The third annual Broadway Bets, Broadway’s official poker tournament, raised $286,900 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS May 15 at Sardi's.
Last year’s event brought in $239,550. The three editions have raised a total of $653,750 for Broadway Cares.
The event gives theatre industry insiders and loyal Broadway Cares supporters a chance to play in a friendly poker tournament while raising money for those in need. Among this year's participants were Hank Azaria, Alex Brightman, Michael Cera, Brian Koppelman, Steve Martin, Michael Park, David Schwimmer, Lucas Steele, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Tony Yazbeck, Hello, Dolly! Tony nominee Gavin Creel, A Doll’s House, Part 2 Tony nominees Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell, Laurie Metcalf, and Condola Rashad, as well as professional poker champions Erik Seidel, Vanessa Selbst, Andy Frankenberger, and Ingrid Weber.
The ultimate face-off featured actor-musician-playwright Steve Martin and Broadway fans Ken Ruck and Joan Siegel, who played through a series of hands until Martin lost an all-in battle against Ruck. Then, Ruck bested Siegel to become this year’s Broadway Bets champion. As winner, Ruck received a round-trip flight and VIP accommodations in Tampa Bay to see the New York Giants play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The final table also featured, in order of finish, Jack Eldon of Disney Theatrical Productions, Jenifer Thomas of Disney Theatrical Productions, James Murray of The Shubert Organization, Michael Barra of The Araca Group, Kim Hewski from Serino/Coyne, Sierra Duncan of The Road Company, and Stephen Lindsay of The Road Company.
This year’s Broadway Bets was co-chaired by Elliot Greene, executive vice president of The Shubert Organization, and Marla Ostroff, executive vice president of arts and theatre at Ticketmaster. Paul Libin, executive vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters and Broadway Cares Board of Trustees president, and Robert E. Wankel, president and co-CEO of The Shubert Organization and BC/EFA executive vice president, returned as founding co-chairs. Micah Hollingworth of Jujamcyn Theaters, Mark Shacket of Foresight Theatrical, and Brett Sirota of The Road Company served as tournament directors.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $285 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.
For more information, visit Broadway Cares online at BroadwayCares.org.