Kevin Hart busted from the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl but not before he made a $10,000 donation to charity REG (Raising for Effective Giving).
It’s all thanks to poker pro Justin Bonomo’s pink hair.
Bonomo was on the feature table with Hart on Day 1 when his unusual hairstyle drew the attention of the world-renowned comedian. Bonomo told him it was in support of feminism and in protest of societal gender norms.
Hart was intrigued and asked Bonomo if he belonged to any charity organizations. Bonomo had just become an ambassador for REG and told Hart a little about it.
“He said ‘It’s great that you are trying to do good things for people. I’ll donate $10k.’” Bonomo related.
Bonomo didn't even have to ask. Hart just offered the donation straight up.
Kevin Hart: “I Support Positivity”
REG, which consists primarily of professional poker players and financial investors, was created with the idea of contributing to charities that are particularly effective at giving back.
It was founded by poker pros Igor Kurganov, Liv Boeree and Philipp Gruissem in conjunction with the Effective Altruism Foundation.
Bonomo said he wasn’t completed surprised by Hart’s generosity, although he was very grateful.
“I’ve heard that he’s a great guy and playing with him it seemed like everything I’d heard was true,” said Bonomo of Hart’s contribution.
“Obviously I’m trying to get REG as much exposure as possible.”
Hart later Tweeted to Bonomo, “No problem… I support positivity and what your guys are doing is just that.”
REG announced seven new ambassadors last week including the aforementioned Bonomo along with John Juanda, Cate Hall, Martin Jacobson, George Danzer, Erik Seidel and Cristopher George.
Bonomo: “People Expect a Famous Comedian to be Bad at Poker”
Justin Bonomo played with Hart a fair amount over the first two days of the Super High Roller Bowl and came away somewhat surprised by the experienced.
Kevin Hart hamming it up in the SHRB.
“A lot of people would expect a super-famous comedian to be really, really bad at poker but he’s not,” he said.
“He’s not the type of guy that’s just going to hurricane his chips off. He makes you work for it.”
That’s high praise from Bonomo, who’s easily one of the best tournament players in the world with $16m in live tournament earnings.
That’s not to say Hart, who recently partnered with PokerStars to "make poker cool", was like any other poker player that Bonomo’s ever played against.
“His approach to comedy at the table was interesting,” he said.
“He knew that we were playing for $6m and everyone was taking it super seriously — I mean these are some of the best professional poker players in the world — so he wanted to contrast that with a bunch of fart jokes and stuff. It was definitely something I’m not used to at the table.
Hart Drives Huge Audience to Live Stream
It seems unlikely that Hart got into Bonomo’s head but the long-time pro did say it was a challenging experience at times.
Phil Hellmuth, Justin Bonomo and Kevin Hart.
“It became a little hard to concentrate during certain hands,” he said. “It was a lot of fun though.”
Throughout the broadcast Hart made a point of spicing up the constrained atmosphere by cracking jokes and shouting profanities during lulls in the action.
There was definitely some element of putting on a show, according to Bonomo.
“He’s a smart guy,” said Bonomo.
“He knows what he’s doing. He knew that he was acting differently than everyone else. It doesn’t take a scientist to figure that out.”
Regardless it’s good for poker, according to Bonomo.
“He’s getting tons of viewers and drawing a lot of interest,” he said. “Anything that does that is great for poker.”
You can pull a Kevin Hart of your own by heading to the REG website.