50 hour charity poker podcast a huge success

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Sep 05, 2012 Posted in Poker News | 2 Comments »

The 50-hour Ironman Podcast at www.VegasPokerRadio.com is officially in the books, and what a long strange trip it has been for the three hosts, Johnny Sep, Kevin Wright, and Brandon Gerson, who stayed awake and talking (with a little nap here and there) throughout the entirety of the podcast. In addition to the three hosts a supporting cast of guest hosts, producers, and listeners raised over $6,600 for the 22Q.org Foundation, but more importantly raised awareness of the little heard of 22Q11.2 Deletion Syndrome for tens-of-thousands of people.

Before I get into the podcast itself I want to take a minute to explain the importance of the work that organizations like 22Q.org and the Dempster Foundation are doing. The 22Q11.2 Deletion is one of the most common childhood syndromes, affecting 1-in-2,000 children. With varying degrees of severity, the 22Q Deletion can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years, with symptoms ranging from cardiac defects and developmental delays, as well as hearing loss, gastrointestinal feeding difficulties, and blood disorders. As a relatively new diagnosis the 22Q Deletion is not as well-known as other childhood afflictions like Cystic Fibrosis or Autism, but comes with the same hardships and ailments for families impacted by the 22Q Deletion.

Visit www.22q.org for more information

The Podcast got off to a roaring start before it even started, with the publicity coming from a very unlikely, and reluctant, source, the 2+2 poker forum, thanks to a statement from Daniel Negreanu. The short version of the story goes something like this:

Supporters of the Ironman Podcast posted about the soon to be attempted marathon podcast and its impressive guest list on the 2+2 Poker Forum knowing full well there was a better than 50/50 chance the message would be deleted. So it came as no surprise when the message was in fact deleted. What was a surprise was a Private Message exchange between the moderator who deleted the thread and the original poster, who has a daughter afflicted with 22Q, which used what many have called ‘belittling’ language [to his credit, the moderator, ProfessionalPoker, later apologized for what he said privately] .

I wrote about the incident last Thursday, and on Friday Daniel Negreanu was pointed to the article and made a statement on his forum, fullcontactpoker.com, with some highly critical language directed at Mason Malmuth and 2+2 in general. Once Daniel got involved the story became the poker drama-bomb of the day, setting off a chain reaction, with the 22Q Foundation being the main beneficiary, as there was more recognition thanks to the controversy than any amount of press releases could have drummed up (hits to the article, podcast, and the 22Q.org website were suddenly measured in the tens-of-thousands) a very unanticipated but welcome boost.

Daniel’s involvement went even further than this, as he appeared on the podcast, giving the listeners a lengthy one-hour interview where he talked about everything from Mason Malmuth, to Annie Duke, to Matt Marifioti. Fortunately, if you missed the podcast (or even parts of it) the entire show is available for download in the VegasPokerRadio.com Archives in two-hour clips. Anyone donating to the 22Q.org Foundation will have access to all 25 or so episodes.


Daniel wasn’t the only big name guest on the show, or the only guest who had the chat buzzing. Here are some of my favorite moments from the show:

* Texas Rangers pitcher Ryan Dempster (who has a daughter with the 22Q Deletion and started the Dempster Foundation) was on the show, and talked baseball, and surprisingly a lot of poker!

* WSOP commentator Norman Chad was his usual self in a great interview that included some back and forth jabs with the hosts.

* Mental Game Coach and author Jared Tendler brought the hits when he analyzed the hosts after being on the air for over 40 hours.

* A misdial when contacting Victor Ramdin in the wee hours of the night led to a running prank call to an irate man in Pennsylvania who “doesn’t care about the children”.

* 2003 WSOP Champion Chris Moneymaker gave a great interview while BBQ’ing for 15 people on Labor Day,

* 2006 WSOP Champion Jamie Gold name-dropped and explained the staking controversy from his 2006 WSOP win.

* The overall sleep-deprived talk during the second 24 hours of the show is reason enough to listen –anyone who has ever tried to formulate a coherent thought after being up for two days will understand how quickly this can go awry!

Other poker related guests that appeared on the podcast include Greg Raymer, Matt Savage, Christina Lindley, Shannon Shorr, Josh Arieh, Dusty Schmidt, Jonathan Little, Greg Mueller, Victor Ramdin, David Plastik, and the enigmatic AsianSpa to name just some of the people on the lengthy guest list. The podcast also featured various people involved with 22Q, as well as guest hosts Mark “Chinamaniac” Gryglik and Todd “Dan Druff” Witteles.

Perhaps nothing will better explain the goodwill and charity of the hosts and listeners better than the charity poker room that was setup for the duration of the podcast. Throughout the podcast a number of tournaments took place (15 in total) and players who had deposited on the poker room were quick to offer stakes to countless players who were willing to play the events with all winnings going to the 22Q Foundation. The camaraderie and charity shown in the poker room was an amazing sight to behold, and even saw one player crossbook action against himself in the Main Event, guaranteeing a victory or he would donate the amount of first-place to the 22Q.org Foundation. Amazingly “HockeyGuy” did in fact win the tournament, but still donated the first-place prize AND a matching amount from his own pocket to the cause.

The $6,600 (a number that will probably continue to rise in the coming days) in donations will go directly to the 22Q.org Foundation, but even more importantly was the raising of awareness. Most of the guests had never heard of the 22Q Deletion prior to the Ironman Podcast, but can now describe the syndrome to their friends and family. This, coupled with the amount of tweeting going on likely reached the ears of hundreds-of-thousands people.

Even though the podcast has concluded, you can still make a donation to 22Q.org here: https://www.kintera.org/AutoGen/Simple/Donor.asp?ievent=1038472&en=6pIBLLPnE5JKJVOqE4IGJXPHKgLEIPPzGhKOIVPALpL1H


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2 Responses to “50 hour charity poker podcast a huge success”

  1. BettingNews says:

    Excellent that money could be raised for a great cause and people could have fun!

  2. I think it’s great how an event as unique as this one generated such publicity and positive reviews. Not only did a whole host of household Poker names turn up for this podcast, but a selection of celebrities attended all for a good cause. I’m sure that this charity event and the success it brought will be hugely beneficial for the 22Q.org foundation in both the short and long term.

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