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Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout Participants Announced

With the 2015 World Series of Poker past its halfway point, it is easy to forget that there is other poker going on in Las Vegas. This weekend, Poker Central’s Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout will be held at the ARIA Resort & Casino; Poker Central, the creator of the event, recently announced the official tournament roster.

Poker Central stepped into the public’s consciousness in April when it announced it was getting set to launch the first poker-only television network. It described the channel as, “Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, Poker Central® offers unique all‑day, everyday access to exclusive poker tournaments, celebrity players, tips and tricks from the pros, player profiles and stunning destinations from around the globe.”

Super High Roller Bowl championship ring

Super High Roller Bowl championship ring

It also took the opportunity to promote a major project, the $25 million Super High Roller Bowl, held at ARIA July 2nd through July 4th. The buy-in for the tournament is $500,000 with a prize pool projected to be at least $25 million with a first prize of at least $8 million. So far, so good on all that, as according to the Super High Roller Bowl website, there are 58 confirmed players.

Before that, though, is the Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout, taking place June 27th and June 28th at ARIA. As the name implies, it is a mini-shootout. There will be one table composed of five non-poker celebrities and one table composed of five poker pros. Each table will play down to one winner; those two finalists will then compete in a best-of-three heads-up match to determine the champion. It is a winner-take-all event, with $1 million going to the winner.

The non-poker celebrities should be quite familiar to poker fans, not only for their celebrity, but also because they are poker buffs themselves, frequently competing in major events:

Hank Azaria – actor who has appeared in numerous movies and had recurring roles in “Mad About You” (probably the show for which he first started being recognized) and “Friends.” He is best known today, though, for voicing many characters on “The Simpsons,” including Chief Wiggum, Apu, Professor Frink, Moe Szyslak, and tons more.

Don Cheadle – currently starring on Showtime’s “House of Lies,” Cheadle is one of the best actors around. Some of his notable movies include Hotel Rwanda (for which he was named for an Academy Award), Crash, Boogie Nights, the Ocean’s series, Iron Man 2, and Iron Man 3. He has played in many poker events, even beating Phil Ivey heads-up in the 2007 National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Cheadle also co-founded Ante Up for Africa.

Brad Garrett – an avid poker player, Garrett is best known for his role as Robert Barone on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” He does lots of voice-over work and has had a long stand-up comedy career, as well. Garrett can be seen just about every year with his “Raymond” co-star, Ray Romano, playing at the World Series of Poker.

Norm MacDonald – what can you say about Norm? He’s hilarious. One of the greatest stand-up comedians of all-time. He’s been in lots of movies (mostly bad ones), but is probably best known for his five years on “Saturday Night Live,” including three behind the Weekend Update desk. He’s a huge poker fan and known in poker circles to be a pretty strong one.

Kevin Pollak – comedian, actor, and host of the internet talk show, “Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show,” Pollak is another Hollywood poker aficionado. He’s a fantastic stand-up comic, doing some of the best celebrity impressions you’ll ever see. Of course, he has been in many films, but fans will probably recognize him best for his role as Hockney in The Usual Suspects.

We won’t go into as much detail about the poker pros at the other table. Readers of this site should know their names, as they are basically a “who’s who” of poker: Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, Antonio Esfandiari, and Phil Hellmuth.

The Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network beginning at the end of July. Episodes one and two will air Wednesday, July 29th, from 9:00pm ET to 11:00pm ET and will be re-run immediately at 11:00pm. Episodes three and four will air the following week, on Wednesday, August 5th, again from 9:00pm to 11:00pm. The first two episodes will be re-broadcast for the two hours before the new episodes and all four episodes will be shown from 11:00pm to 3:00am.

The Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout will conclude its television series on Wednesday, August 12th, at 9:00pm with episodes five and six. The Super High Roller Bowl will then begin airing later in August.


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