Battea Helps Raise $180K for Charity with a San Francisco Poker Tournament

Imagine facing down one of the current or former chief executives and founders of Twitter, Levis, and Zappos across a poker table in a tense game of Texas hold-ˈem.  Or maybe you’re trying to bluff Larry Baer, the CEO of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, or a physically imposing current or former Giants star.  No problem, right?  No sweat!

That’s exactly what three Battea employees did the night of Thursday, February 25 at the exclusive Gotham Club at AT&T Park in San Francisco.  That night, Battea was the sole sponsor of a poker tournament benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, which netted the charity $180,000.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco maintains nine Clubs (including a summer camp, Camp Mendocino), and facilities are open to young people between the ages of 6 and 18.  The Clubs offer a safe place for young people to grow and mature by taking classes in academics, the creative arts, athletics, health, and life skills.

“It was thrill for us at Battea to have this opportunity to give back to the community,” said Trent Calabretta, Vice President and Manager of Western US Sales, who played in the tournament.  “The Boys & Girls Clubs does invaluable work with young people in the Bay Area, and we were really happy to see the outpouring of support that so many prominent companies showed by participating in the tournament.”

Battea co-founders Mark Donaldson and Jonathan Wade were two of the challengers, as well as Trent.  They brought with them a client, Jim Brody of Apex Capital, who also played at the tournament.

Baseball legend Vida Blue seems totally cool with losing to Battea’s Mark Donaldson—since it’s for a great cause!

According to Trent, Mark Donaldson beat at poker none other than the legendary MLB left-handed pitcher Vida Blue, who won the American League Cy Young Award and ost Valuable Player Award in 1971.  Trent faced off against Dick Costolo, ex-CEO of Twitter.

“It was impressive to see so many major figures in venture capital in the Bay Area show up to raise money for the local Boys & Girls Clubs,” Mark said.  “It’s fantastic that we raised $180,000 for young people in the Bay Area in one night.”

The tournament began at about 6 pm and ended at 10 pm.  Of the 100 attendees, there were approximately 70 players at the various tables and roughly 30 spectators.

Battea’s Jonathan Wade is rapt in conversation with a fellow player.

“Charitable giving has always been an important part of Battea culture,” Jonathan said.  “Since this event was such a success on a number of levels, we here at Battea are looking forward to getting involved in additional charitable endeavors so that we can continue to give back to the community.”

If you’d like to view more photos of this exciting event, please click on this link for the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco’s photo-sharing site