Elon Musk Hires Poker Player to Manage Charity Donations

Elon Musk Igor Kurganov Charity
Elon Musk is working with poker pro Igor Kurganov, who will help advise him on which charities to donate to.

One of the most successful players in the poker world has teamed up with the richest person in the greater world, as Igor Kurganov has been hired to manage Elon Musk’s charitable donations – the latest of which was worth $5.7 billion.

How Kurganov is Helping Musk

According to Bloomberg, all of the recent recipients of donations from Musk have worked with Kurganov. The top poker player, who is also a well-known philanthropist, was the one who coordinated these donations.

Kurganov will be the point of contact for all those who receive donations from Musk. He will also help out when it comes to vetting proposals.

It still seems like it’s early on in their working relationship, so we’re sure to learn more as the weeks go on. With Kurganov’s background in advising on which charities are best to donate to, he will certainly help Musk make some great decisions.

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Igor Kurganov’s Philanthropy

Aside from being a hugely successful poker player who is in the Top 50 of Hendon Mob’s All Time Money List, Kurganov is also an experience philanthropist. In 2014, he and fellow poker pros Live Boeree, Phil Gruissem and Stefan Huber co-founded Raising for Effective Giving – which provides advice on charitable donations to individuals and organization while supporting fundraising campaigns.

Some of the organizations that Raising for Effective Giving recommends are:

  • Malaria Consortium, which distributes preventative anti-malarial drugs to children
  • Good Food Institute, which promotes the development of alternatives to animal-based products
  • Machine Intelligence Research Institute, which conducts mathematical research to AI has a positive impact

Many professional poker players have joined the cause. Pros like Erik Seidel, John Juanda and Luciana Manolea have even pledged percentages of their winnings to good causes.

Kurganov also works with the Forethought Foundation as a strategic advisor. This particular organization promotes academic projects that aim to help the world make the best use of scare resources.

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“By taking money from people who might need it and by giving it to people that need it way, way more we can outweigh doing something negative.”Igor Kurganov

Poker and Charity

While poker tournaments have been a popular method of raising money for charities over the years, we’ve recently seen a surge of poker brands and poker players doing their part to support good causes.

Most recently, Phil Hellmuth participated in the Warriors Community Foundation Poker tournament – an event he has taken part in for the past 8 years. Another well-known event that supports charity is the Triton Million poker tournament; in 2019, all players paid an additional $50,000 on top of their buy-in which went to Raising for Effective Giving, The One Drop Foundation and We Care Taiwan.

This is a great trend that we’d love to see continue in the future. Professional poker players are in a more-than appropriate position to do good in the world, and it’s wonderful to see that so many are rising to the occasion.

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