that Caesars hosts their annual poker extravaganza, the entire Strip gets into the act, by offering insane value for both amateur and professional poker players.
But where do you begin?
Kenny Hallaert, Unibet Tournament Director, and darn good poker player, helps you out each year by creating the WSOP Spreadsheet – your one-stop guide to everything poker related that’s going on in The Strip during that timeframe.
Hallaert puts a lot of time and effort into the creation of his spreadsheet and in previous years has asked for nothing in return. This year, Hallaert gives you a chance to put your hand in your pocket in a show of appreciation, but instead of giving him your money, you can make a donation to REG.
— Kenny Hallaert (@SpaceyFCB) February 28, 2017
You can access Hallaert’s WSOP spreadsheet, right here.
And you know what the self-help books say – the more money you give, the more you get back, so I am going to give it a shot, and maybe a check will randomly appear through my letterbox for a few hundred quid so I can pay for all this baby stuff.