Broadway's official poker tournament Broadway Bets made its long-awaited return May 22 in a benefit event for Broadway Cares, and the event scored big this year for the charity, raising a record breaking total of $332,465.
Held at Sardi's Restaurant, Broadway stars, industry members, and theatre fans gathered for the first Texas Hold 'Em tournament in four years. Ramin Karimloo, Aaron Tveit, Mike Myers, Jarrod Spector, Anthony Rapp, and Kelli Barrett were among the attendees.
28 Texas Hold ’em poker tables were spread across the restaurant with over 400 players and onlookers. 10 final players reached the championship table: Nederlander Organization director of ticketing Taylor Maimbourg, Houston's Main Street Theater business manager Joel Szulc, Jarrod Spector; The Shubert Organization director of security Paul D'Antonio, The Araca Group CEO Michael Rego, Sony Music Masterworks SVP Josh Lerman, Cabin Modern head designer and creative director Jillian Chaitin, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP chairman Tom Cerabino, Cabin Modern partner and president Jeremy Hollingworth, and Julie Scheer. Hollingsworth and Scheer made it to the final face-off, with Hollingsworth declared as this year's Broadway Bets champion.
As winner, Hollingsworth received two first-class, round-trip tickets on United Airlines, while runner-up Scheer won tickets to see Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden and a Capital Grille gift certificate.
The event's record-breaking proceeds pushed Broadway Bets overall total fundraising throughout its six tournaments to a total of over $1.5 million.
Broadway Bets is founded and co-chaired by Jujamcyn Theaters Executive Vice President Emeritus Paul Libin and Shubert Organization President Robert E. Wankel. Libin is also president emeritus of the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Board of Trustees, and Wankel serves as the current president.