Top 5 Celebrity Poker Players
Whether they fancy their chances at Texas Hold’em or are particularly skilled 3 Card Poker players, celebrities are drawn to the world of poker.
Many celebrities may choose to merely endorse leading online gambling brands (such as Paris Hilton with BGO.com), and others prefer to sit down at the tables and get a slice of the action for themselves. Who are the biggest celebrity poker players, though?
Have they had any luck? Or, do they just fancy throwing money away at the tables because they have a more than adequate supply of it to do so? Let’s check out the top 5 celebrity poker players the gambling world has to offer.
The Olympic American hero, Michael Phelps, has a penchant for poker. This is a man who doesn’t know how to lose (at least when it comes to swimming), but how does he fare playing poker? Funnily enough, there’s not much difference in his desire to win. Phelps is often cited to be one of the best and most skilful poker celebrities around. He has already popped up at major events such as the WSOP (World Series of Poker) in Las Vegas and has been sighted at other tournaments, including in the Bahamas. Fifth-placed finish in a $1,570 No-Limit Hold’em tournament with over 175 players isn’t bad, but perhaps it isn’t quite the win Phelps was hoping for.
Numerous movie stars like to take a turn at the tables. Arguably one of the more successful is stand-up comedian and actor, Kevin Hart. He has also been spotted playing in poker tournaments in the Bahamas, as well as in Monte Carlo. With cash to spare, Hart can afford to take a few hits (and he has), but this high-rolling poker player certainly has a love of the game. Kevin Hart’s not alone in the regard.
Other major actors including Spider-Man’s Tobey Maguire, American Pie’s Shannon Elizabeth and Contact’s James Woods like to play. Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander and Jennifer Tilly are also keen players. Tilly has even won a World Series of Poker (WSOP) Ladies’ Event bracelet, one of the few celebrities to do so.
Football players are amongst the best-paid sports stars on the planet. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many of them like a touch of 3 Card Poker (learn more on Allstargambling), Caribbean Stud or Texas Hold’em, either. Neymar is one of the most famous faces in the football world at the minute, and with his paycheque coming to around £300,000 a week, he can afford to play with the big boys.
Unlike Cristiano Ronaldo – who has appeared at poker events as part of promotions and sponsorships – Neymar apparently plays owing to his love of the game. He frequently appears at WSOP events alongside Felipe Ramos, and Bruno Politano and has also appeared at the EPT in Barcelona.
Other footy players who have been known to sit down and play include Barcelona’s Gerard Piqúe, former England striker Teddy Sheringham, as well as Germany and Brazil legends, Mario Basler and Denilson. Even snooker players get in on the act, with former World Champion Stephen Hendry a keen poker player.
Continuing with sports stars, we come to Boris Becker. Few tennis players will be remembered like Becker. He was the youngest ever man to win Wimbledon, and despite an illustrious career, and frequent appearances at major tennis tournaments where he acts as a commentator, Boris also indulges in his hobby of poker. He has numerous sponsorships on the go with online poker rooms and has appeared in multiple WPT and WPT tournaments.
Becker arguably appears in the more poker tournaments than any other celebrity. This is a celebrity who really takes his poker gaming seriously.
Matt Damon (and Ben Affleck)
Where there is one, there is the other. Inseparable in seemingly everything they do, both Matt Damon and his acting bud, Ben Affleck are both avid poker players. We couldn’t very well include one on this list without the other. It is hard to say if Damon was bitten by the poker bug while filming Rounder’s (one of the best poker films ever to be released), but since he spent over $25,000 just learning about the game for the role, he is at least committed. Dropping $25k just practising must have done something to him.
Long after the film came out, he can still be found playing poker in major tournaments. He’s even had a touch of success, performing admirably at the 2008 and 2010 WSOP.
Ben Affleck is no stranger to poker, either. He allegedly paid pro poker stars Annie Duke and Amir Vahedi to guide him in the game. Playing high-stakes games (some worth as much as $500,000) he is something of a poker pro himself now.
Having won the 2004 California Stake Poker Championship, nobody could say that Affleck doesn’t have the acting talents for a great poker face, nor the poker skills to finish off his opponents.