Christmas is just around the corner, and it's a great way to share one's blessings by giving back to the community, especially to those who have way less than others and are in need of aid. Take for instance online poker player Billy Vogel, who, for the eighth time in the past eight years, shall be raising money to help support children's hospitals as well as conducting a toy drive to allow children to have a happy and much better holiday this Christmas season.
Billy Vogel may not be a well-known name in the world of poker, but he has over $96,763 in live tourney winnings starting from 2012. His biggest win so far was the $63,753 for dominating at the 2012 DeepStacks Poker Tour Western New York Championship. In the 2013 Borgata Summer Poker Open $230 NLHE Deepstack, he finished runner-up and won $16,788. For settling at 13th place in the 2012 Venetian Deepstack Extravaganza II $1,100 NLHE, he won $2,682. He finished 142nd place for $2,601 in the 2012 WSOP Event #44: $1,000 NLHE.
Winter Wonderland, a yearly event in Atlantic City, enables everyone to enjoy the casino town's convention center which is turned into a pop-up holiday carnival for the town's children, ages 3 up to 12, featuring rides, magic shows, bounce houses, games, face painting, sitting on Santa's lap, and toy giveaways.
The event will be held on December 9 this year, and this time Billy Vogel's Toys for Kids program has partnered with the Atlantic City Police Department.
So far, Vogel has raised over $3,500 on this year's drive and has donated the full amount. He wrote in his Twitter account, "We've blown by last year's total ... There's a local children's museum that teaches with interactive play that could use some supplies. [We're] in talks with the Virgin Islands to help bring toys to their hurricane relief."
He also said they have spent over $2,000 from the donations on toys for the upcoming Winter Wonderland 2017 event in Atlantic City.
The inaugural ‘Toys for Kids' charity program was in 2010 and it raised $3,500 in donations: $1,600 was given to an organized toy donation center drop off while $1,900 was used up to buy toys which were then donated to a US Marines ‘Toys for Tots' charity drive. Ever since then, Vogel's charitable efforts have managed to raise over $30,000 for children!
Poker pro Matt Affleck said on the 2014 drive, "Toys For Kids Charity was started on TwoPlusTwo six years ago, as a way for poker players to give back to the community. Players worked together to provide smiles for kids. Eventually, the charity became too large to be promoted on TwoPlusTwo. Now Billy Vogel has taken the reigns to make sure the charity goes on."
Billy Vogel said, "I'm an online poker player. I have friends from all across the world that decided we wanted to help out, so we raised money and they donated it to me. I went and bought all the toys." On the 2014 charity program, Vogel purchased so many toys that he had to store them at the Ritz Condominiums in Atlantic City until they were ready to be distributed.