July 14, 2021

Celebrities Who Are Skilled at Poker

Aria Williams
WriterAria WilliamsWriter

Poker is one of the most-played card games in the world. It's a big hit among different types of people from all walks of life, including celebrities. From movie stars to producers to directors, here are a few famous people who have remarkable poker skills:

Celebrities Who Are Skilled at Poker

Tobey Maguire

He starred in the films Spider-Man, Seabiscuit, Brothers, and many more. Also, he was one of the celebrity gamblers who inspired a character in Molly's Game, a 2017 biographical film about Molly Bloom, who ran an underground poker operation.

In real life, Maguire is an accomplished poker player. He learned his way around poker odds from Daniel Negreanu, who won the World Series of Poker six times. Some other interesting tidbits about Maguire's poker activities include the following:

  • His favorite poker variant is Texas Hold'em.

  • He has reportedly won more than $10 million in poker tournaments

  • It's said that Maguire plays tournaments only with a card shuffler that he hires personally.

Ben Affleck

The star of three Batman movies, Ben Affleck is yet another actor who has played a superhero who also loves to play poker. Besides being an accomplished actor, Affleck has also won prestigious awards as a screenwriter and director.

Like Maguire, Affleck learned some of his poker strategies from Daniel Negreanu. He also likes to play blackjack. However, he was once ejected from a casino for counting cards during a blackjack game. Here are some fun facts about Affleck's activities and achievements in poker:

  • His poker strategies include betting the minimum and playing very slowly.

  • He took the top prize of $360,000 at the 2004 California State Poker Championship.

  • He helped organize a celebrity poker game in 2020 that raised nearly $2 million for charity.

Matt Damon

Matt Damon has been friends with Ben Affleck since they were children. They grew up doing many things together, including winning an Oscar for their screenplay of the movie Good Will Hunting. So, it's no surprise that like Affleck, Damon is also a skilled poker player.

  • He starred in the 1998 poker film Rounders, for which he prepared by working with Poker Hall of Famer Johnny Chan.

  • Damon allegedly spent $25,000 to learn to master the game.

  • He has participated in several World Series of Poker (WSOP) events.

Jennifer Tilly

Born in 1958 as Jennifer Ellen Chan, she would grow up to be an American actress and a formidable poker player. Tilly was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the 1994 comedy film Bullets Over Broadway. She is also one of the voice actors for the popular animated TV series Family Guy.

Jennifer Tilly has been making waves in the world of poker for years. She is the very first celebrity, for instance, to win a WSOP bracelet, which she did in 2006. Tilly has racked up more than $1 million in winnings from live tournaments. Her biggest cash prizes include:

  • $158,335 at the 36th World Series of Poker in 2005

  • $124,455 at the Bellagio Cup VI in 2010

  • $98,000 at the Premier League Poker VI in 2013

Kevin Hart

An actor from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kevin Hart started his showbiz career as a stand-up comedian. He has appeared in numerous blockbusters, including the Scary Movie franchise. Hart also has a movie production company. Called HartBeat Productions, its first film was Night School, which was released in 2018.

Hart is an avid poker player, having earned close to $50,000 from live tournaments as of September 2020. He served as a brand ambassador for PokerStars in 2017, and has played in the organization's games. Some of the poker tournaments that Hart has participated in and where he won money include:

  • Larry Flynt's Challenge Cup in 2010

  • WSOP Circuit – Council Bluffs 2013/2014

  • Turkey Shoot / Ho-Ho Hold'em in 2009

About the author
Aria Williams
Aria Williams

Aria Williams, New Zealand's prominent voice in online casino game localization, masterfully fuses the thrilling world of gaming with the rich Kiwi spirit. Their deft touch ensures every game not only entertains but resonates deeply with the locals.

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