GAMING - Celebrities are known for their lavish lifestyles almost as much as their ability to portray characters onscreen, win major sporting events, and sing the perfect notes. This lifestyle includes living the high life, traveling around in style, attending the hottest parties, and for some, betting enormous sums of money during poker games.
Since its invention in 1829, poker has been among the most popular and widespread gambling games. It requires skill, the ability to remain level headed, and above all, the talent to hide any sign of what your hand is or what you’re thinking.
Because of their ability to achieve a ‘poker face’ without almost any effort, actors are practically built for the game. This ability can lead to incredible wins and is one of the reasons so many of them love the game. Read on as we check out the celebrity actors known to have a penchant for poker and are regularly seen at a table testing the limits of their luck.
Tobey Maguire is a successful actor and producer known for his role as Spider-Man and his appearance in classics like Empire Records and The Great Gatsby. However, he also has a strong poker history and has even stirred up controversy due to his love of the game.
Learning to play from a group of senior students while attending Three Village’s school, Tobey quickly grew to love the card game. By the time 2005 rolled around, Tobey had what could almost be considered an obsession with the game and decided to start hosting private games for celebs with the help of Molly Bloom.
While these games were private and no official information is available on them other than what Molly Bloom publicly admitted, the games were attended by many big names. However, Tobey was hands down the most skilled player and is estimated to have gained between $30 to $40 million during the years when the games were held.
As spectacular as his performance was portraying Batman, Ben Affleck is known far and wide for something else—his love of poker. He can often be seen playing high-stakes games and expressing his enjoyment of the game.
Amongst these are WSOP (World Series of Poker) tournaments. While he hasn’t had significant luck during these, he has won impressive rounds against players like Chino Rheem and Annie Duke.
Like Tobey, scandal has followed the gambling exploits of the actor. In 2014, Ben was banned from gambling at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas after being accused of counting cards. While he may be unable to enter the casino, SlotSource offers hundreds of slot games he can distract himself with before his next private poker game.
Good Will Hunting and Interstellar star Matt Damon is almost as famous on the poker scene as any professional player. He first began playing the game while a student at Harvard. By 1998, he was competing in the World Series of Poker events.
One of the most significant achievements of the star in his poker career is beating professional player Doyle Brunson and knocking him out of the competition. This act only triumphed when he won a WSOP bracelet in 2010.
Known for her role in the American Pie trilogy of movies, Shannon Elizabeth is a woman of considerable skills. Aside from her ability to act, she is so talented at tennis that she considered playing professionally on multiple occasions. However, poker held more appeal for her.
Calling the game her second career and one of the reasons she decided to leave LA, Shannon is a regular in Vegas, where she spends time raking it in against other players. She has also competed in tournaments like the NBC Heads-Up Championship.
While his name may not immediately register with many, the co-creator of the international hit The Simpsons is also a popular poker player. Unlike others, however, poker player Sam Simon didn’t limit himself to particular types of poker games (such as Texas Hold ’em) but rather a wide range.
In 2008, Sam won the World Series of Poker’s third event during the annual Poker Derby. With all the cash he is sure to have gained from playing, Sam supports multiple charities and philanthropic activities.
Seinfeld is one of the most iconic TV shows ever made. Playing George Costanza, arguably the show’s most infamous yet lovable character, Jason Alexander quickly earned a reputation for himself. However, unlike George, Jason is anything but a loser, especially in poker.
Known for being an aggressive player with a competitive attitude who often wins, Jason donates plenty of his winnings to charitable organizations. He also streams some of his best gameplay on YouTube for others to see.
The former wife of another poker lover Sam Simon, Jennifer Tilly, is famous for her roles in Liar Liar and many Chucky movies. More than this, she is renowned for her love of poker and incredible playing success.
In 1996, Jennifer won her first WSOP bracelet. Two years later, in 1998, she won the Bellagio Cup and an impressive pot of winnings. Aside from just playing, however, she is a strong advocate for poker and has actively featured in advertising campaigns by Absolute Poker.
In 2004, Ray Romano was listed as the highest-paid TV actor in the world. This achievement was thanks to his outstanding performance in the hit show Everybody Loves Raymond. However, making people laugh on screen is only one aspect of what Ray can do—he is also an outstanding poker player.
Ray is regularly seen at the main event of the World Series of Poker and, while he hasn’t made any significant wins yet, tries each year to beat his previous record. He loves to host private games with friends and family at home.