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  • Feature: All-In For All Good Poker Tournament

    Sun, 31 May 2009 12:47:06

    Feature: All-In For All Good Poker Tournament - Brad Garrett, Ray Romano and Jason Alexander exclusively talk to us at the Dream Foundation & Maximum Hope's poker tournament

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    Texas Hold'em is no laughing matter—except when you have a bunch of comedians playing.

    Brad Garrett organized a bevy of the brightest comedy talents for the Dream Foundation and Maximum Hope's All-In For All Good Celebrity Poker Tournament. Garrett, Ray Romano, Jason Alexander, Kevin Nealon and many others brought humor and heart to the tables.

    Every little detail of the event was perfect—right down to the playing decks. "The king has Ray Romano's face, and the queen has mine. That's what happens when your ex-wife orders the cards," joked Brad Garrett as he walked into the Commerce Casino ballroom. Garrett stood at the epicenter of everything, bringing together a whole slew of funny people and two crucially important charities at this Los Angeles arena casino.

    Maximum Hope focuses on helping families with terminally ill children, while the Dream Foundation is the only organization that grants wishes for terminally ill adults. What better way to raise money than with Texas Hold'em and a whole lot of laughs?

    Weeds star Kevin Nealon was especially excited to be working with the Dream Foundation. Standing by his table, he said, "I started helping out the Dream Foundation quite a few years ago at different fundraisers. I'd auction myself off to golf with some of the recipients. I really like being a part of that. To see the good that the Dream Foundation does is heartwarming."

    Even though Jason Alexander had never worked with the Dream Foundation before, he was thrilled to be trying his hand at the event. "This is all new to me. The only thing that's old to me is Brad Garrett [Laughs].The organization does some really great work. This is a class A event, and I give it all up for Brad because he really gets deeply involved with the charities he does these things for. I'm really happy to support it."

    In addition to various celebs playing poker, there were some very unique auction items for sale like a personal poker game with Ray and Brad at one of their homes and backstage access to their Vegas show. Ray highlighted the hook for the Vegas prize, "Prostitution is legal and it's all for the kids." Chuckles abounded at that remark, especially from Brad.

    "I can't tell how you excited I am about today," exclaimed Brad with a smile. "It's an amazing turnout. I started working with Dream Foundation ten years ago and [Dream Foundation Founder/President] Tom Rollerson is amazing. Tom knew I wanted to start my own foundation. We're kicking off our charity, Maximum Hope, so we piggybacked [with Dream Foundation]. Everything we make today is going half towards Dream and half towards us. We want to just have a lot of fun and raise some money for these two great causes."

    Not everyone was super adept at poker though, but that made it more fun. Michael Chiklis laughed, "I'm here to support Brad and the causes. I barely know how to play Texas Hold'em. The last time I played was two years ago at another one of Brad's events. I grew up playing stud poker, but poker's poker. You get lucky."

    It's more than luck though, everyone gave a lot to make sure that these organizations got the support they deserve. Tom Rollerson of the Dream Foundation said it best.

    "I'm not a poker player; I'm a dream maker. I had no idea what to expect in this room. The turnout was just amazing—completely star-studded. The event is a lot of good-hearted people coming together for good causes. It doesn't getter better than that. As far as I'm concerned we're all winners. Brad Garrett goes above and beyond with whatever he does, so his level of commitment in making this happen is incredible. We're very grateful, and we can make a difference."

    They most certainly did make a difference, and they made everyone smile as well.

    Check out exclusive photos below!


    Christopher Cross



    Robert Davi



    Kevin Nealon



    Jason Alexander



    Jason Alexander



    Joely Fisher



    Teri Hatcher



    Teri Hatcher



    Teri Hatcher



    Michael Chiklis



    Ray Romano



    Ray Romano



    Brad Garrett



    Brad Garrett



    Brad Garrett & Ray Romano



    Brad Garrett & Ray Romano



    Brad Garrett & Ray Romano



    Ray Romano, Teri Hatcher, Brad Garrett, Joely Fisher & Robert Davi



    Ray Romano, Teri Hatcher, Brad Garrett, Joely Fisher & Robert Davi



    Ray Romano, Teri Hatcher, Brad Garrett, Joely Fisher & Robert Davi



    Ray Romano, Teri Hatcher, Brad Garrett, Joely Fisher & Robert Davi



    Ray Romano, Teri Hatcher, Brad Garrett, Joely Fisher, Robert Davi & Michael Chiklis



    Jason Alexander, Ray Romano & Teri Hatcher


    ARTISTdirect.com is proud to be a charitable partner with Dream Foundation. Join us in support! For more information visit Dream Foundation's web site www.dreamfoundation.org.

    —Words & Photos by Rick Florino
    05.31.09



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