$135,000 to charity
The poker world is stepping for a good cause once again. On Thursday, May 28 at 8:00pm ET, the King’s Celebrity Poker Challenge on ClubWPT will premiere Twitch. Simulcast are multiple Twitch channels, including Budweiser and World Surf League, the two-hour special will feature six celebrities competing in a poker match to raise money for World Central Kitchen.
Presented by the World Poker Tour and, as you may have guessed, Budweiser, the Poker Challenge will help fill a little bit of that sports entertainment gap that has formed during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
Competing for poker glory are World Central Kitchen founder Chef José Andrés, actors Jason Alexander, Kevin Pollak, and Jon Hamm, NBA star Pau Gasol, and surfing champ Kelly Slater.
Budweiser will donate $15,000 in each participant’s name to World Central Kitchen and another $35,000 on behalf of the winner.
“This incredible partnership with Budweiser is a trailblazing step forward in charity poker initiatives and televised poker,” said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour, in Tuesday’s announcement.
WCK feeding those who need it most
José and Patricia Andrés formed World Central Kitchen to “create smart solutions to hunger and poverty,” but really put their organization on the map when they distributed meals in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Now, with World Central Kitchen’s “Chef Relief Team,” WCK travels around the world to help out in emergencies and prepare fresh meals.
During the current COVID-19 crisis, WCK is providing over a quarter million meals every day to people in need in dozens of cities. These might be seniors who can’t leave the house or children and families who can go out to pick up meals to eat at home.
World Central Kitchen is also keeping hundreds of restaurant workers employed through its meal efforts.
Said Budweiser’s vice president of marketing Monica Rustgi:
Bud wanted to give people chance to feel a little of that thrill of competition while staying safe at home, so with the World Poker Tour, we’ve assembled a cast of characters for a charity game for some light hearted fun and to make a positive impact by spotlighting the great work of World Central Kitchen.
One of many?
And since it is the World Poker Tour hosting the event on ClubWPT, Tony Dunst, Vince Van Patten, and Lynn Gilmartin will provide commentary.
The stream on Thursday is not live – based on the fact that the World Poker Tour has posted a one-minute video of the celebrities playing together on its blog, it certainly looks pre-recorded. This also might be one in a series, as the WPT refers to it as the “first episode.”
There have been several poker charity events recently during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Jason Alexander and Kevin Pollak, huge poker buffs in their own right, have participated in some of them. The most recent was the Stars CALL for Action in which PokerStars contributed the $1 million prize pool for charity. Actor David Costabile won, donating his prize to World Central Kitchen.