The Lifestyle of Famous Actors Who Enjoy The Thrills of Poker Games - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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The Lifestyle of Famous Actors Who Enjoy The Thrills of Poker Games

Poker has been around for a while now. Its exciting mixture of luck, maths, and skill make it one of the most popular card games in the world.

Some people play poker just for the joy of it at home parties, while others might do so in hopes of earning big. Either way, while many think of poker players as extravagant figures with lavish lifestyles filled with partying and expensive mansions, the truth is, anyone can appreciate this game. That being said, it’s undoubtedly popular with some well-known Hollywood actors.

One might think it is easy for celebrities to indulge in poker since they already have the luxurious lifestyle pinned down and don’t have to worry about money if they lose big - it’s just another expensive thrill for them. In reality, many celebrities are well-skilled at poker, winning some big tournaments and beating many professional players on their way. It makes sense if we stop to think about it for a bit: poker is all about deception and hiding your hand through bluffing. After all, who can do this better than professional actors, right? Let’s check out some celebrities who enjoy poker and are very good at the game.

Ben Affleck
The most well-known actor who is open about playing poker and enjoying every minute of it is Ben Affleck. DCU’s newest Batman, and the star of the excellent thriller Gone Girl, took up poker in the mid-2000s and has since earned himself quite a reputation as a highly skilled player.

It has been rumored that Affleck is an exceptionally skilled poker player who took lessons from some famous names of professional poker, such as Amir Vahedi and Amir Duke. It’s possible that these lessons, coupled with Affleck’s talent, were the reason he won the California State Poker Championship and got into World Poker Tour final Tournament. His excellent skills and ability to beat the house caused him to get banned from playing blackjack at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Not much was known of Affleck’s style until Molly Bloom published her tell-all book, “Molly’s Game.” The book provided many insights into the playing styles of many celebrities who played at her gatherings. She described Affleck as a pleasant, intelligent, and cautious player who doesn’t like to lose big, even though with his net worth, he can certainly afford to.

Affleck himself commented on his poker obsession, saying: “[I] tend to get myopic and get into one thing. And really get into it. And then get bored and switch to something else.” Last year, the famous actor put his obsession to good use by hosting a charity poker tournament, which raised $1.75 million for Feeding America.

Tobey Maguire
A bit hard to believe, but the star of Spider-man is another excellent poker player out of Hollywood. Trained by Daniel Negreanu, a six-time WSOP bracelet winner, the actor went on to play in numerous poker tournaments, finishing in the money at several events.

This talent is why the friendly neighborhood Spiderman Maguire was rumored to have been the brains behind Molly Bloom establishing the poker games in the first place. The new book by Houston Curtis, called “Billion Dollar Hollywood Heist,” confirmed the rumors. Everyone agrees that Maguire was an excellent poker player, but unfortunately, not such a great sport, which left him with a poor poker reputation among his peers.

Against this reputation, Maguire is considered to have scored more than $220,000 playing in numerous official tournaments, which truly speaks about his poker-playing skills. However, it also seems that playing professional poker has taken over his acting career, as Maguire has only taken up two roles since playing Bobby Fischer in 2014’s Pawn Sacrifice.

Matt Damon
Matt Damon is another superb player who really enjoys the game. It could be that his love for poker stemmed from the time when he filmed the Rounders. The internet still talks about how Damon allegedly lost almost $25,000 while learning how to play poker for the role.

And while the Rounders made some people want to become bigshot players, Damon seems to only play for fun and is not as interested in poker as some other names on this list. He did participate in plenty of games and tournaments, even scoring big on some of them. Still, Damon mostly plays for fun with his long-time friend, Affleck. According to both “Molly’s Game” and “Billion Dollar Hollywood Heist,” Damon is a solid player and a very nice guy with a great personality - even when he loses big.

Kevin Hart
The famous comedian, Kevin Hart, is one of the newest celebrity poker players around. That hasn’t stopped him from trying to change the game already, showing us there are other ways to look at the term “poker face.” He participated in Super High Roller Bowl and made the tournament incredibly interesting to watch. It was refreshing to see someone cracking jokes and genuinely enjoying themselves at a poker table.

When asked about signing a deal with PokerListings, and whether he will take poker lessons, Hart was adamant: “I’m not going to read any books. There’ll be no coaching, no training, no nothing. I will figure out the game by myself.”

While Hart said that he enjoys playing high-stakes poker and has already played against some big names in the poker world, he has yet to prove himself on the big stage.

What makes actors so good at poker?
If we were to rank professions based on the likelihood of being good at poker, most people would choose acting as a career that could create some excellent poker players. Poker plays to an actor’s strengths, and being able to bluff, read people, and adjust to the game is what actors do for a living.

It probably helps that actors are typically very competitive. Poker is the perfect opportunity to show off their skills and prove they’ve got the chops to match the best professional players. The fact that the amount of money they can allocate for poker is much higher than other folks couldn’t afford in a lifetime certainly helps.

All in All
Apart from occasional play at tournaments or charity events, there isn’t much material to judge how well celebrity actors play the game. Most matches they have been known to participate in were private games, typically kept on a need-to-know basis.

However, “Molly’s game” and “Billion Dollar Hollywood Heist” provided us with more than enough insight into these player’s poker lifestyles. Some play to prepare for a role, some to earn big, others just for the thrill of it. Either way, most of them won and lost considerable amounts of money but remained graceful about it.

With a luxurious lifestyle set in place already, it seems like most of the actors on our list took up poker as a hobby. The game certainly is something that they are naturally good at and enjoy doing. It’s a great way to relax and unwind from a long day on set, paparazzi flashes in the corner of their eyes, and constant unwelcome media attention. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that poker remains one of the most popular games among Hollywood’s elite.

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