Natural8 is the online poker site on the GGNetwork that caters to the Asia-Pacific region of the world. India is a big part of that. So, when India’s plight became international news, Natural8 launched a fundraiser to offer aid.
The Unite to Fight Covid-19 in India campaign goes on through 29 May.
India Cases Surge
The coronavirus pandemic that started in 2020 affected countries around the world in various ways. Australia was able to mostly confine the virus, and New Zealand took even more drastic measures to contain and eradicate it.
India took positive measures initially and through most of 2020 to keep its numbers low relative to the population. Considering it is the second-most populated country in the world, that was no small feat. However, in early 2021, India’s government appeared to have lifted restrictions too early, at least before enough people in the country received vaccines. That caused a spike in cases that alarmed the world.
In mid-February, the numbers of new cases were at a low point, lower than they had been since the previous summer. Even at that point, though, there were 11,000 to 13,000 new positive Covid-19 cases per day.
The surge began in March. By the middle of that month, there were approximately 30,000 new cases per day, and by the beginning of April, that number doubled and continued to rise. By May 8, there were 403,000 new positive cases per day. Daily deaths were at an all-time high as the virus raged out of control.
India slowly increased vaccine distribution and imposed some new restrictions. By mid-May, cases dropped to fewer than 300,000 new ones per day. While still immensely troubling, the downswing was notable.
As of May 21:
- India posted more total Covid-19 cases worldwide than any other country except the United States of America.
- India recorded more than 26.2M cases since the pandemic began, nearly 20,000 cases per 1M people.
- The total deaths reported from Covid-19 closed in on 300,000.
- India had given more than 187.8M doses of Covid-19 vaccines, though only 3% of the population (fewer than 41.3M people) reported as fully vaccinated.
Considering Natural8’s significant online poker presence in the region, it made sense that its executives wanted to help India.
They organized the Unite to Fight Covid-19 in India campaign to allow Natural8 players to donate to the cause. And for every dollar donated, Natural8 pledged to match it.
Natural8 provided another incentive to donate. Players who contributed $1 or more to the cause receive a ticket to a flipout event (a fast-paced poker game with players automatically all-in on every hand). And as more people have donated, prizes for the special flipout have increased.
All funds raised will go to the Covid-Crypto Relief Fund, which launched on 24 April for this specific purpose of raising funds to aid India in fighting the pandemic. Thus far, money raised has funded oxygen machines and other medical equipment, as well as healthcare workers and patients without healthcare. Contributors raised more than $1M within the first week or so of fundraising.
How to Get Involved
People anywhere can donate to the fund, as it need not happen via an online poker site. The benefit of doing it through Natural8, however, is that the site matches all contributions of more than $1.
Players can donate in several ways:
- Connect via the Natural8 app and transfer funds to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact anyone with the Natural8 customer support team, available 24/7.
- Send an email to email@example.com for more information or help in donating.
Transfers are simply through the Cashier page. Simply click on “transfer” from the main cashier page and type in the address mentioned above. Type in the amount to donate and click on the lower “transfer” button. Players will then receive an email or in-game notification to verify the transaction and provide a unique confirmation identification.
Natural8 is tracking all donations with the goal of full transparency.
To date, Natural8 players have donated more than $11K, and Natural8’s own matching donation doubles that to more than $22K. No donation is too large or small. Of the nearly 200 donations recorded to date, they range from a few cents to $1,000 and even a few at $1,888.88.
The donation program at Natural8 will remain open to 29 May. But for those who complete their donation before the end of the day on Friday, 28 May, they will receive that freeroll flipout ticket. The flipout will happen on May 29.
Natural8 is determining the number of starting chips for each player based on the amount of money donated. For $1 to $9.99, those players will start with the initial starting stack. Donations from $10 to $29.99 up that stack by a 2x multiplier. This continues all the way up to players who donate $1K or more, which garners an 8x starting stack.
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