PokerStars hosts Jonathan Ross charity tournament

Bed-ridden and feeling pretty sorry for himself, Jonathan Ross needed cheering up. The chat show host, one of the biggest names on British television, turned to his millions of Twitter follows and asked for their help.

"Good evening. I have been in bed most of the day, sick. If you are a poker player, which is the best online site to play on? I am learning."

Quick as a flash, our very own Vicky Coren, who knows Ross well from what I believe the cool kids call 'showbiz circles', began tapping on her phone.

"I am OFFENDED you think only Twitter can help you here..! *tsk* Your first answer is PokerStars. Do email any further questions...x"

Who can argue with Vicky? With that, Ross took to the online tables and began working on his game. And it turns out he's got rather good. So much so that he and PokerStars have now teamed up to create Jonathan Ross' PokerStars Charity Special, a live one-table affair to be played out tomorrow at a swanky London venue.


The many (four) poker faces of Jonathan Ross

Ross has roped in some of his celebrity pals to play for good causes. There's Coren herself, a Team PokerStars Pro and former EPT champion who recently married television star David Mitchell. I'm not sure if he's attending, as Vicky may well have ordered him to put up some shelves or mow the lawn.


Newly-wed: Vicky Coren

Also playing is top stand-up comic John Bishop. The Liverpudlian has enjoyed a stellar rise to fame and now fills the biggest venues up and down the country.

Only this week he was featured on the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are, a documentary which delves into the family past. Turns out great-grandfather Bishop performed on stage as a blacked-up minstrel in 1855 - a time when such things were applauded, not frowned upon. Years later, the Bishop stage presence is still there for all to see...

Jason Manford is another comedian who will be playing the charity event. He's a favourite on the UK comedy circuit and television shows. From Salford, it turns out he's something of a football fan...

Team PokerStars SportStar Boris Becker is the last celebrity taking his seat tomorrow. The former tennis champion has been with PokerStars for five years, and proved himself as a genuine competitor at the poker table.


Boris Becker

So Ross, Coren, Bishop, Manford and Becker. That's five runners, then? I'm glad you asked, because actually there will be six. The final spot will be filled by a lucky PokerStars player who won a special online final for UK and Ireland players.

The poker itself, which will be presided over by tournament director Lee Jones, a poker celebrity in his own right, will probably be lost somewhere in a sea of banter and mickey-taking. But the real point of all this is that some good causes are going to be getting tens of thousands of pounds as an early Christmas present.

Unfortunately, only invited guests will be able to attend. But good news: PokerStars Blog will be there to cover the action live. Don't expect us to be writing about too many ace-king against pocket jacks confrontations. Instead we'll be bringing you all the fun as some of Britain's top celebrities fight it out with PokerStars' own big names in the name of charity.

Join us from around 2pm tomorrow, when we'll find out if Ross has been true to his word on Twitter. Here's how he signed off from that sick bed of his...

"..many thanks will try a few hands then retire when i am the king of poker!!! The crown will be mine, oh yes..."

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in PokerStars news