Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Jon Hamm, Jason Alexander, Jeff Garlin, David Schwimmer, Amy Schumer, Edward Norton, and Michael Cera are among the A-list poker fans who will be competing in PokerStars’ celebrity online poker tournament on 9th May.
The aim of the celebrity poker tournament, titled ‘Stars CALL for Action’ is to raise funds for COVID-19 relief efforts.
PokerStars is donating $10,000 on behalf of every celebrity who plays. With more than 100 celebrities expected to participate, the prize pool is expected to total $1m.
How will it work?
The poker tournament will be broadcast live on Twitch, Facebook and YouTube, with commentary by James Hartigan and Lex Veldhuis.
Viewers will be able to contribute to the cause via a ‘Donate’ button on each one of the streaming platforms.
Celebrities who rank in the upper echelons of the tournament will donate their portion of the $1m prize pool to a charity of their choice.
Half of the total donated, along with the proceeds collected from the audience, will go directly to CARE International, a leading humanitarian agency which delivers emergency relief and long-term development projects.
Meanwhile, the stars who will be knocked out early on in the tournament will still be able to contribute by playing in a side event where the winner will pledge 10% of the winnings to charity.
Can ordinary people join in the tournament?
The fun of a celebrity tournament is seeing famous people battle it out among themselves, but PokerStars is adding a surprise element to the mix.
For every famous person who participates, PokerStars will be inviting one randomly selected poker fan to join in and play.
Who came up with the idea of a celebrity poker tournament?
Voice actor Hank Azaria, best-known for his work on The Simpsons, along with journalist, author and screenwriter Andy Bellin approached PokerStars with the idea and it was greeted with enthusiasm.
“This event began as a simple conversation between our team, Hank, Andy and the Entertainment Industry Foundation as a way to create positive entertainment and raise support for critical causes during these challenging times,” said Rebecca McAdam Willetts, associate director of public relations at PokerStars , said.
“We were thrilled that they came to us and have been blown away by the momentum it’s gained.”
“This event is a great way to combine genuine giving where it’s needed with a way to stay home and yet still connect with people from around the world,” said Azaria. “A friendly game of poker reminds us how life used to be, which hopefully we get back to soon.”
“When PokerStars stepped up like that, I was actually kind of moved by it. We were hoping they’d put in some money, but to basically finance the whole thing to the tune of a million dollars is pretty incredible.”