Poker, an old card game most often seen in old western movies as a scene prop, played by swarthy, dirty gunslingers and old prospectors, a shot of whiskey close at hand (not to mention that trusty 6-shooter), or is it?
While poker was, at one time, considered to be that old-timers game, played by your dad and his workmates every second Thursday night, wearing those silly green starter caps and chewing on cheap cigars, today’s game is very different. Modern poker is big business, with multimillion-dollar tournaments covered by the likes of ESPN, Fox Sports, and others. With the World Series of Poker (WSOP) capturing the attention of amateur poker payers and bemused onlookers alike, we take a look at modern-day poker from a slightly different perspective.
Celebrities are often in the public eye for all sorts of reasons. From dabbling in a trendy fragrance or line of made in China prints to showing off their booty accidentally-on-purpose, we can’t seem to get enough of them. So, how about celebrities that play poker? We’ve managed to round up 6 (and there are more) top Hollywood celebs who love to play poker and, some of whom are damned good at it.
Matt Damon, you say? The guy that played a genius poker player in Rounders is a poker player in real life too? Amazing!
Just about everyone loves Matt Damon; after all, he was Good Will Hunting, and also Jason Bourne. Those are great roles, but if you’re a poker player, Rounders was IT!
Considered by most poker players and fans to be the quintessential movie about poker, Matt Damon played the role to perfection. To become his character in Rounders, Damon spent a lot of money learning to play the game for real. Real games, real opponents, real losses. However, after the movie, he continued playing poker and even held his own in both the 2008 and 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP).
Of course, you can never mention Matt Damon without mentioning Ben Affleck too. Co-writer and co-star of the mega-hit movie Good Will Hunting, Affleck is a pretty good poker player in his own right. In the real world, Affleck has won the 2004 California State Poker Championship, along with around $500,000 in poker tournament wins. It does help that he was coached by both Amir Vahedi and Annie Duke, however.
Remember that stocky, hyper-tense Jewish guy in Seinfeld? The one that looked like he was about to have an aneurysm every episode? Well, that guy happens to be a pretty good poker player. Jason Alexander has made a name for himself in face to face poker tournaments with two great showings at the WSOP and is a regular on the OnGame Network.
Anyone who remembers the Chucky series of horror movies from the 90’s will remember Jennifer Tilley, the Bride of Chucky. If you ever wondered what happened to her, you might be interested to know that she’s been killing it at high profile poker tables for years and has even won herself a WSOP bracelet and earned well in excess of $750,000 in the process.
Our second female celeb poker representative, Shannon Elizabeth is best known for her roles in American Pie and Scary Movie. This former supermodel puts her talents and looks to good use at the poker table too, with multiple appearances at WSOP, and a second place at Ante Up for Africa Charity Poker Tournament.
What! Spidey plays poker too? Who would’ve thought! Actually, Maguire has been playing the game for close to 20 years already and has had a string of online and live game poker successes. Maguire was also mentioned in the controversial memoir that inspired the movie Molly’s Game. Interesting.