Broadway Bets: Poker Tournament at Sardi's Earns $137K for BC/EFA | Playbill

News Broadway Bets: Poker Tournament at Sardi's Earns $137K for BC/EFA Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has come up with a lot of innovative and unusual ways to raise money in the last half century, from Broadway Bears (an auction of teddy bears dressed up like Broadway stars) to Broadway Bares (a burlesque revue with fit Broadway dancers). Their latest, Broadway Bets, a poker tournament at Sardi's, raised $137,200 in its inaugural flight May 18.

Among Broadway celebrities who took part were Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck, Patrick Page, Richard Kind, Paige Davis, Eric Bogosian and Anthony Rapp. The event was open to the public, with proceeds going to the fight against AIDS.

BC/EFA said that 16 classic Texas Hold ‘em poker tables filled two floors of the iconic restaurant. Ten players bested more than 120 other competitors to win their way to the finalists table. Bill Paness, controller for The Shubert Organization, became the first Broadway Bets champion, and winner of a VIP weekend at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Co-chairs Paul Libin, executive vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters and BC/EFA Board of Trustees president, and Robert E. Wankel, president and co-CEO of The Shubert Organization and longtime BC/EFA trustee, said the first collection of “Full House” sponsors, who purchased full tables for eight players, included the Ambassador Theatre Group, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Jujamcyn Theaters, On the Town, The Road Company, The Shubert Organization and SpotCo.

“Two Pair” sponsors, purchasing spots for four players, included The Araca Group, Darren Deverna of Production Resource Group, Serino/Coyne and Sweet Hospitality Group.

Sardi's restaurant is located at 234 West 44th Street near Times Square. Here is the Martin Short video used to promote the event:

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