I receive a lot of credit and praise for the success of the Charity Series of Poker. While I’ve worked hard to create it, there are a lot of people, venues, and organizations behind the scenes that have done a ton of work and gotten little praise for it. Whenever I speak about the accomplishments of the CSOP I use the pronoun “we.” In this series of blogs I plan to shed some spotlight on some of the people I’m talking about when I say “we” because they’re the people who have helped me make the CSOP what it is today.
Today’s spotlight is on the man, the myth, the legend: Allen Rash. Allen hates it when I call him by him by his government name, because the entire poker community affectionately knows him only as “AlCantHang.” Al grew up outside of Philadelphia, PA and is one of my favorite people even though he roots for Philly sports teams.
I’ve known Al for about as long as I can remember playing poker on the tour. He quit his job after over 20 years of grinding in the corporate world to become one best bloggers in the poker industry and he has the résumé to prove it. He has written for just about every major tour and poker media outlet around including Borgata and Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood (two venues that’ll be spotlighted in future blogs for their contributions and generosity to the CSOP). He’s an MVP in an indispensable industry that doesn’t get nearly enough credit for its place in the poker world.
Al became the CSOP’s first volunteer after I put out a tweet during CSOP’s infancy saying something along the lines of, “I need to create a program so that whenever I have important CSOP stuff to do and I get on social media, my computer will PUNCH ME IN THE FACE.” Al texted me and told me that he knew that I was joking, but that if I ever needed help that he was more than happy to be a part of it. I hear that from a lot of people, but Al has really proven it over the years and has been the main person responsible for maintaining the CSOP’s website among other things.
The bottom line is that this guy has a heart of gold and I’m proud to call him a friend and CSOP volunteer. We’re extremely lucky to have him on the team. Huge thank you to Al for everything he does for poker in general and especially for the Charity Series of Poker. There are a lot of people who rest easier at night because of the work you do for the organization and we couldn’t be more grateful.
I caught up with Al to ask him 5 questions about his philanthropic endeavors.
1) What was the first charity you got involved with?
Two decades ago I was running massive charity events at my local bar, degening for a good cause. I ran some for American Cancer Society then the last bunch for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Make a Wish after one of my friend’s had a nephew born with the disease.
2) What was the most impactful charity work you’ve done outside of your work with the Charity Series of Poker?
Those charity events back in the early 2000’s raised a lot of money. More recently, I’ve been involved with Habitat for Humanity and various charities still working to rebuild Haiti so many years after the devastating earthquake.
3) Why do you support the Charity Series of Poker?
I’ve been around poker a long time and there a lot of different sites did occasional charity events but CSOP puts a concerted, coordinated effort into running them correctly at a lot of great venues.
4) What is your favorite charity that CSOP raises money for and why?
Three Square food bank has been a benefactor since the beginning and they do a great job for the community. More recently would be Conine Clubhouse at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in South Florida. Anything helping sick children will always be at the top of my list.
5) What’s your favorite charity that is not yet running a CSOP event?
That would be a tie between Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Make-A-Wish Foundation, both of which I’ve raised money for both in the past. They do great work; one trying to heal a childhood disease and the other helping terminal children live out their dreams.