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Celebrity Poker Showdown - Tournament To Remember
When most people hear Celebrity Poker Showdown mentioned they think of the popular TV show that ran weekly tournaments with the winners of the shows donating their winnings to charities. The show ran on the Bravo cable network, and in its five season run, ran a total of eight different tournaments, featuring lots of the household names that would grace the screens and our TV's at that time.
The setting for the first seven of these tournaments was Paradise, Nevada at the Palms Casino where it was taped being filmed with a live audience in tow as you would expect. The officiator of the game was Robert Thompson the Tournament Director, and the color commentary was provided by Phil Gordon. All the shows apart from the first one, which was hosted by comedic actor Kevin Pollak, were hosted by Dave Foley also an actor and comedian. When Dave Foley took over the series, most of the episodes would run for a full two hours, whereas with the first series with Pollak, they were only an hour in duration.
Out of all the celebrities that appeared none of them ever won the tournament more than once. Total prize money for the first seven series totalled $250,000, what for the eighth? Come the last series we were all to find out. For this particular tournament the venue was changed from the Palm Casino and moved from its familiar setting to New Orleans, where Harrah's were to be the host.
For the final Championship game of Celebrity Poker Showdown there were five players, Keegan-Michael Key, Jason Alexander, Robin Tunney, Ida Siconolfi and Michael Ian Black.
PartyPoker.net stumped up the winning pot of $1 million with the players involved donated all their winnings to various charities who were assisting individuals from the Hurricane Katrina fallout.
This last tournament appeared on our screens on 5th July 2006, and was full of drama. Robin Tunney, who had fallen away earlier, stormed back to grab 2nd place in the contest, despite Michael Ian Black having previously won over 75% of the available chips earlier. Tunney would walk away from the game with her prize donation to the Hurricane victims' charities of $200,000.
The eventual winner of the show produced an even bigger turnaround of fortunes and made history. Jason Alexander, of Seinfeld fame, had incredibly been over $10,000 down when Michael Ian Black was leading the table winnings. Upon Black's demise Seinfeld's buddy literally went from rags to riches and scooped the jaw dropping top charity prize of half a million dollars. What a fitting touch to what was such a memorable show to all the lovers of Poker, whilst coming to the aid of one of our nations worse ever disasters, we thank all those involved for their contribution.
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