When COVID first started us nailing our doors shut, and wondering if a bleach cleanse was a workable medical intervention, Andy Bellin wrote a piece for the L.A. Times on how his home game stayed together.
Bellin is the writer of Lovelace and the upcoming Phil Ivey movie, The Baccarat Machine. His home game was a who’s who of mid-level celebrity players. David Schwimmer is a regular in the game, along with Eric Bogosian, Billy Crudup, Rounders co-writer Brian Koppelman, and Simpsons alum Hank Azaria, who used to host the game.
The article clearly hit home with someone at PokerStars because nine months later the first episode of Hank Azaria’s Home Game is coming out. The show goes up on the PokerStars Youtube channel at 6 P.M. GMT. on Sunday, January 31st, 2021.
Each episode will be a six-man sit’n’go. Each episode, Azaria and five celebrities play for a cut of $50,000. Stars will donate their cut to a charity of their choice. PokerStars will host the games. Each player will have a webcam trained on them as they play, allowing for the audience to enjoy the table banter and Jon Hamm’s cry-face.
The editors then piece the together from those feeds.
“Hank’s Home Game is all about great company and good conversation,” says Azaria. “While we hope our Home Game will keep everyone entertained during testing times, it has also been a chance to continue raising money for charity.”
The line up
Audiences know Azaria best as the voices of Moe, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Apu, and others on The Simpsons. But he also does a lot of charity work, including arranging other charity poker tourneys.
The first episode will see a line up of:
- Hank “1DoyleLonnegan” Azaria,
- Don “The DonDaDaDA” Cheadle (The Avengers: Endgame),
- Michael “IamMichaelCera” Cera (Molly’s Game),
- Michael “MichaelIanBlack” Ian Black (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp),
- Josh “IamJoshCharles” Charles (Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp), and
- Jon “MediumJon” Hamm (Mad Men, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp).
Call to Action, a previous event with Azaria’s involvement, also played out on PokerStars. That event attracted the likes of Aaron Paul, Terri Hatcher, Brian Cranston, JK Simmons, and eventual winner David Costabile.
So we can probably expect the A-listers to keep coming in future episodes.
PokerStars will dole out the $50,000 prize pool out to each of the players’ chosen charities in the following way:
1st – $20k
2nd – $12k
3rd – $8k
4th – $5k
5th – $3k
6th – $2k
Blinds will start at 50/100, stacks at 10,000, and there will be unlimited rebuys for the first hour. As a result, there should be plenty of time for the audience to find someone to root for or against, before they start dropping like flies.
Featured image source: Twitter