After the actual health crisis, the biggest problem resulting from the coronavirus epidemic is the loss of employment for millions upon millions of people around the world. In just the last two weeks, 10 million people have filed unemployment claims in the United States. And that’s just claims. Loads more people haven’t filed (either by choice or because of the overloaded system) or are ineligible to file. Among those people without work right now are poker dealers. Almost all casinos and card rooms have gone dark, leaving staff without a way to make money. To that end, partypoker has announced the Grand Prix 4 Dealers, an online poker tournament designed to raise money for freelance poker dealers.

“These are exceptional times and many freelancers and self-employed, in all industries, have got some tough months ahead,” said partypoker LIVE President John Duthie. “Freelance poker dealers are no exception and hopefully our ‘Grand Prix 4 Dealers’ tournament along with other initiatives may help. Come and play and know that you’re doing your bit to help the poker community.”

The Grand Prix 4 Dealers is a single $50 + $5 event with a whopping 24 Day 1 flights from April 26th through May 3rd. The entire $5 tournament fee will go toward aiding freelance poker dealers.

Every Day 1 flight except for the last two have 12-minute levels, with 15 levels played each flight. Players who make it through all 15 levels with chips advance to the final day on May 3rd. Players can also buy-in to as many flights as they would like in order to improve their standing; only a player’s largest chip stack at the end of a flight carries forward to the final day.

The last two flights, both held on May 3rd before the final day (remember, we’re talking poker “day” here, not actual calendar day), will have shorter levels in order to fit them in. One will be a turbo flight with six-minute levels, while the other will be a hyper turbo, with three-minute levels.

Partypoker has guaranteed a $250,000 prize pool for the Grand Prix 4 Dealers tournament. If the event hits the guarantee exactly, $25,000 will be raised for dealers. The goal, though, is to raise £100,000. In addition, Rob Yong has said he will match the first £100,000 with his own money (yes, we are aware that the currency changed mid-paragraph).

Those who want to contribute to the cause but are unable to play can donate via “donation tanks” in the partypoker tournament lobby. Donation amounts are $10, $25, $50, and $100.

There is also a page on at which people can donate. Triton Poker has pledged £50,000, though the amount is not on the page yet. JustGiving is not taking any fees from the initiative.

Photo credit: World Poker Tour via Flickr

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