Today's Evil Beet Gossip

Luck of the Stars: 3 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Poker Players

We’re all about the celebrity skinny. This week, we’re here to reveal the secret poker lives of three of your favorite stars.

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Are you curious about your favorite celebs’ gambling habits? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve got the scoop on all the hot gossip around the poker tables, including who’s winning big and who should probably retire. It’s all about the game, so strap in and get ready to delve deep into the secret poker lives of the stars. Plus, learn how to join them yourself.

Nicky Hilton Hits the Tables

Everyone’s favorite Hilton has designed some of Hollywood’s hottest clothes, makeup and jewelry. But did you know that she’s also been spotted at the poker table? That’s right, this millionaire heiress and wife to the infamous James Rothschild isn’t only LA’s favorite fashion designer. She’s also a tournament player seen at the 7th Annual World Poker Tour Invitational.

This tournament has quickly become a place for the stars of poker to mingle, connect and throw their chips down. Hilton is no exception, and it seems as though she’s quite smitten with the game, so much so that she’s also gotten on the web to spar a bit in an online room run by one of her good friends, Doyle Brunson.

If that name sounds familiar to you, it’s because Brunson is one of America’s top poker players of all time. His list of credentials is long and includes an induction into the Poker Hall of Fame and coming out as the all-time champion in the World Series of Poker twice. Not only that, but he was the first player to win over $1 million in a tournament. What’s all that mean? Buddying up to a guy like that could mean that Hilton is serious about her game. After all, nobody could ask for a better teacher.

Tobey Maguire Has the Poker Face

You know Tobey Maguire as the affable Spider-Man, a character intent on defending the good people from evil in all its ghoulish forms. But Maguire’s Spider-Man came out back in 2002. What’s he been up to since then? Besides a genius adaptation of The Great Gatsby, Maguire has been busy with other things — poker being among his favorite.

Tobey Maguire’s boyish charm and amiable features were one of the reasons we fell in love with him as Spider-Man — but they weren’t enough to save him from poker scandal.

Unlike Hilton, Maguire has gotten a lot of attention for his shenanigans at the tables. He started to play back in 2004 and quickly became part of a prestigious poker ring, which included Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Leonardo DiCaprio. Numerous online successes and tournament triumphs only spurred his lucrative hobby onward, but eventually, he experienced a fall from public grace over the game.

Maguire received a ton of bad press after a secret high-stakes game went wrong, allegedly paying out players using illegally acquired funds. He, along with other winners, was sued, with Maguire agreeing to settle the suit to the tune of $80,000. He further took an image hit when the woman in charge of running the game published a memoir, which claimed Maguire was the worst tipper out of them all.

Regardless, Maguire’s boyish face and delightful charm continue to make him a favorite among fans everywhere. He’s been getting into film production recently, and while we don’t know where he’ll take it next, we’re waiting with bated breath.

Matt Damon Holds All the Cards

Matt Damon is everyone’s favorite celebrity and an absolute whiz when it comes to the cards. Interestingly enough, his poker career took off right after his acting career did — and it was all because of one role that changed his life.

We love Matt Damon, pictured here with his gorgeous wife Luciana Bozán Barroso — but do you know how he got started in his poker career? It’s quite a tale.

Image Credit: Wikimedia / CC BY-SA

His 1998 film Rounders centered around a poker team (Ed Norton is the other half, playing the infamous “Worm”) who travel around searching for high-stakes games to play so that they could pay off a series of debts. Although the role was great for Damon, it didn’t give him Hollywood street cred. It also gave him some incredible real-world Texas Hold ‘em skills, which he’s used ever since.

Damon has had a storied career since the 1990s, and poker has been a part of that. He’s played with other stars in games around town and even made it to the World Series of Poker 2010 Main Event, in addition to playing various charity events as well. He was, of course, also implicated in the same ring Maguire was. However, he seems to have escaped most of the bad press Maguire shouldered. Perhaps he’s a better tipper?

How to Join Your Favorite Celebs

 

Are you ready to hit the tables? It’s imperative to learn the basics of poker hand rankings before you decide to play so that you’re well-prepared in the competition.

 Image Credit: Wikimedia / CC BY-SA

Caption: Are you ready to hit the tables? It’s imperative to learn the basics of poker hand rankings before you decide to play so that you’re well-prepared in the competition.

All this talk about poker probably makes you want to lay some cards down. If you want to play like the stars, you’ll have to become well-versed in the art of poker. That entails learning the basics, plus a few extras to keep in mind. You’ll want to prepare for any eventuality, so be sure to learn a strategy for going all-in at both poker tournaments and cash games. That way, you’ll learn the principles regarding certain situations that may arise and how to act accordingly.

Another must-do when sitting down to a game is to know the betting etiquette. You want to be as polite as possible and avoid ruffling any feathers around the table. If you don’t show your fellow players courtesy, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb and mark yourself as an amateur quickly. Once you do learn the correct poker protocol, it’s a good idea to play in a low-stakes game first before moving on to tournaments and higher-stakes rounds. That way, you’ll get some practice under your belt and show up prepared to slay at your venue of choice.

Professional player Nick Brancato explains correct poker etiquette and discusses how to bet, call and raise politely.

It’s not only about going all-in or playing the right cards, however. You have to look the part as well. Take some tips from professional poker players — for example, many people choose to wear shades or sunglasses at the table to hide their eyes. That gives them the advantage because other players cannot see what they’re looking at, and the shades slightly obscure their facial expression, helping to better hold a “poker face.”

Some players have even gone so far as to wear masks and hoodies at the table, keeping their faces hidden further from view. Your choice of clothing should also be well-thought-out. Some prefer to use clothing to distract other players. If that’s you, flashy colors, odd cuts and other out-of-place pieces could serve in your favor. However, some people use clothes to blend in, drawing attention away from themselves.

Be sure to think over your appearance and what you want to convey before you pick your clothing because other people always judge you based on how you look. You may want to give your opponents the impression of professionalism, or you may want them to think you aren’t as experienced as you are — that depends on what kind of player you are and who you want to become.

Remember that poker is a game of skill, luck and glamor — but most of all, it should be fun. Now that you know all the hot celebrity gossip and how to throw down at the tables yourself, there’s only one thing left to do: Get out there and start playing.

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