Poker Vloggers Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen Turn Meet-Up Game into Vegas Victims Relief

A poker is chipping in to help people affected by the Las Vegas shooting that is mass.

Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen, poker vloggers

Poker vloggers Andrew Neeme (left) and Brad Owen (right) helped raise money for those in need following the Las Vegas mass shooting. (Image: Facebook/PokerMUGS)

Andrew Neeme on Sunday and Brad Owen held their poker meetup game. The game was being livestreamed on Twitch for Bellagio Poker on the Strip (twitch.tv/BellagioPOTS), and turned into a live and online platform for an impromptu design for families impacted by the Oct. 1 attack that killed 58 innocent concertgoers and wounded nearly 500 more.

“Poker feels a little less important to some degree following something like this,” Neeme told CardsChat. “At the exact same time, there is the other side of this balancing act in that people want to do things which bring a sense of normalcy.”

Neeme, a mid-stakes pro who shares his story of grinding for a living on his popular YouTube station (more than 71,000 subscribers), wanted to admit everything was not back to normal just because players were returning to the tables.

“I suppose we’re very much still in the immediate aftermath, being only marginally more than a week after the events,” Neeme stated. “But there is an undercurrent of sadness and plenty of conversation that will continue, as poker games and lifestyle continue.”

Feelgood Game

The meetup game of Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen has been occurring at casinos across town for a couple of months. Their games tend to be high action with a fair amount of drinks being served, and have become a favorite on BellagioPOTS.

At one game earlier in September, they decided to put a tip jar by the table and a donation button online to raise money for hurricane relief, which resulted in $1,200 being delivered to the Caribbean.

On Sunday at Bellagio, the game was $5/$5 NL with a mandatory $10 straddle, but more important it was an opportunity for some friends to come together at the table for the first time since the Las Vegas shooting, while also doing something to aid at home.

Neeme and Owen, both Las Vegas localsput the tip jar out, and in a matter of hours, they collected $1,701. That the donations made in chips and cash. A last tally that includes online donations is forthcoming.

Paying It Forward

The capital Owen and Neeme’s game raised are being sent to a crowdfunding effort. The Las Vegas retailer has promised to match every dollar donated up to $1 million, thereby doubling the effect of the poker players’ donations.

By going through the Zappos effort, Neeme and Owen are working with Immediate Impact Fund, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit (meaning they are legit) that aims to provide a transparent process that ensures donations are directed to reputable charity organizations.

While their game’s participation may be a small drop in the bucket, Neeme stated he was impressed by the amount of poker players and traders who chipped in. “Lots of small numbers add up to a big number,” he said.

Neeme thanked a participant named Brad who gave $500 before cards even got in the atmosphere, and a Bellagio dealer named.

“One positive that comes from poker is that people will need to come together for this to exist,” Neeme stated. “It is a small-scale reminder following a tragedy that we’re a community, and if it’s speaking with each other or gathering donations one night, poker can help strengthen that community feel.”

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