Poker is a game that friends will play no matter if it's your neighbors, friends, family, or happen to be a big dog in show biz. There's no shortage of celebrities playing poker with other celebrities in Tinsel Town. But Hank Azaria first hosted a home game originally started in the shadows of Hollywood many moons ago and when he migrated to the east coast, the game moved as well.
The pandemic did not prevent Azaria from hosting a special charity event on the virtual tables at PokerStars and everyone got to participate thanks to video conferencing technology. Five friends joined him for a shot at raising money for their favorite charities including Don Cheadle, Jon Hamm, Michael Cera, Michael Ian Black, and Josh Charles.
If you never watched Sports Night, a half-hour sitcom written by Aaron Sorkin in the late 1990s, then you recognized Josh Charles from his role in the series that lasted just two seasons. He's probably most known for playing one of Robin William's students from 'Dead Poets Society'.
Michael Ian Black first cut his teeth in show biz as a member of the comedy troupe at MTV's The State. MIB is a solid poker player who made multiple appearance on Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown.
Don Cheadle is a heavyweight actor who got to play a porn star in 'Boogie Nights', a nutrition expert in 'Ocean's 11' franchise, and even portrays Miles Davis in a biopic on the jazz legend.
Michael Cera is most recognized for his work in 'Arrested Development', but how can you forget his hysterical performance in 'Super Bad' when he sang 'These Eyes' by the Guess Who?
Hank Azaria's voice work is what made him filthy rich from 'The Simpsons', but he's also a real0life actor who appeared in some epic films such as 'Heat', 'Homegrown', 'Mystery Alaska', 'Shattered Glass', and 'The Aristocrats' documentary.
Jon Hamm is known for his role as Don Draper on 'Mad Men', but he'll never be able to shake that role. He's been in numerous movies since then like 'The Town', 'Baby Driver', 'Million Dollar Arm', 'Bridesmaids', 'Beirut', and the soon-to-be released 'Top Gun' sequel.
These six participants started with 10K in chips for a 50/100 cash game with unlimited rebuys over two hours. The final payouts aka charity winnings were determined by overall final tally. The winner earned $20,000 for their charity, while the runner-up in second place paid out $12,000. The rest of the places paid out: $8K, $5K, $3K, and $2K.
After two hours, Josh Charles and Michael Cera were the only players that did not have to rebuy. They were the big stacks, but Cera edged him out in the final hand. Charles dragged a big pot to snag the lead for a hot minute, before Cera's big one ended the session and home game.
Jon Hamm, playing under the moniker 'MediumJon', did not do so hot with a last-place finish. Hamm earned $2,000 for the Red Trunk Project, a charity to fund a cultural exchange program for school kids.
For a fifth-place finish, Don Cheadle aka 'The DonDaDaDA' won $3,000 for the Blackbird Alliance, which helps women of color.
Michael Ian Black aka 'MichaelIanBlack' finished in fourth place and earned $5,000 for the Mark Twain Library, which is a noble literary charity.
Hank Azaria playing under '1DoyleLonnegan' finished in third place in his own home game. He earned $8,000 for the Dream school charity.
Josh Charles aka 'IamJoshCharles' won $12K for the Actors Fund, which assists many theater actors in NYC.
Michael Cera aka 'IamMichaelCera' won the final hand of the home game and earned the top prize and banked $20K for the First Responders First charity that assisted frontline health care workers during the pandemic.
Hank Azaria's Home Game
Final Table Results:
Michael Cera $20,000
Josh Charles $12,000
Hank Azaria $8,000
Michael Ian Black $5,000
Don Cheadle $3,000
Jon Hamm $2,000
Watch the Hank's Home Game here...