Goals and resolutions are regularly made at the turn of the year. It’s a fresh start and a chance for everyone to be better than they were a year before. How much better though? That is just a matter of how motivated and dedicated you are. Robbie Strazynski is motivated, dedicated, and more in 2017. The well-known poker writer has made charity a personal focus throughout his career but is raising the stakes in a big way this year.

In 2015, Strazynski started his “Running Well” campaign. The idea was to pledge $1 for every kilometer run, and through the first two years of the campaign, Strazynski has seen some solid support from across the poker community. This year, he knew he’d have to, in his own words, “do something attention grabbing,” to increase the reach of the campaign outside the confines of the poker world.

That’s where the idea for the 1,000 km Charity Poker Challenge to benefit Kids Kicking Cancer came from. 

The organization provides both inpatient and outpatient classes, with the mission “to ease the pain of very sick children while empowering them to heal physically, spiritually and emotionally.” Kids Kicking Cancer is active across the world, but Strazynski was drawn to the organization because it has branches in both Israel, where he lives with his wife and three children, as well as the United States, where he was born and raised.

The charity has remained the same since the beginning, but the motivation and desire to give back has increased each year.

“I want to motivate myself, but beyond that, I’m honestly hoping to motivate the poker media and recreational players,” Strazynski said when Poker Central talked to him earlier this weekend. He added, “If you dream big and work hard towards a goal, you can accomplish big things.”

The 1,000 km Charity Poker Challenge is coming off the heels of potentially the poker world’s biggest charitable initiative from last year. High stakes pro Dan Smith raised $1,700,000 throughout the holiday season for a variety of charities. Those are the kind of figures that usually get the most attention but Smith and Strazynski both know that even small efforts can make big differences.

“Those vast sums are impossible for “regular people” like us to achieve but that doesn’t mean that smaller donations and humbler fundraising efforts are any less important.” he said before adding, “$1,000 isn’t a small sum for non-professional poker players like me but I want to prove something to myself. I hope that my efforts motivate others.

Strazynski has already made the call to others, throwing down the gauntlet at the start of the year to three of poker’s biggest names. Poker Central Ambassadors Daniel Negreanu and Antonio Esfandiari, along with Bill Perkins, were all challenged to match his $1,000 total if Strazynski is able to accomplish his goal.

A week into 2017, Strazynski is well ahead of the pace needed to hit 1,000 km, but he knows he needs to stay motivated throughout the year. It won’t be easy though, but then again, nothing worthwhile is.

Follow the 1,000 km Charity Poker Challenge on Strayznski’s social media accounts and join in on the “Running Well” campaign by using the hashtag #charitypoker1000km.