Tales From the Card Table: Hollywood’s VIPs in the Game of Chance


Card games have been around for centuries advancing with time. One of the most popular card games globally is poker. The game is fun and depends on strategy, skill, and a pint of luck to win. There are numerous famous tournaments held with players winning decent prize pools.

One of the fantastic things about poker is that it cuts across all social classes. Here are some of the biggest names in Hollywood who also excelled at poker. 

Ben Affleck

This popular actor and director, who has graced us with films like Batman and won several acting awards like the Academy Award for Best Picture, has also showcased his prowess in the game of chance. He liked poker, and several milestones in his poker undertakings have been documented.

His gaming reputation is characterized by participating in high-stakes games, some private while others at casinos. One of his most significant milestones was in 2004 when he participated in and won the California State Poker Championship.

While one may think that the actor is naturally gifted and has an affinity for winning, that is not the case with Affleck. He genuinely dedicates his time to learning the game, which reflects in his strategies.

Shannon Elizabeth

The former model is a popular actor famous for her role in the American Pie Series, which landed her roles in movies like Scary Movie. Her unique voiceover abilities earned her a James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing spot.

While acting is her strong suit, she has displayed prowess in poker. She has won several matches, even participated in the prestigious WSOP in 2005, and finished 10th out of over 600 players. This was in the No Limit Texas Hold’em category.

If you thought her love for the game had died down, think again. Currently, Elizabeth engages in poker, playing various online matches and tournaments on various online poker for real money sites.

Tobey Maguire

Tobey is a popular actor who revolutionized the Marvel movie scene by featuring in Spiderman in the early 2000s. Acting is not the only card Tobey has up his sleeve. He has always fancied poker and has played some high stake matches privately and locally, which sired his rollercoaster of a poker journey.

Tobey is an active poker player indulging particularly in the Texas Hold’em variation. He has participated in several matches, from home games to charity games and Hollywood games, which rolled his name into a lawsuit in 2011. The claims were that the chain of games was illegal.

However, his participation in charity events, among other games, showcased his skill, earning him a decent name in Hollywood and the poker community.

Jennifer Tilly

The name Jeniffer Tilly has to cross your mind when you think of the term multitalented. She is a well-renowned actress famous for her role in Bullets Over Broadway and her voiceovers in the popular comedy Family Guy.

Besides having a successful film and television career, she is a highly acclaimed poker player. She has won a decent amount of high-stakes cash games, with her most significant achievement happening in 2005 when she won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and received the highly coveted bracelet.

Her love for the game is manifested in continuous participation. Though poker is partly a game of chance, Jeniffere definitely put in the hours to master it.

James Woods

This entertainer is renowned for his roles in several niches, from films to theater and television. He has been featured in many movies, from Salvador to, coincidentally, Casino. His participation in the former earned him two Academy Award nominations.

However, other than his successful acting journey, James has displayed his prowess severally in poker, particularly Texas Hold’em. The well-renowned actor has participated in big games ranging from the WSOP to charitable poker events where the proceeds are donated to charity.

Aside from playing exquisitely, James also does poker commentary and analysis, making him multi-talented.

Gabe Kaplan

Gabriel Weston Kaplan is a multifaceted actor famous for his role in the Welcome Back, Kotter series. Before his television appearance, he was building his career off stand-up comedy. While making people laugh is Kaplans area of expertise, he is no stranger to the poker realm.

The actor fancied poker for a while, and his participation led him to become a renowned poker community player. He amassed $2,015,776 in tournaments, which is an impressive feat. In 2004, he participated in the WSOP and finished third place. 

Aside from his prowess in playing, he is famous for providing commentary on the game. Ultimately, he is a prime example of balance, striking equilibrium in his acting and gaming carer.