May 11, 2022

High-stakes poker player handles Musk’s charitable donations: report

Tesla founder Elon Musk has reportedly chosen an unlikely steward for several of his massive charitable donations – a professional poker player with more than $18 million in career winnings under his belt.

Musk, the world’s richest person, has stepped up his philanthropic efforts in recent years, including this week with a mysterious charitable donation of $5.7 billion worth of Tesla stock. His charitable foundation has also donated massive sums to schools near SpaceX’s Starbase in Texas as well as to COVID-19 researchers.

Many recipients of Musk Foundation donations have coordinated with Igor Kurganova poker player who moonlights as a philanthropist focused on “effective altruism” or targeted donations to solve immediate problems, Bloomberg reported.

Musk reportedly tapped Kurganov to act as a point of contact with recipients, according to the outlet. The poker player also helps review proposals from those seeking support.

Kurganov, 33, is co-founder of Raising for Effective Giving, an organization whose mission is to help “people make better giving choices by promoting the idea of ​​effective giving, providing advice on donations to individuals and organizations, and supporting fundraising campaigns and events,” according to its website.

He is also a strategic advisor for the Forethought Foundation for Global Priorities Research, which promotes efforts to answer “the question of how to use our scarce resources to improve the world as much as possible”.

Kurganov’s huge personal windfall from professional poker included a first place finish in the $10,000 Tag Team No Limit Hold’em Championship at the 2017 World Series of Poker. Kurganov teamed up for the event with Liv Boeree, who was also co-founder of Raising for Effective Giving.

Elon Musk recently donated $5.7 billion worth of Tesla stock to charity.
AFP via Getty Images

Representatives of Musk’s and Tesla’s family office did not respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment. Officials from Raising for Effective Giving and the Forethought Foundation could not immediately be reached.

The regulatory filing revealing Musk’s recent $5.7 billion donation did not identify a recipient, sparking rampant speculation about who might have received the gift. The donation will provide tax relief to Musk, who faced a massive bill this year that the billionaire said is likely to top $11 billion.

While the identity of the recipient remains a mystery, many noted that Musk had previously said he would donate $6 billion to the United Nations World Food Program if officials could explain how they would use the money to resolve the global hunger crisis.

UN officials said this week they had not received any money from Musk, according to reports.