Discover CEO Hosting Celebrity Poker Event for COVID-19 NYC Hospital Fund

  • All money goes to Mount Sinai COVID-19 Response Fund
  • $1.1 million donated as of night before the tournament
  • Tournament will be on internet poker site Americas Cardroom
Mount Sinai hospital ambulance in New York City
Discover CEO David Zaslav is hosting a charity online poker tournament to support frontline medical staff in New York City. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Critical supplies for healthcare workers

For the second time in two weeks, poker plays a role in the fight against COVID-19. On Saturday, April 25, Discovery CEO David Zaslav is hosting a charity online poker tournament. All proceeds from the All-In for Mount Sinai event will benefit the Mount Sinai COVID-19 Response Fund.

Mount Sinai’s frontline staff have treated as many as 2,000 patients per day

The Fund is providing mission-critical items such as meals and personal protective equipment (PPE) to staff of the Mount Sinai Health System, an eight-hospital network in the New York metropolitan area.

According to the event’s donation page, Mount Sinai’s frontline staff have treated as many as 2,000 patients per day since the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York.

The poker tournament will take place on Americas Cardroom, an online poker room that somehow accepts players from the U.S., at 2:00pm ET. Poker fans will be able to watch all the action live on Twitch.

Over $1 million raised so far

Zaslav is on the Board of Directors for Mount Sinai and in his position in the entertainment industry, knows a lot of heavy hitters. Among the celebrities who are confirmed to participate this weekend are Bryan Cranston, Joy Behar, Cheryl Hines, Bobby Flay, Boris Becker, and Shannon Elizabeth.

Of the above celebs, a few have ties to poker. Hines and Elizabeth were both in the 2007 “mockumentary” comedy film, The Grand. Elizabeth was very active in the poker world during the poker boom, even making the semi-finals of the 2007 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Tennis legend Boris Becker was once a member of Team PokerStars.

Cranston and Hines played in Ben Affleck’s online poker tournament, also at Americas Cardroom two weeks ago, to benefit Feeding America.

Though he did not officially say that he is playing, Tiger Woods tweeted about All-In for Mount Sinai, calling it a “great cause” and urging people to donate.

As of Friday night, the event has attracted more than $1.1m in donations, led by Zaslav’s $500,000.

New York needs the help

New York City has been the hardest-hit area in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the city’s government website, there have been 146,139 confirmed cases of the virus in New York City as of Friday afternoon. Approximately 38,000 people are estimated to have been hospitalized. The city has confirmed 10,746 COVID-19 deaths and another 5,102 of which COVID-19 was the probable cause.

many doctors, nurses, and other frontline staff have been forced to reuse the same items of PPE for days

New York state as a whole has had 277,445 confirmed cases and 21,291 deaths attributed to COVID-19, far and away the most in both categories of any state. The closest is neighboring New Jersey with 102,196 cases and 5,617 deaths.

Because of the stress the virus has put on New York hospitals, medical providers are in desperate need of protective gear; many doctors, nurses, and other frontline staff have been forced to reuse the same items of PPE for days.

The U.S. crossed the 900,000 infected mark on Friday and 50,000 deaths mark on Thursday.