Action! PokerStars And Hollywood Stars Host COVID-19 Charity Poker Tournament

Written By Bill Gelman on May 8, 2020

PokerStars and Hollywood are coming together for a great cause.

The Stars CALL for Action celebrity tournament is taking place live tomorrow (May 9) at 2 p.m. EST.

The virtual event will be powered by PokerStars in partnership with the Entertainment Industry Foundation.

More importantly, the two sides are coming together to provide  COVID-19 global crisis relief.

According to the press release, the top-placed players will direct their winning portion of $1 million, donated by PokerStars, to a charity of their choosing. Additionally, 50% of the total donation will go directly to Care International.

The humanitarian agency provides support to emergency relief and long-term international development projects.

Actor Hank Azaria and journalist, author, and screenwriter Andy Bellin helped conceive and bring the event together.

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A Who’s Who List Of Hollywood Poker Players

Like the pro sports world, movie theaters are closed. And many big blockbusters slated to be released are being delayed.

It sounds like a perfect time to play online poker.

The stars committed to play include:

  • Hank Azaria
  • Amy Schumer
  • Jon Hamm
  • David Schwimmer
  • Don Cheadle
  • Bryan Cranston
  • Michael Cera
  • Edward Norton
  • Brian Koppelman
  • Jeff Garlin

The live stream will include interviews, celebrity check-ins, and interactions with fan comments.

Azaria said the 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.”

“A friendly game of poker reminds us how life used to be, which hopefully we get back to soon,” Azaria continued. “It’s a way for people to interact for a good cause and enjoy themselves at the same time.

“The response has been really great, and I’ll tell you, 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.”

How the online poker game will work

Those wanting to watch the action unfold can do so via the PokerStars’ Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube channels.

And since social distancing rules remain in place, the No-Limit Hold ’em tournament is a virtual event, with players participating from home.

Here are some additional details:

  • The field will be split initially with celebrities taking each other on, and poker fans battling each other.
  • When both sides reach their final tables, they will unite to determine the ultimate champion.
  • Celebrities who get knocked out will have the option of moving to a side event that will be featured as the main event progresses.
  • Winner of the side event gets a percentage of the overall prize pool for their charity of choice (with pre-vetting).

In other words, this is a win-win opportunity for PokerStars and Hollywood.

“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.

“We were thrilled that they came to us and have been blown away by the momentum it’s gained. With people increasingly using our products to connect, compete and stay social while safe at home, we are delighted to show how the game we love can be used to bring people together and do good … with the added bonus of surprising some poker fans along the way.”

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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and now NJ sports betting and online gambling.

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