Poker is a massively popular game across the world. People play at home with friends, online and of course in tournaments. There are a number of famous poker players, such as Daniel Degreanu, and there are also a lot of famous people who play poker. Here is a look at some of the most famous celebrity poker players.
Ben Affleck is probably best known for his Oscar winning films, but he is also known to be a very good poker player.
He has a reputation for being a pleasant opponent, and he has repeatedly denied that he has any kind of gambling addiction. Although, he reportedly once denied to take part in a tournament if he wasn’t paid a $1 million appearance fee.
Rather, he is known to prefer playing with fellow actors and producers. They have been known to meet in private villas and play cash games with minimum buy-ins ranging from $50,000 to $100,000.
Affleck has taken poker lessons from professional players such as Annie Duke and Amir Vahedi. He has won about $500,000 in face-to-face tournament cashes and regular takes part in high stakes cash games. His biggest success was probably winning the 2004 California State Poker Championship.
Spider-Man actor Tobey Maguire is known to be somewhat of a shark at the table and a very tough opponent. He has been playing since 2004 and has had several successes both in live and online poker.
However, it has been reported that he refuses to play poker without his Shuffle Master, a device that costs $17,000 and is supposed to deliver a fair, random shuffle every time as well as increase the speed of each game.
Jennifer Tilly is almost as famous for her poker play as for her film appearances. She is the only person in the world to have a WSOP bracelet (after winning the Ladies Event in 2005), an Oscar nomination, and have a recurring role in Family Guy. Tilly, who is in a long-term relationship with Phil Laak, has also won a Bellagio Cup, a WPT Ladies Night Invitational, and she regular takes part in high stakes cash games.
Shannon Elizabeth, who rose to fame when she appeared in the American Pie films, has also developed a reputation as an excellent poker player. In the 2007 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship she finished third, but since then she hasn’t had any real successes. In 2006 she described poker as her second career, and at that time she would visit Vegas around three times a month to take part in games. However, in recent years she has hardly taken part in any events and has only had one tournament cash since 2010.
While Nick Cassavetes may not have won any Oscars, he was a participant on PokerStars’ The Big Game and GSN’s High Stakes Poker. Of course, he is still better known as the director of The Notebook. He has had some good cashes in WPT and WSOP events. His best result was in 2005 when he was close to the WSOP main event final table, and he finished ninety-third to win $77,000.
While Rafael Nadal is still most famous for his exploits on the tennis court, he is also a known poker fan. A few years ago, he signed with PokerStars and he went up against players such as Negeanu and other big names in a publicity match. However, he hasn’t actually performed very well in tournaments and it is thought that his lifetime poker earnings are still zero.
Michael Phelps has an incredible 28 Olympic medals for swimming, 23 of which are gold. However, he is also a keen poker player and learned how to play when he shared a house in Baltimore with the professional poker player Jeff Gross. Later Gross told Card Player magazine that, “Mike is easily one of the best celebrity poker players around.”
Now that he has retired from professional swimming, there is speculation that he may start to make more appearances in poker tournaments. He has previously been seen taking part in tournaments in the Bahamas, as well as in the WSOP in Las Vegas. So far, his best result was a fifth-place finish in a $1,570 No-Limit Hold’em event featuring 187 entrants in the 2008 Caesars Palace Classic.
Vicky Coren Mitchell
Vicky Coren Mitchell is not only the writer and host of Only Connect, and a regular on various UK panel shows, but she is also an avid poker player.
She was the first woman to win an event on the European Poker Tour, the first player to win both a television professional tournament (EPT London 2006) and a televised celebrity tournament (Celebrity Poker Club 2005), and she was also the first player to win two European Poker Tournament Main Events, the EPT London 2006 and the EPT Sanremo 2014.
Coren Mitchell is known to play Texas Hold’em at the Victoria Casino in London on a regular basis. She has also presented Late Night Poker and The Poker Nations Cup for Channel 4, amongst various other shows including Ultimate Poker Challenge.
During her career, she has become a close friend of The Hendon Mob, and she regularly mixes weekly home games with visits to casinos. Her biggest win was the main event of the European Poker Tour London when she took home £500,000 after defeating Australian professional Emad Tahtouh. In total, she has won over $2.4 million through live tournament play. She is also a member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame.
Kevin Hart is a hugely successful comedian and actor, but he surprised everyone by taking part in a live event held in the Bahamas last year. He then returned to the tables in Monte Carlo where he announced a partnership with Stars.
Hart has said that he wants to unite the world through laughter and that he thinks the poker community is an excellent example of where all types of people come together to have fun.
He has played in the Dan Bilzerian home game as well as High Rollers on the world circuit. Early in 2018, Hart was taking part in a televised game when he misread his hand and accidentally managed to win the game. He currently has total winnings of around $48,000.
Aaron Paul, the former Breaking Bad star, was convinced to join the LA Sunset by the Global Poker League Team Manager Maria Ho. He only played twice, winning both matches, and demonstrating his love of the game. He also featured in a poker advert facing off against Cristiano Ronaldo and he has taken part in the WSOP and various live events in the Bahamas.
It comes as no surprise that Gerard Pique is a huge poker fan. The former Manchester United player learned to play poker alongside people such as Darren Fletcher, John O’Shea and Wes Brown during his time at Old Trafford.
Pique is still enjoying a successful football career but he has been seen taking part at the WSOP and at events on the European Poker Tour. His total live earnings are just over $275,000. While this may be nothing compared to his football salary, it is not bad at all for someone who doesn’t play full time.
Gerard Pique is not the only famous footballer to enjoy spending time at the poker tables. Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo have both been known to enjoy a few games. However, while Ronaldo primarily appeared in pre-arranged media promotions, Neymar has made appearances at the WSOP and EPT Barcelona.
Teddy Sheringham is one of the few celebrities who have managed to turn an interest in poker into real results. In 2009, he finished fourteenth in the World Series of Poker Main Event and won $40,481. He then finished 388th in the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event and won $28,530.
However, his most impressive display at the poker table came in 2010 when, from a field of 384 entrants, he managed to reach the final table of the European Poker Tour Main Event in Vilamoura. He finished fifth in the end to win €93,121. However, he was facing tough competition in the form of EPT Champions Toby Lewis and Frederik Jensen, WSOP Main Event winner Martin Jacobson, and the biggest tournament winner in British history, Sam Trickett.
Sheringham will be used to winning, having scored 289 goals in 755 appearances for teams such as Nottingham Forest, Spurs and Manchester United, as well as 11 goals in 51 games for England. He won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup, and he scored in the 1998-99 Champions League Final when Manchester United won the treble.
You can often find Sheringham playing poker on the circuit in the London area.
Matt Damon is widely liked and after staring in the 1998 film Rounders, one of the best poker films of all time, he also will have inspired many people to become poker players. While preparing for the role in the film, he spend $25,000 to get some experience of playing in poker tournaments. Since then he has enjoyed playing in various poker tournaments, and while he is by no means one of the best players around, he still did well for himself in the 2008 and the 2010 World Series of Poker.
Jason Alexander is best known for his role as George Costanza on the hit show Seinfeld. However, he has been part of the poker scene for decades and anyone who watched the World Series of Poker online will have noticed him taking part on numerous occasions.
He is one of the most passionate poker playing celebrities around, and certainly no easy opponent. In addition to taking part in live tournaments, he also regular plays online and is often found at Holiday Poker. Furthermore, he never misses an opportunity to play on television, and as well as being an excellent player, he is also one of the funniest poker players around.
Alexander appearance twice on Bravo’s Celebrity Poker Showdown and won the final table of the eighth season, a prize of $500,000 for a charity of his choice. However, he has not had much success in regular tournaments. He was knocked out of the Main Event of the 2007 WSOP on the second day and then returned in 2009 where he made it to day three and finished in the top 30% of the field. To date he has total live earnings of around $30,000.
Jean Robert Bellande
Jean Robert Bellande rose to fame for his appearance on Survivor: China as a member of the Fei Long Tribe. He was notorious for his conflicts with fellow contestants, particularly Courtney Yates, and his numerous gaffes. In the end, he was voted out eighth.
However, he has enjoyed far greater success at the poker table. He first gained public exposure during a World Series of Poker circuit event in March 2005. He finished third to win $210,900. A week later, he defeated John Phan to win first prize in the 2005 Winnin’ O’ the Green tournament and take home $148,000. He has also won money at the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour events. He came close to winning a bracelet when he finished runner-up in the 2008 World Series of Poker $1,500 Limit Hold’em – Shootout event. In 2015, he finished second in the $50,000 Player’s Championship at the WSOP to win $784,828. His total live tournament winnings is now well over $2 million.
Everybody Loves Raymond, or at least when he is not sat at the poker tables. The star of the show has been playing at the World Series of Poker nearly every summer since 2007. However, while he may have won an Emmy Award for his television work, and continues to enjoy success on the small and big screen, he has not had as much luck playing poker. To date he has won around $20,000 in live earnings, most of which was the result of finishing eighth in a $5,000 Ante Up For Africa Charity Event at the 2008 World Series of Poker.
If you have ever watched The Simpsons then you are indebted to Sam Simon, the creator of the show. Unfortunately, Simon passed away in 2015 after battling colorectal cancer for a number of years. However, prior to his death he was not only an active poker player, but also a heavyweight-boxing manager. Simon was known to take part in local cash games on a very regular basis and he also appeared at the WSOP on many occasions. He took part in the WSOP every year from 2007 to 2011 and finished in the money at six events.
In 2007 he finished 329th in the $10,000 No-Limit Texas Hold’em Main Event to win $39,445, he also finished 16th in the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em w/Re-Buys and won $35,493. In 2008 he finished 41st in the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em w/Re-Buys winning $10,708 and 53rd in the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em w/Re-Buys winning $10,692. In 2009 he finished 20th in the $10,000 World Championship Pot-Limit Hold’em winning $24,066 and in 2011 he finished 500th in the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship winning $23,876. He also won the $300 No Limit Hold’em Bounty $100,000 Guarantee in 2009 at the LA Poker Open and took home $22,228. However, his biggest win in terms of field size and prize money was the $200 1,082-player No Limit Hold’em $150,000 Guarantee at the 2010 Winnin O’ The Green, where he won $57,308.
Kevin Pollak is perhaps best known for playing Sam Winberg in the film a Few Good Men and various other leading roles. However, he is also an avid poker player and is known to host weekly games for Hollywood celebrities.
Since 2012, he has regularly taken part in the World Series of Poker. In his first appearance he made a surprising Day 5 run and finished 134th, making him the highest-finishing celebrity in the post-boom main event history. However, since then he hasn’t enjoyed a huge amount of success and his total live earnings remain $52,718, all of which came from the 2012 WSOP.
Stephen Hendry is one of the greatest snooker players of all time. He has the record for being the youngest to turn professional, the youngest world champions, and has won the most world championships in the modern era.
However, he is also well known in poker circles, along with his fellow players Steve Davis and Jimmy White. However, Hendry is the only one to continue making public poker appearances and recently took part in a high profile London event. His two most notable successes where finishing fifth in a No Limit Hold’em celebrity game in 2003 and finishing 56th in the €1,100 No Limit Hold’em Main Event #5 at the PokerStars Festival Dublin.