poker hits the jackpot, by Sue Facter
ANGELES No bluffing: Poker is the hottest game
from Ben Affleck to Mimi Rogers to Sara Rue are placing
their bets on the card game.
Goldberg runs a weekly game on the set of her NBC
sitcom, Whoopi, and cast and crew watch televised
poker games during breaks.
Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston and George Clooney host
poker parties at their homes.
play poker to relax," says Rue, star of the ABC
show Less Than Perfect. "I hate to say it, but
it's an addiction." She's a poker hostess every
two weeks and stocks up on Trader Joe's nibbles for
her guests. "I love the strategy."
her single days, Rue used poker as a dating tool.
"If I met a cute guy, I'd invite him to a Saturday
night game. It's a safe way to get to know someone
with your girlfriends there. You can find out a lot
about a person by the way they play."
Ben Ford, owner of Beverly Hills eatery Chadwick,
craves the game. He's a chip off the old block. "Every
time my dad (Harrison Ford) walks into a casino, he
has to play."
is the star with the most recognizable poker face.
actor brought his love for the game to Live With Regis
and Kelly last month when he co-hosted with Regis
who beat him at cards on the air.
many stars, Affleck has appeared on popular TV poker
games such as Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown and
Travel Channel's World Poker Tour. Some of the celebrity
games are played for charity.
loves the game," says Mike Sexton, PartyPoker.com
host and commentator on World Poker Tour. "(Jennifer
Lopez) accompanied him to several games when they
were together, but she never played. She wasn't too
thrilled with his gambling. He's a half-million-a-night
guy, and he's good."
Woods is part of an elite group that includes Affleck
that plays privately on Monday nights with a $5,000
buy-in. Woods shares his new passion with girlfriend
Dawn DeNoon (a co-producer for Law & Order: SVU).
There's talk of him directing James McManus' book
about poker, Positively Fifth Street.
month Woods sailed to the Mexican Riviera to try for
a million big ones on Card Player Cruises on Holland
America. It was one of 14 tournaments filmed by the
Travel Channel leading up to a championship show that
will air June 30. (Woods' game airs June 16.)
took all my money. I have nothing left,"
why do stars play? Says Vikrant Bhargava of PartyPoker.com:
"Celebrities are drawn to poker because it
involves skill, psychology and luck, all things
they deal with in their professions. Some are
quite good at it naturally."
Channel / Discovery Channel
Channel - World Poker Tour