PokerStars To Stream $1M COVID-19 Relief Celebrity Poker Tourney Starring Ed Norton, Jon Hamm, More

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Industry-leading online poker site PokerStars has announced a partnership with the Entertainment Industry Foundation and some of the biggest names in Hollywood to host a star-studded online poker event raising funds to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, May 9, at 2 pm ET the “Stars CALL for Action – powered by PokerStars” charity tournament will see dozens of A-list celebrities turn on their webcams and take a seat at the online tables to play some poker for a good cause.

Plenty of well-known names from the entertainment industry have already signed on to the project, including Edward Norton, Amy Schumer, Bryan Cranston, Don Cheadle, Michael Cera, Jon Hamm, Jeff Garlin, Jason Alexander, Kevin Pollak, Eric Bogosian, Brad Garrett, Michael Ian Black, Rounders screenwriter Brian Koppelman and many more.

Pollak was runner-up in another recent charity tournament when bested by poker pro Ebony Kenney, who was down to her last big blind before roaring back to defeat the veteran actor.

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Tournament to be live-streamed

The celebrities will be battling for bragging rights as every dollar of the $1 million prize pool, posted by PokerStars, will be donated to charity, including 50% percent to Care International, which works in over 100 countries to provide emergency relief where needed.

“This event is a great way to combine genuine giving where it’s needed with a way to stay at 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,” said actor Hank Azaria.

Azaria, a prolific performer well-known for voicing more than 30 characters on The Simpsons, conceived the charity tournament along with author and screenwriter Andy Bellin. The duo hoped to bring people together while raising money for those facing difficulties due to the novel coronavirus.

“It’s a way for people to interact for a good cause and enjoy themselves at the same time,” Azaria said. “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.”

PokerStars will be hosting a trio of streams on its Twitch, Facebook and YouTube feeds, showcasing the play of the celebrities. Hosted by James Hartigan and poker pro Lex Veldhuis, fans can tune in and watch the stars put on their best poker faces while playing online. At the same time, those watching will be encouraged to donate to Care International.

The show goes on

The fun for fans doesn’t stop with watching the poker. The celebrities and PokerStars ambassadors will hold community giveaways that allow fans to play in a second charitable event on the same day. When the final table of the side event is reached, it will combine with the celebrity field for a final showdown between celebrities and fans.

“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 time,” said Rebecca McAdam Willetts, associate director of public relations at PokerStars.”We were thrilled they they came to us and have been blown away by the momentum it’s gained.”

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Jeff Walsh

Jeff Walsh has been a member of the poker media for over seven years and currently serves as the Senior Writer for the leading online poker website PocketFives.com. He is also a contributor to the Sports Handle/US Bets network of sites.

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