Jennifer Harman (pictured right) is one of the most respected players in poker. She is respected on the felt for her two World Series of Poker gold bracelets and her regular appearances at the big game in Bobby’s Room. She is respected off the felt for her consistent giving to charitable causes through donations and hosting charity poker tournaments.Her most recent charity endeavor, the Jenifer Harman Charity Poker Tournament , will benefit the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ( SPCA ) no-kill animal shelter, and it takes place tomorrow at the Venetian poker room in Las Vegas. This is fourth year for the tournament and it has raised six-figures for charity since it began in 2007.The tournament will start at 5 p.m., and the event kicks off at 4 p.m. with a red carpet and silent auction. The $330 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament will also feature $100 rebuys for the first three 20-minute levels, and a one-time $100 add-on for double your starting stack. The grand prize of the tournament is a $10,000 World Series of Poker main-event seat and a Curtis & Co. watch.Harman’s spirit for giving was inspired by her empathetic nature and her experience receiving two kidney transplants. “If I can help out because of the popularity of poker it’s my pleasure and I want to do it with all of my heart,” said Harman. She donates one percent of her winnings to the NephCure Foundation through the “All-in for a Cure” pledge program. She also hosted a charity tournament for the National Kidney Foundation last year that raised $107,000. You can read on below to hear about her future charity event plans that include a tournament to support the John Stephen Klacking Foundation and childhood cancer.Harman has always been impressed by the generous spirit of the poker community. She also believes that if people don’t have extra cash they can always give in other ways. Two easy ways are to become an organ donor , and instead of purchasing a pet, families can adopt animals from a shelter next time they’re looking for a pet. “All animals have big hearts and they love unconditionally, so it is always great to adopt,” said Harman.Card Player caught up with Harman today and she spoke about her charity efforts:Ryan Lucchesi: What can people expect at the Nevada SPCA charity tournament tomorrow night at Venetian?Jennifer Harman: It’s going to be exciting. We are going to have a lot of animals down there and it’s going to be a lot of fun. The atmosphere is really energetic. It always brings a smile out of people.RL: What first encouraged you to support the Nevada SPCA ?JH: I’ve always been an animal lover, and I know that the NSPCA is a no-kill animal shelter. I wanted to raise money for them, as well as awareness so people will bring animals to them so they don’t get killed. I met the people there and they all have such big hearts that I wanted to help them out.RL: Are you impressed by the consistent support of the poker community for charitable causes?JH: Poker players are givers and all you have to do is ask and they come. Most of them have big hearts and a lot of them are animal lovers. They enjoy being able to give. I think they have it in their hearts that they want to help.RL: You have been one of the pioneers to harness the fun of a poker tournament and use it for charity. What makes these events successful year after year?JH: I think it is fun because there is no pressure. It’s about giving and it’s more of a social event than it is a serious tournament. I think that atmosphere has a lot to do with it.RL: What charity events will you be hosting in the future after tomorrow night’s tournament?JH: In October I will be hosting an event for pediatric leukemia. It will take place during the World Poker Tour event at Bellagio. All the money from that event will go to support the John Stephen Klacking Foundation and their research to cure childhood leukemia and cancer.RL: Were you inspired by your own experience with kidney illness and receiving organ transplants to give back to charities?JH: Yeah, of course. Raising awareness for organ donations is huge because so many people die waiting on lists for organs and if people were more aware that they are able to give back they would because it saves a lot of people’s lives. It’s very easy to become an organ donor.
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