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Elevate Your Fundraising Game with a Premier Poker Tournament

Poker Tournement

Unlock the potential of your next fundraising event with the allure and excitement of a no-limit Texas Hold’em Tournament. This engaging and sophisticated approach not only offers a memorable experience but also significantly boosts your fundraising efforts. A poker tournament is one of the most effective fundraisers we offer. Your organization can tap into the unique blend of entertainment and philanthropy, ensuring a successful and enjoyable event for all participants.

Planning Your Poker Tournament Fundraiser: A Step-by-Step Guide

Venue Selection

Choosing the right venue is critical for the success of your tournament. Opt for a location that is easily accessible, offers ample space and parking, and sets the tone for an elegant evening. Whether it's a spacious hall or a grand ballroom, the venue should accommodate gaming tables, dining areas, and a stage for announcements and entertainment. Don’t be afraid to hold the event in an exotic car dealership or private residence/compound. Be sure to consider whether the venue provides catering or if you have to bring that in from the outside. A licquor license is another often overlooked requirement.

Licensing and Legal Requirements

Ensure compliance with all local regulations concerning gambling and fundraising events. Each state has its own laws about ‘charitable gaming’ or ‘fundraising’. The poker tournament often requires a different license than the raffle or sweepstakes. Obtain necessary permits and licenses well in advance. Most states suggest 30 days for processing. It's essential to structure your casino night as a fun and legal activity, focusing on entertainment rather than actual gambling.

Game Selection and Equipment

For a poker tournament, of course we recommend poker tables. One table can seat 10 players and a dealer so the math is easy. If you expect 300 guests, you’ll need 30 tables and dealers. We also recommend you offer a variety of popular casino games ‘around the outside’ of the tournament. Games like Blackjack, roulette, and craps are crowd favorites and offer those who elect not to play in the tournament something to do and it gives those who get knocked out of the tournament another way to give back to the charity. Rent high-quality gaming tables and equipment from providers like US Poker & Casino Parties to provide an authentic casino experience. If allowed, professional dealers not only add to the authenticity but also help novices learn the games.

Fundraising Through Ticket Sales and Sponsorships

Determine your ticket pricing strategy to maximize attendance and fundraising. Each charity has a different ticket price tolerance. You know your crowd or donors and can easily determine if it’s a $50.00pp ticket or a $250.00pp ticket. Offer various ticket packages, including VIP options with extra perks. Sell a full table(s) to an organization. Create sponsor packets labeled “Queen of Hearts”; ‘Ace of Spades”… that include logo placement, time on the podium, # of tickets… Encourage sponsorships by highlighting the cause and the impact of contributions. You can also add silent or live auctions or raffles to further boost your earnings.

Marketing and Promotion

Give yourself plenty of time to promote the event. Create a theme so people know how to dress. Start with a Save the Date email blast about 3 months before the event. Direct people to your event website to register. Leverage social media, email newsletters, and community bulletins to spread the word over the next 2-3 months. Encourage early registration by having a discounted price. The cadence of promotion should increase as the event gets closer. Don’t be discouraged by low registration early. Most people sign up the week before or the week of the event. Create compelling marketing materials that outline the cause, the entertainment, and the unique features of your poker tournament. Engaging with local businesses for sponsorships to also promote your event helps spread the word faster.

Food and Beverage

Enhance the experience with a selection of gourmet catering options. From elegant hors d'oeuvres to lavish buffets, the right food and drink offerings can elevate the event. Consider offering a cash bar or include drink tickets as part of the ticket packages to further increase fundraising potential. One common trick is to add $1 to each drink during open bar that goes right back to the charity.

Maximizing Engagement and Fundraising

Interactive Features

Incorporate interactive elements such as a photo booth, characters like Al Capone or Showgirls to create the right ambiance. Provide live music, or a dance floor to keep the energy high after the tournament. Add a caricaturist or temporary tattoo artist (the Mike Tyson face tattoo is always a hit) and be sure to have a photographer capture all the candids during the event. These features not only entertain but also encourage participants to stay longer and engage more deeply with the fundraising efforts.

Prizes and Incentives

Offer enticing prizes for game winners, such as donated items, gift certificates, or experiences. This not only motivates participation but also adds an element of excitement to the games. Ensure the prizes align with the interests of your audience and the theme of the event.


A well-executed poker tournament or casino night offers a perfect blend of entertainment, engagement, and philanthropy, making it an ideal choice for your next fundraising event. By following the steps above, organizations can ensure a memorable and successful evening that significantly contributes to their fundraising goals.


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