Poker is one of the most immersive and addictive gambling games, and this is mainly due to the fact that it is the one gambling game that involves an element of skill. This is one of the things that makes poker so popular with celebrities all over the world. And there are so many amazing A-list celebrities who are successful poker players, often entering tournaments and winning prize pots. Celebrity poker players tend to compete in high stakes games that involve a lot of money, and these are some of the best celebrities playing poker.
Spider-Man actor Tobey Maguire is one of the most well-known celebrity poker players and is believed to have taken up poker in 2004. After tutoring from Daniel Negreanu, he entered several World Series of Poker tournaments. Maguire developed a keen interest in poker and continues to play the game at a high level. It is believed he entered Molly Bloom’s high-stakes poker games at the Viper Room in the mid-‘00s and is widely regarded as a strong player.
Matt Damon is another celebrity known to be a keen poker fan and player, and the Good Will Hunting star announced in 2011 that he was getting involved in Texas Hold’em tournaments with other celebrities. Whilst he would certainly not be classed as a high roller in the same way as other celebrities, Damon maintains a keen interest in the game and competes in tournaments when his schedule allows it.
Ben Affleck is one of the most successful and skilled celebrity poker players in the industry and actually won the 2004 California State Poker Championship. He has also qualified for the World Series of Poker on several occasions and took part in the same Molly Bloom high-stakes poker event as Tobey Maguire. With many highly publicized poker appearances over the years, speculation has been rife that Affleck may have a gambling addiction. However, the actor has vehemently denied these allegations over the years.
Chucky actress Jennifer Tilly is another regular on the scene and won a World Series of Poker bracelet in 2005. In addition, she has competed in the Celebrity Poker Showdown of the GSN Poker Royale Series, and in 2010 she resumed her poker career after a hiatus. Tilly is widely regarded as a very skilled poker player and has always spoken of her love of playing poker and possibly playing it professionally as well. Her career earnings are believed to have exceeded $1 million to date.
Unlike a lot of celebrities, stand up comedian and actor Brad Garrett is able to cite himself as a professional poker player. The Everybody Loves Raymond fan favourite won the fifth season of Celebrity Poker Showdown and competed in the World Series of Poker in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Garrett also appeared in the 2009 World Series of Poker but was eliminated in the second round. Garrett continues to be active on the poker scene when he is not acting and is a popular and well-respected player.
Late American director, producer and writer Sam Simon was a regular poker player, along with ex Jennifer Tilly. The couple were two of the most recognizable celebrities playing poker, and Simon showed a preference for Texas Hold’em. He competed at the World Series of Poker every year between 2007 and 2011. Simon won money in six events, with his highest recorded win being $57,308, which he won at the $200 1,082-player No-Limit Hold’em $150,000 Guarantee at the 2010 Winnin O’ The Green.
Best known for his role as the neurotic George Costanza in Seinfeld, Jason Alexander is also a regular at charity poker events. He competed at Bravo’s Celebrity Poker Showdown, winning $500,000 prize money for a charity of his choice. He also competed in the 2007 World Series of Poker. He also appeared on the NBC TV program Poker After Dark, where he finished in sixth place, losing to a professional poker player. The actor also signed with PokerStars and played under the name J. Alexander.
Casino actor and Once Upon a Time in America star James Woods is an avid poker player, winning plenty of money and competing in a lot of tournaments. He played in the 2004 WPT Hollywood Home Game series, and, as of 2018, he has won money at more than 80 tournaments. He also finished in seventh place at the 2015 World Series of Poker, and he is believed to have amassed winnings of more than $350,000 in winnings.
Actor and stand-up comedian Kevin Pollack is an avid poker player and has competed at multiple tournaments over the years. He competed at the 2012 World Series of Poker, where he finished 134th out of 6,598 players, winning a prize of more than $52,000. He also hosts poker games at his home, featuring an array of Hollywood celebrities. Pollack is one of the best-known A-list celebrities to be active on the poker circuit and maintains a strong interest in the game.
American Pie and Jay and Silent Bob actress Shannon Elizabeth is one of the best-known female celebrities on the poker circuit and was mentored by poker legend Daniel Negreanu. She won $55,000 in the 2005 World Series of Poker, beating more than 83 other celebrities and professional poker players. Although less active on the poker scene in the past decade, Elizabeth is still widely regarded as one of the best celebrity players.
The thrill and high stakes of poker tournaments have always been a playground for the rich and famous. But some celebrities are better at poker than others, and many of them are regulars on the poker tour. In fact, some celebrity poker players have suffered from gambling addiction and other problems related to their hobby. However, there are a few cases in which celebrities playing poker has turned into a professional pastime, and these are some of the leading names on the celebrity poker scene.