The poker players of San Remo came out in force today to offer their support to the victims of the devastating L’Aquila earthquake earlier this month, which left close to 300 people dead and thousands more without a home. A €1,200 side event attracted a capacity 140 players, with the casino waiving their €200 administration fee, and PokerStars adding a further €300 per person to the appeal. That made a total of €70,000 going direct to those who most need it, via the charity PokerForLife.it and the Red Cross.

“It was great to see so much money going to the appeal,” said the Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano, who was one of the co-founders of PokerForLife.it and has been involved for several weeks in the organisation of the event. “Poker is all about money, and everyone always wants to win. And it’s really good to see that by playing poker we can help out a very worthwhile cause.”

The tournament attracted a glittering array of talent, including Pagano’s Team PokerStars Pro colleagues William Thorson, Chad Brown, Johnny Lodden and Dario Minieri. They were joined by Annette Obrestad, Julian Thew and Jason Mercier, among many others, and the Italian television hosts Daniele Interrante and Pamela Canessa. Interrante was seated next to Minieri, offering them the chance to talk all things Roma, the football team followed passionately by both of them.

As the main event goes through its dinner break, with 175 players remaining in level 13, the charity tournament continues. We’ll have details of the winners here as and when we know them, but for the time being we can simply look at the only real statistic that matters: €70,000 going straight to where it can do the most good.

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