For many poker enthusiasts, the love of the game was first ignited after seeing a suave actor smoothly master the cards on the silver screen. How many truly hold a passion for poker and how many are just carrying out their day job? With big bank balances and endless resources, celebrities can make the most interesting players.
- Jennifer Tilly
Out of our entire celeb round-up, Jennifer is probably the most dedicated to the game- hence why she’s taking the top spot on our list. While she may have originally found fame by playing quirky characters in Hollywood films, when it comes to poker she’s nothing short of a superstar. While she’s by no means given up her day job, you’re far more likely to see her ruling the tables than the silver screen these days. During her poker career, she’s collected a WSOP bracelet, a WPT win, and nearly $1 million in total wins. The bride of Chucky wins again!
- Matt Damon
An actor that needs no introduction, if we tried to list all of Matt Damon’s acting achievements, we wouldn’t have time to mention anyone else. So instead we’ll stick to his poker-themed films like Rounders or the Ocean’s series. Rounders is a 1998 American drama film about the underground world of high-stakes poker. Given the push to promote online poker during this era, having a successful blockbuster with high profile celebrities attached to the game had a positive effect on the industry. While Matt was always a fan of the game, his preparation for the film propelled him to a previously unreached level of proficiency in the game. It’s reported that Matt went as far as to receive schooling from top players in the professional poker world. This training clearly paid off given how well he executed his role and his continued success when at the tables.
- Tobey Maguire
While Tobey Maguire may be having a resurgence as of late after taking up his role as Spiderman once again, he’s always been a presence in the poker world. Tobey’s poker playing career spans as far back as his teenage years and over time, his skills and passion for the game have grown to an impressive level. Remember the film Molly’s Game? Well, it’s widely speculated that Player X is based on no other than Tobey himself. If this stands true then Maguire is more than some celebrity who can pull a poker face and win the odd hand with a bit of luck - he’s a real master of the game. However, given how the film negatively portrays Player X, he may not own up to the title.
- Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck is another high-profile celebrity name attached to Molly’s Bloom’s notorious games - but not quite as sinisterly as Maguire. His reputation at the table is of a cautious player who doesn’t overbet his hand. That said, maybe the A-lister is onto something as he’s earned himself over half a million dollars in tournament wins, including a phenomenal $360,000 in 2004. While this may not even be a blip for someone with Ben’s bank balance but we’re gonna call it fairly impressive! Using his poker skills and his celebrity friends for a good cause, in 2020 Ben organised a virtual poker game to raise money for a hunger relief organisation. Celebs who joined Ben included Tom Brady, Bryan Cranston, Adam Levine, Jon Hamm, Jason Bateman and fellow list-maker Tobey Maguire.
- Kevin Hart
Kevin Hart is known for wearing many hats - comedian, actor, The Rock’s bromance partner. One thing he’s lesser known for is his impressive appearances at the poker tables. This makes him the perfect celebrity to round off our list! While he has no official prizes to his name as of yet, he has a winning value of approx 48,000 dollars. In 2021, Kevin took a seat in the PokerStars Championship Bahamas $100,000 super high roller. While he took home no prizes, Kevin certainly made a name for himself with the professionals, including Daniel Negreanu who stood beside him later in the year when it was announced that he’ll be joining PokerStars Pro, a professional poker playing team. Yet, don’t let the word “professional” mislead you. Kevin has expressed no interest in training or researching for his new role. Instead, he sees it as his duty to bring the fun back to poker saying, “I’ve come here with Daniel Negreanu to tell you that poker just got fun. I’ll make it fun, and I’ll make poker cool.” Fair enough Kevin!