In less than a week, from June 27 through July 4 to be exact, ARIA Resort & Casino will host the 2015 Super High Roller Series. The premiere event is a $500,000 buy-in tournament called the Super High Roller Bowl – for which more than 50 players are already confirmed – but before that happens there will be the Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout.
The event, which is being hosted by Poker Central and will take place on June 27-28, will feature a mix of celebrities and poker pros that'll face off for a $1-million first-place prize. The event will be filmed and will air on NBCSN at 9:00 p.m. for three Wednesdays in a row beginning on July 29.
“These Hollywood celebrities are about to face off in the hardest game of their life, for more than they’ve ever played for before, against some of the world’s best players,” said Clint Stinchcomb, CEO of Poker Central. “This exciting, high pressure poker will be riveting to watch.”
The format will see five pros and five celebrities face off in separate matches. The winner from each will then play a best-of-three-showdown with the winner taking home a smooth million.
Here's a look at the players and celebrities slated to take part in the television event:
- Doyle Brunson –He made a brief appearance at the 2015 World Series of Poker to play the Super Seniors event, but now the 81-year-old is turning his attention to the Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout. It's well known that "Texas Dolly" no longer enjoys the tournament grind, so an invitational event like this should fit his schedule a bit better.
- Antonio Esfandiari – "The Magician" won the inaugural $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop for $18,346,673. That, combined with more than $7 million in other wins, makes him poker's all-time biggest tournament winner. Esfandiari has two World Poker Tour titles and three WSOP bracelets on his poker résumé.
- Phil Hellmuth – The Poker Central blurb on the "Poker Brat" says it all: "$18,282,014 in lifetime poker winnings. 300 cashes. 200 final tables. #2 in the All Time Money List. A record 14 WSOP bracelets. A record 53 WSOP final tables. The all-time WSOP leader in cashes. Poker Hall of Fame inductee in 2007. The youngest WSOP Main Event winner in history when he won in 1989. The only player to ever win the WSOP Main Event in Vegas and also in Europe."
- Daniel Negreanu – Arguably the most popular poker player in the world, Negreanu has six WSOP bracelets to his name and represents the biggest online poker site in the world. They don't come any friendlier and entertaining than "Kid Poker," so he's sure to make for some good TV.
- Vanessa Selbst – Not only is she the highest-earning female poker player of all time with more than $10.5 million in total winnings, but Selbst is among the most accomplished and feared players in the world. Like Negreanu, the Yale Law School graduate represents PokerStars. On a side note, Selbst will be hosting a "Blinds & Justice" charity event on September 29.
- Hank Azaria – Perhaps best known for voicing dozens of characters on The Simpsons, Azaria is also a poker aficionado who has used his skills to raise money for various charities such at Determined to Succeed, a charity that helps low income students with year-round academic and enrichment support. Azaria has also starred on such TV shows as Ray Donovan and Friends, as well as in films like Along Came Polly and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
- Don Cheadle – One of the most sought after actors in Hollywood, Cheadle is a Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee who has starred in such films as Crash, Hotel Rwanda, Ocean's Eleven, and both Iron Man 2 & 3. His Golden Globe award came from his role in House of Lies. Cheadle also helped found Ante Up for Africa, a poker charity that has helped raise $3 million for those suffering in Darfur.
- Brad Garrett – The three-time Emmy award winner starred as Robert Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond. Garrett, who has his own comedy club in Las Vegas, is a frequent participant at the WSOP. Garrett often hosts poker charity events to support Maximum Hope Foundation, which helps children with life-limiting illnesses.
- Norm Macdonald – The Saturday Night Live alum hosted High Stakes Poker in 2011. The long-time poker player and stand-up comedian has appeared in such films as Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Dirty Work, and Dr. Dolittle.
- Kevin Pollak – Former host of Celebrity Poker Showdown, Pollak has been one of the more visible celebrities in the poker world in recent years, due in no small part to his deep run in the 2012 WSOP Main Event when he finished 134th for $52,718. Pollak has appeared in such films as A Few Good Men, The Usual Suspects, and Casino, and has a successful stand-up career that features his spot-on impressions of celebrities like Christopher Walken, William Shatner, and Robert De Niro.
For more information, visit pokercentral.com.