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Financial Post: Mitch Garber steps into Cirque du Soleil spotlight as chairman of the board

Mitch Garber first met Guy Laliberté in Las Vegas in 2010. That’s where Garber spends part of his time running Caesars Interactive Entertainment and Laliberté, a former street performer who went on to co-found Cirque du Soleil, plays high-stakes poker. The kind where hundreds of thousands of dollars can ride on one hand. He once finished fourth in the World Poker tournament.

The following year, Laliberté invited Garber, a fellow Quebecer, to his box at a Montreal Canadiens game and pitched the idea of joining his charity, the One Drop Foundation, promoting global access to safe drinking water. He wanted Garber’s help to arrange a tournament with the biggest buy-in poker history — US$1 million per player.

“Even though it seemed far-fetched to me, because of how he was presenting it, it almost seemed like he could do anything, I believed in it, and I went with it,” Garber recalls.

“I remember being very persuaded by his optimism and the fieriness he had in these ideas.”