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Celebs Come Together to Play Online Tournament to Raise Funds For COVID-19 Relief 

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  • Namita Ghosh April 11, 2020
  • 2 Minutes Read

At a time when the world is struggling to contain the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the U.S. has emerged as one of the worst-hit countries in the world. The virus has infected over 500,000 people in the country and claimed 18,637 lives already.

In the latest news on relief efforts in the country, several Hollywood celebrities, sporting icons, and others are coming together to play an online tournament to raise funds to feed the underprivileged. Hollywood A-listers like Ben Affleck, Adam Sandler, Matt Damon, Tobey Maguire and Bryan Cranston, Maroon 5’s lead singer Adam Levine, comedian Sarah Silverman, and NFL superstar Tom Brady among many others are confirmed to play the charity online poker tournament and starts at 11 PM (PT) tomorrow on America’s Cardroom. Even poker legend Doyle Brunson is rumored to be a confirmed attendee at the tournament. The entire proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the hunger-relief charity organization Feeding America.

The tournament has a player cap of 75 entries on a first-come basis.

While the intent is undoubtedly noble and all the funds collected from this tournament would go a long way in helping many people, some from the poker community were not so thrilled, particularly with the choice of the platform that is being used to host this tournament.

America’s Cardroom is an offshore poker site, which uses Bitcoin for money transactions in the U.S. The site continues to accept players in the U.S venturing into what many call a “grey” legal area (source: www.exchange24x7.com). Celebs endorsing such a site could encourage more Americans to play on the site, and as Poker Central’s Remko Rinkema tweeted, in case of a Black Friday situation, this could result in many players losing their deposits on the site.


A Private Celeb-Infested Tourney

Sparking the news of this online poker tournament was a tweet by Ben Affleck. He announced that he’d joined forces with Feeding America for raising money for the needy.

The Academy Award winning actor certainly is no newbie to the game. He is a regular at poker rooms in the U.S and even won the California State Poker Championship in 2004.

Other prominent celebs that could be joining the virtual action from their homes include Matt Damon, Tobey Maguire, Sarah Silverman, Cheryl Hines, and Bryan Cranston. According to reports, actors like Jason Bateman, John Hamm, Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith, Maroon 5’s lead singer Adam Levine, and comedian Sarah Silverman will also be participating. Some poker pros, including Doyle Brunson, are expected to join the action as well!


Not So Good?

It seems that the poker community is divided in its opinion on this charity initiative. Poker Central’s Remko Rinkema has voiced his reservations about the tournament, wondering out aloud if this tournament could eventually turn out to be a sour affair for the poker industry in the long run. In his tweet, Rinkema pointed out that with so many celebs and pros playing on America’s Cardroom, the site will attract many average players from the U.S who will deposit and play on the site. The site continues to accept players from the U.S, operating in what many feel is a legally “grey” area!

In response to Rinkema’s tweet, Joey Ingram pointed out that unless one takes a chance, there’s no progress.

Chris Baud said this tournament could be very good for poker short term but have serious repercussions over time.

On the other hand, Jason Koon hailed the initiative as a great endeavor to raise money. He also confirmed he would be playing the tournament.

Good or not, the tournament will be going live in a few hours. According to Affleck’s updates, the tournament has already raised $1.2 Million, and all players will be playing from their homes. All the action will be streamed on Twitch with commentary from Justin Kelly and Michael Loncar!

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