On Saturday, PokerStars hosted an online poker tournament filled with celebrities. Titled STARS Call For Action, the event was created to raise money for several charitable organizations during this time of crisis. Organizations in the mix included CARE International. The event was able to raise $1 million which came from the prize pool that players did not accept but donated instead.
The special online tournament kicked off at 2pm ET on Saturday and was streamed live via YouTube, Facebook and Twitch. The celebrities and poker pros used computer cameras to chat and create a fun atmosphere during the event. Tons of famous people were in the mix, which made it much more interesting for many watching.
The top finishers of the event were able to donate the money won to the charity of their choice. In the end, it was David Costabile, an actor from Breaking Bad and The Wire who won the event after defeating Douglas Costa, a Brazilian football player.
On the final hand of the event, Costabile held pocket fours and was called by Costa who held A-K of clubs. The board rand 8-9-J-6-10 and with the small pair, Costabile was able to earn the hand and the tournament win.
Costabile won $100,000 for the first-place finish, stating he wants his prize money to go towards the World Central Kitchen, an organization that provides food for those in need.
For finishing in second place, Costa earned $75,000 in prize money to be donated to charity. Jennifer Shahade finished in third place, earning $40,000. Casey Affleck finished in fourth for $30,000 while Chris Moneymaker made it to fifth to earn $20,000.
A side event, the Second Chance Tournament, was a winner take all offered by PokerStars, and it saw Wayne Bridge earn $50,000 to give to the charity of his choice.
Fun to Watch
The special online poker event was certainly fun to watch for fans. In most cases, celebrity tournaments take place in live settings, so it can be difficult for fans to be able to tune in and see how their favorite actors and actresses play the game.
With this event, the streaming option allowed fans to watch along as the event took place, hearing the celebrities chat along with their fellow players and take down big hands.
This was certainly a unique event and one that might be utilized in the future as we get used to this new normal during the coronavirus outbreak. As people are staying home and social distancing from others, we have to find new ways to do what we love. For the game of poker, live players have made the switch to online gaming when possible.
It will be interesting to see if PokerStars decides to host a similar event in the future and how it will play out if so. The online poker brand is certainly an innovator and this will not be the only new thing they provide players during this uncertain time.