I’ll admit, despite being an incredibly well-respected subject matter expert and trend-setter, I am not an avid consumer of online poker streams. This weekend, however, while I sit at home not doing yard work, I will likely pull up Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook and check out what should be an extremely entertaining poker tournament. On Saturday, May 9 at 2:00pm ET, PokerStars.net is hosting the Stars CALL for Action celebrity charity tournament. Of all the recent charity poker tournaments lately because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this one promises to stand out.

The idea was original born from the minds of poker buddies Hank Azaria (“Brockmire,” “The Simpsons”) and Andy Bellin (author of Poker Nation). They told the PokerStars blog that they were working on plans for a live poker tournament in New York City, but when the pandemic struck, they had to change course.

“We realized right now it doesn’t really make sense to do an event like that except for COVID relief,” said Azaria.

“We’ve both been working really hard to think of how we can lend our various skill sets to helping people,” Bellin chimed in. “Particularly right now in a time where charitable giving has to be way down.”

Bellin got in touch with PokerStars and the world’s largest online poker room was on board.

Then they opened their Rolodexes and started contacting anyone and everyone they could. Most said they would play. And it is going to be quite a lineup on Saturday.

Their first calls were to the guys in their home game: actors Michael Cera, Billy Crudup, David Schwimmer, and Eric Bogosian, as well as Rounders co-screenwriter Brian Koppelman.

“Then Ed Norton, too,” Azaria continued. “So there’s going to be like a mini-Rounders reunion with Ed and Brian, and we’re hopefully going to bring in Matt Damon who likes to play in these. And maybe John Turturro and John Malkovich as well… I really hope I’m at that table, quite frankly.”

We won’t list everybody, but the names just keep going: Amy Schumer, Bryan Cranston, Don Cheadle, Jon Hamm, Jack Black, Jason Alexander, Macaulay Culkin, J.K. Simmons, Michael Ian Black, and Brad Garrett, just to name some.

The tournament is totally free to play, held on PokerStars.net. PokerStars will contribute $1 million to the prize pool, all of which will ultimately go to charity. Half will be directed to CARE International, while the other half will be fought over by the celebrities in the tournament so they can donate it to their charities of their choice.

PokerStars is also going to invite one non-celebrity to play for every celebrity that takes part in the event. PokerStars ambassadors, streams, and celebrities will hold “community giveaways” to select the lucky fans. Further details will be announced on Thursday, but for now, PokerStars told Poker News Daily, “There will be several mechanics for people to enter the noncelebrity tournament including those who have their twitch account linked, are watching streams or interact on socials.”

The non-celebrities will compete in a separate group from the celebrities, but when it gets down to two tables, everyone will be combined. Hopefully everyone has a webcam, as well, as part of the fun will be the personal interaction.

All non-celebrity winnings will go to CARE International.

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