We talk a lot about what’s “good for the game.” Exactly what that means is debatable. Personally, I know it when I see it.
Bill Klein is good for the game.
However, more than most, his good extends far beyond the poker room walls in which he finds himself.
Klein is well-known for donating his poker winnings to charity, or matching his losses to give to charity as well. He plays for the love of the game and is a fearsome competitor on the felt. Whether a live-streamed, high-stakes cash game or a massive tournament, Klein’s often in the mix.
We caught up with him to pick his brain about poker, charitable giving, and one of his other favorite hobbies.
Favorite kind of poker action
The age-old debate: tournaments or cash? Klein plays both, so we wondered if he has a preference between the two.
“I’m more of a tournament guy,” said Klein. “The cash I do on stream just for publicity for charity. Plus, it’s a good way to make a couple bucks; those guys get a little wild.”
Klein has already cashed four events during the 2023 World Series of Poker, including a 279th-place finish in the Main Event. Notably, he also has cashes in $25,000 and $50,000 buy-in events.
“Higher-stake players are a little bit easier to read because I’ve played with them more often,” said Klein.
The charities always win
As mentioned, no matter Klein’s results on the felt, the charities are the big winners.
“Family-wise, we’ve been very fortunate to have our health,” explained Klein. “We’re in Orange County, California; we have more money than we really need to have, and so we try to help where we can with our foundation and our family. We’re focused on children-related and Orange County-related charities.”
Klein went on into detail about the two charities they’re most focused on.
The Shea Center for Therapeutic Riding
The first charity Klein told us about is the Shae Center for Therapeutic Riding, based out of San Juan Capistrano, California.
“They physically help disabled children and mentally challenged children using horseback therapy,” said Klein. “It’s unique and something you should look into.”
To learn more about the Shae Center for Therapeutic Riding and its mission, check out the website here.
The Orangewood Foundation
The second group Klein and his family focus on is The Orangewood Foundation, out of Santa Ana, California.
“They primarily help foster children,” Klein said. “Foster kids are the next homeless generation. If they age out of the system, haven’t had an education, and haven’t been given skill sets, they’re going on the street. They start by trying to give them support, help them get graduated, and either continue on with their education or get them into some trade.”
To learn more about their organization and mission, visit their website here.
Klein can’t wait to hit the golf course
As much as Klein loves poker, it does get in the way of hitting the golf course now then, one of his other passions.
We asked him when his next planned round is, and he answered faster than a snap call with the nuts on the river.
“The day I get home from here,” he laughed. “I have this event ($50k High Roller), a $10k event, and then there’s one event at the Wynn, the $111,000, and then I’m done with poker for a while, probably for a month or two. I’ll be on the golf course almost every day.”
Many thanks to Bill Klein for his time, his charity work, and his promotion of our great game. Best of luck on the felt and on the greens, Bill.