Poker Tournament Shuffles Up Record-Shattering Fundraising

Industry insiders, celebrated stars and Broadway fans alike raised the stakes and a record-breaking total at Broadway’s official game night Broadway Bets, produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

The annual evening of Texas Hold ’em poker at Sardi’s, one of the theater district’s most legendary restaurants, raised a record $540,600 on June 3, 2024.

A royal flush of players featured leading luminaries from across the business of Broadway, including theater owners, producers, actors, theatrical executives, advertising and marketing leaders and fans.

Among the stars of stage and screen playing in the tournament or observing the action were Shoshana Bean, Joshua Boone, David Costabile, Brandon Victor Dixon, Eli Gelb, RJ Higton, Ramin Karimloo, Andy Karl, Alicia Keys, Richard Kind, Jarrod Spector, Marc Summers, Daryl Tofa and David Yazbek.

Broadway Bets’ tournament directors are Mark Shacket, partner at Foresight Theatrical, Brett Sirota, co-founder and partner at The Road Company and RoadCo Entertainment, and Alex Wolfe, associate general manager at Foresight Theatrical.

Broadway Bets’ founding co-chairs are Paul Libin, executive vice president emeritus of Jujamcyn Theaters and president emeritus of the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Board of Trustees, and Robert E. Wankel, chairman and CEO of The Shubert Organization and president of the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Board of Trustees.

This year’s record took Broadway Bets’ total fundraising across its seven editions to $2.2 million.

The evening started with 37 Texas Hold ’em poker tables and 476 tournament players and onlookers filling three floors of the beloved Sardi’s restaurant. It culminated in 10 players donning their best poker faces at the championship table.

The riveting final face-off featured Hannah Katz, contracts coordinator at Broadway Across America, and Nicholas Hipple, labor relations assistant at The Nederlander Organization. Surrounded by an energized and enthusiastic crowd, Hipple went all-in after several rounds of play, while Katz remained cool as her pile of chips towered over the table. Ultimately, Katz bested Hipple with a pair of Aces.

Katz has the unique distinction of being the first woman to be crowned Broadway Bets champion across the seven editions of the tournament. As winner, Katz received a one-week stay at the luxurious Secret Villas in Key West, FL. Hipple won four Legends Suite tickets to a New York Yankees home game, including fine dining at the Legends Suite Club.

The final table also featured, in order of finish: Hillary Bibicoff, transactional entertainment attorney at Feig Finkel LLP; singer/songwriter Adam Jesin; David Dreier, partner at White & Case LLP; Matt Horvath; James Dale, founder and CEO of Sine Digital; Daniel Solomon, senior corporate paralegal at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; Brian DeVito, ticketing and revenue director at Hell’s Kitchen; and Morgan Elwyn, partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

Broadway Bets 2024 poster

Broadway Bets was made possible by “Royal Flush” sponsors City National Bank, the official bank of Broadway Bets, and United Airlines, the official airline of Broadway Bets; bar sponsors An Enemy of the People and Stereophonic; underwriters Peg & Gary Wendlandt; and The Museum of Broadway.

“Full House” table sponsors were The Shubert Organization, Foresight Theatrical, 321 Theatrical Management, AKA, ATG Entertainment, The Araca Group, Hell’s Kitchen, The John Gore Organization (Broadway Across America, Broadway.com), The Nederlander Organization, No Guarantees, The Outsiders, The Pekoe Group, PRG, RCI Theatricals, The Road Company, Satisfi Labs, Serino Coyne, SpotCo, Sweet Hospitality Group and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

“Two Pair” sponsors were CAA, Disney Theatrical Group, MagicSpace Entertainment, RoadCo Entertainment, Rolnick Kramer Sadighi LLP, Situation, Sony Music Masterworks, TodayTix Group, Winston Jones Productions, Withum and WME.

Photos by Allison Stock