For Matt Stout, poker pro and founder of the Charity Series of Poker (CSOP) charity giving has always been close to his heart. Stout has been involved with charitable initiatives since his teenage years and it was natural for him to use his skills to set up a non-profit venture that supported various charities by organizing charity poker tournaments.
For years the CSOP has been partnering with Habitat for Humanity and various Food Banks as a portion from CSOP tournaments were directed to each charity on a regular basis.
Stout has announced a change this year, saying that the CSOP will now support Maximum Hope Foundation (MHF) instead of Habitat for Humanity.
Speaking on the decision to change partners, Stout said that while Habitat for Humanity will always have a special place in his heart he had come to realize that the non-profit was not efficient in terms of funds utilization, with more money being spent on administrative costs rather than on charity causes. Further he said that he had found that Habitat for Humanity was highly anti-gambling in its views, making it an unsuitable partner.
He clarified that the CSOP would continue supporting Food Banks. These food banks make good use of the charity funds as most of them focus only on processing and transporting of excess food. Stout said that the CSOP Las Vegas event would be hosted in support of the Three Square food bank while the Community Food Bank of New Jersey would be supported by the Borgata CSOP event.
Although the CSOP typically supports large charity organizations, Stout said that this year he had decided to give MHF an opportunity. The charity was founded and run by Brad Garrett and Kimberley Evans. This charity supports families with terminally ill children.
In a statement, Stout said
I want to continue to grow our events as I seek out more worthy charitable initiatives to support and am starting to look toward effective giving. I look forward to adding a couple more stops to our annual tour and already have been in talks with two properties I think would do a great job of hosting out events
Stout stated that it had been a learning experience to set up and operate a non-profit charity and he was still learning. CSOP was his first business venture and it had taken a lot more effort than he had thought it would take. He however added that it was also far more rewarding that he had imagined and he looked forward to doing more.