When Hollywood and poker come together, anything can happen: from the ridiculous (anyone remember “All In”?) to the inspiring, including such high profile charity ventures as Ante up for Africa. Another happy collaboration is underway, as Ultimate Bet is collaborating with the First Annual Tony and Eva (Longoria) Parker Celebrity Casino Night benefiting charity organization "Eva's Heroes."
Founded by Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria in 2006, Eva's Heroes is a “dedicated to enriching the lives of those with developmental challenges and helping children and young adults with special needs to integrate and flourish in society.” Longoria has already organized a Celebrity Golf Tournament to fundraise for this cause, and this year Eva’s Heroes will see the first Celebrity Casino Night, complete with a poker tournament which will be emceed by 11-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth Jr. Hellmuth declared, "I'm incredibly excited that the popularity of poker is able to help such an important cause and I'm unbelievably honored to be associated with this charity."
The fundraising casino night will take place on August 9th at Pedrotti's North Wind Ranch in San Antonio, Texas, with a $300 buy-in including dinner, $10,000 in chips for the Texas Hold'em tournament and an additional $2,000 in chips for all other casino games. As if the chance to rub elbows with Longoria Parker and other celebrities was not enough, the poker tournament boasts of a Grand Prize donated by Ultimate Bet: seat in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event.
$300 seems a small buy-in for a WSOP Main Event Satellite, let alone for a fundraising effort, but additional fund will be raised through a silent auction in which celebrities and participants alike are expected to fork out the cash for a slew of attractive prizes donated by the likes of Gucci, Nike, the San Antonio Spurs, the San Antonio Opera and of course Ultimate Bet, who has donated an Aruba Poker Classic prize package that is expected to raise a hefty sum for Eva’s heroes.
The star-studded event will be covered by Access Hollywood, Extra and Entertainment Tonight, and the list of stars in attendance is long and varied: Longoria will be accompanied both by her real-life husband, San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker, and by her on-screen spouse, “Desperate Housewives” star Ricardo Antonio Chavira. Other attending celebs are San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan, long-time Spurs forward Sean Elliott, “Sex and the City” star Willie Garson, “House” actress Jennifer Morrison, “CSI: Miami” actor Adam Rodriguez and “Poker After Dark” hostess Leann Tweeden.