EXCLUSIVE: A number of stars, including Amy Schumer, Jon Hamm, Edward Norton and Don Cheadle, will take part in an online charity poker tournament on Sunday, with all funds going to COVID-19 relief efforts.
Hank Azaria and screenwriter Andy Bellin organized the event, dubbed “Stars CALL For Action,” which is also backed by the online poker company PokerStars. It will be livestreamed starting at 2PM ET on Twitch, Facebook and YouTube.
The roster of stars and industry figures registered to play includes Bryan Cranston, Brian Koppelman, Michael Cera, Jeff Garlin, David Schwimmer, Eric Bogosian, Jason Alexander, Brad Garrett, Michael Ian Black and Kevin Pollak.
Players will individually play in front of their home cameras. Viewers will also be able to contribute to the cause via a “donate” button.
Top-finishing players will direct their portions of $1 million, donated by PokerStars, to a charity of their choosing. Half of the total donation will go directly to Care International on behalf of those playing, as well as all proceeds donated via live stream. Grants to charities will be administered by the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
This event is a play money event, with no actual money prizes awarded and donations made on behalf of the top performers.
“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. A friendly game of poker reminds us how life used to be, which hopefully we get back to soon,” Azaria said. “It’s a way for people to interact for a good cause and enjoy themselves at the same time.”
Sweetening the pot, organizers are also planning a non-celebrity division, enabling regular players selected through “community giveaways” to square off against stars. Also, celebrities who get knocked out early will be added into a side event where the winner will direct 10% of the total to charity.