Poker has grown from a past time gamble to a massive commercial industry in the U.S. The betting game demands prompt strategies, skills, and a lot of luck. Not only is poker a game, but it has also catapulted many to fame and fortune.
The World Poker Series in Las Vegas is an annual poker tournament established in 2004. It continues to draw popularity among professional players and poker enthusiasts. In 2019 alone, it had 6,140 entries from across the world. From online games to nationally televised game shows like Celebrity Poker Show, the game has enjoyed tremendous popularity.
A portion of poker’s popularity is also due to many celebrities that are avid poker fans. While many Hollywood households occasionally dabble in poker, others have forged a name in the industry. Here are five celebrities who are known for their love for poker.
1. Matt Damon
The award-winning screenwriter and actor is a recognized name in Hollywood. Apart from his versatility on the screen, the actor is also known for his love of poker. He has competed in many WSOP events. In 1998, he was eliminated from WSOP by poker professional Doyle Brunson.
2. Victoria Coren Mitchell
Victoria Coren Mitchell is a writer and presenter, who writes weekly columns for The Observer and hosts the BBC quiz show ‘Only Connect.’ Apart from her journalistic talents, Mitchell Coren has also accomplished incredible feats in poker.
She’s known for frequenting many world and national championships. She is the only player with two EPT titles under her belt. As of 2018, her total live tournament winnings exceed $2,470,000. In 2016, she was inducted in Women in Poker Hall of Fame.
3. Rafael Nadal
The legendary Spanish tennis player uses his intellect muscles off the court. In 2014, Nadal competed against Vanessa Selbst (the world’s top female poker player) in a heads-up poker game at Casino de Monte Carlo. He plays poker as a hobby and says he enjoys the game with his family and friends at home. Nadal parted ways from online poker room giant PokerStars in 2015 after being their ambassador for three years.
4. Ben Affleck
Many tabloid reports hail Affleck as an addictive gambler, but he has rejected these claims. Nevertheless, he has built a stellar repertoire in poker – winning the first prize of $356,400 in the 2004 California State Poker Championship. The same year he qualified for the World Poker Tour final tournament. In 2019, Affleck was spotted playing at Commerce Casino in L.A and reportedly cashed out after just 12 minutes with a $1,500 profit.