Ed Asner Celebrity Poker Tournament goes virtual

25 June 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Legendary Emmy-winning actor Ed Asner presents the 8th Annual Ed Asner & Friends Celebrity Poker Tournament in collaboration with World Poker Tour WPT.com to be held Saturday, 29 August 2020, 5 p.m. More than 250 guests are expected to sign in to play in a very unique presentation of 'Live Online Poker' featuring over 50 celebrities who are 'all-in!' They join together on behalf of The Ed Asner Family Center (TEAFC), dedicated to helping 'differently-abled' individuals with autism, developmental delays and other special needs. This exciting event, complete with celebrity moments, expert poker hosts and lots of other surprises, will be streamed via social media with an exciting and star-studded simulcast.

Joining Ed Asner to lend a 'hand' for the cause, will be over 50 celebrities including Tom Hanks, Kim Cattrall, Ben Affleck, Anna Paquin, Don Cheadle, Rosanna Arquette, Jack Black, Howie Mandel, Darius Rucker, Rosie O'Donnell, Rob Schneider and many more.

While the current Covid-19 pandemic dictates social distancing and a break from the traditional Ed Asner Poker Tournament, this re-imagined virtual format allows many more celebrities and guests to participate from across the globe and from the safety of their own homes. Asner and his team collaborated with World Poker Tour, the largest online poker gaming site in the world, to create a special, never seen before platform to host the poker tournament.

Asner, who has a son and grandsons on the autism spectrum, said, "This is my favorite event of the year. Not just because the dollars go to helping keep the programs of the center running. But, because of the inclusive, 'leave your ego at the door' fun of it. It's unlike any other event that I can think of."

Matt Asner, President & CEO of The Ed Asner Family Center, adds, "We are proud to be bringing something fun and special into homes across the globe. With the tournament going virtual this year we are taking something that has been a local Los Angeles staple for the past 7 years and making it a global event. To spread the word of our programs at TEAFC, most of which are offered free to the public, makes this extra special."

Show Director Dwight Kennedy said, "You'll feel like you're right there with all of the poker action, celebrities and fun!"

In addition to the Celebrity Poker Tournament, guests will enjoy a virtual Red Carpet, a premier Silent Auction and a chance to shop at "Ed's Poker Stuff!," the official tournament online store featuring hats, shirts, jerseys and more.

Poker prizes will be awarded for the top three winners, as well as the players at the last table. Non-poker players can also join in to watch the poker tournament and participate in the Silent Auction. All celebrities involved will be signing a special tournament jersey that will be auctioned off. Celebrities playing in the tournament will also be signing special bounty tee-shirts that will be signed and sent out to players that knock each celebrity out of the tournament.

Now in its 8th year, the poker tournament is expecting to raise over $100,000. The Ed Asner Family Center is a nonprofit, co-founded by Navah Paskowitz-Asner and Matthew Asner, whose mission is to help those with special needs and their families seeking wholeness in all facets of life. The Ed Asner Family Center not only caters to the needs of the special individual, but aims to embrace the complete family, helping them meet the challenges they face with grace and support. The Center offers arts and career advancement programs and virtual programs after school and on the weekends as well as counseling, telehealth and mindfulness classes.

A longtime advocate for the developmentally disabled and those on the autism spectrum, Asner personally understands the challenges that special needs families face, and the healing power of a creative, loving environment. The Los Angeles based The Ed Asner Family Center is the first of many branches nationwide. In the past, the Ed Asner Poker Tournament has raised much needed funds for charitable organizations such as Autism Speaks and The Autism Society of America.

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