Hurricane Irma, one of the biggest and most powerful storms ever recorded, reached a Category 5 hurricane and hitting wind peaks at 185mph. Hurricane Irma unleashed its destruction upon the Caribbean and the Florida Keys, before eventually making landfall in Florida. Irma marked the second major hurricane to wreak havoc in the United States. A couple of weeks earlier, Hurricane Harvey caused widespread flooding in Houston and along the Texas coast.
The majority of Irma's destruction occurred in the North Caribbean, particularly the islands of Barbuda, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy, Anguilla, and some of the Virgin Islands. The current death total is 82 and the numbers do not account for those missing.
Over the last decade, PokerStars has consistently stepped up to assist in relief efforts by raising money through various tournaments. PokerStars players alone raised 250K to assist with Nepal Earthquake relief. PokerStars matches their player donations, so over half million dollars went to assist Nepal.
Once again, PokerStars will be matching donations to Helping Hands. You can donate directly, or indirectly. PokerStars is currently hosting a series of dummy tournaments as a way for players to donate. Please note, these are not actual tournaments, but just a lobby and means to collect relief in the form of various buy-ins. For more info, head over to PokerStars corporate blog.
Here's the entire press release from PokerStars...
The most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade has wreaked unimaginable devastation across the Caribbean, leaving huge areas barely habitable and thousands of people without homes, food or shelter.
To give much-needed assistance to those who have lost so much, we have once again partnered with global relief charity CARE International through The Stars Group's corporate giving program, ‘Helping Hands' to launch the Hurricane Irma Emergency Appeal. CARE urgently needs funds to provide essential aid to the many thousands of people in need of help and Helping Hands will match every dollar donated through our software.
PokerStars is inviting players to make donations right now and there are a number of ways to get involved.
Players can donate using our software by registering to special dummy poker tournaments in the lobby, found under the ‘Tournaments' tab (or ‘Tourneys' in the app). Please note that these are not real tournaments, but simply a way to collect donations. Dummy tournaments are in the amounts of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $200, $500, $1,000, and €1, €10 and €100, corresponding to the amount players wish to donate. When players register, their buy-in will be added to the Hurricane Irma Emergency Appeal fund. Players can donate via multiple dummy tournaments if they wish, and we will match every dollar donated via our software.
More ways to donate
Players can also donate by making a player transfer. To do so, open the Cashier in the desktop client and select ‘Transfer to Player'. Enter the amount you wish to donate and put ‘Irma Fund' as the recipient Stars ID. The specified amount will be added to the Hurricane Irma Emergency Appeal fund.
Donations can also be made through a player transfer and via the Rewards Store, using StarsCoin. Helping Hands will match all donations made using player transfer and StarsCoin.
Finally, players can donate directly through the CARE International website, though players should be aware that we are only able to match donations made using the PokerStars software.
Whilst our immediate appeal will focus on the most vulnerable people affected in Haiti and Cuba, we are also acutely aware of the loss felt in Florida, from where a number of our own staff were forced to relocate. Helping Hands will also be working with our partners in Florida to identify those with the most urgent need for help and will soon update our players on how they can lend their support.