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Arts and Entertainment

Photos 10/23: Celebs Ante Up for a Good Cause at the Commerce Casino

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Celebs came out in full force on Saturday at the Commerce Casino for Ante Up! the Second Annual Celebrity Poker Tournament at the Commerce Casino, hosted by Camryn Manheim (The Practice).

Proceeds from the event were going to the nonprofit Children’s Institute, which works on behalf of at-risk children affected by abuse, neglect or community violence. LAist worked the red carpet and chatted with a few of the notable participants, including Jason Alexander, Cheryl Hines, Hank Azaria, Ricky Lake, Kathy Najimy and more.

We asked Azaria (The Simpsons) who'd win a Springfield poker tournament and he went down the line ticking off characters--in their voices--and decided that it would have to be Professor Frink or Moe the Bartender because Apu probably doesn't gamble and Chief Wiggum "would be a disaster...I don't think he'd remember what hand beats what."

Alexander commented on Azaria's mad card skills. "Hank Azaria is very hard to beat. I have played him in other venues and this where I may have to hire someone to physically remove him," he joked. "I tell you who else is here who is a better player than you would know. Because you look at her and you say, 'Oh, so sweet. Nice girl. Probably not very bright.' And yet Cheryl Hines is very tough. Very very tough." The two play together in house games--and we can only imagine the banter around that table.

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Manheim was the day's biggest cheerleader though, raising funds for the Children's Institute as well as encouraging her friends and other players take advantage of additional buy-ins if they busted early on the river cards. She loves playing poker just as much as her friends. We asked if she'd rather snag another Emmy nomination or a poker title, she quickly responded: "I already have an Emmy. I'd rather have a World Series of Poker title...that one's going to get me laid a lot more."

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