It’s hard to imagine some of the most famous and successful people in the world sitting around a poker table, sweating out every decision and risking their hard-earned cash. But that’s exactly what happens at high stakes poker games. In fact, some celebrities are so good at it that they’ve made a career out of playing professionally.
Online poker where casinos offer free spins are very popular with lower stakes recreational players, but in this list we are strictly talking about huge high stakes tournaments and private cash games in live venues.
Here are six celebrities you may not have known were high stakes poker players.
1. Toby Maguire
You may know Tobey Maguire best as Spider-Man, but he’s also an accomplished poker player. In fact, he’s widely considered to be one of the best celebrity players in the world. Maguire has won tens of thousands of dollars in several major tournaments, and he’s also been known to play in some of the biggest private games in Hollywood and thought to be who one of the main characters in the film Molly’s Game was based on.
2. Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck is another Hollywood A-lister who’s made a name for himself at the poker table. He’s won big in several tournaments, including the 2004 California State Poker Championship. But he’s perhaps best known for his skills in high stakes private games. Affleck’s biggest tournament win is an impressive $356,000.
3. Neymar Jr.
Neymar Jr. is best known as a world-famous soccer player, but he also dabbles in poker. In fact, he’s even sponsored by the online poker site ‘PokerStars’. While he doesn’t play professionally, Neymar Jr. has won some big tournaments, including the Brazilian Poker Tour. One thing’s for sure, Neymar’s football career has certainly set him up with a big bankroll.
4. Kevin Hart
Kevin Hart is a comedian and actor who is a keen poker player. He’s won tens of thousands of dollars in various tournaments, and he even has his own line of poker chips. While Hart doesn’t play as often as some of the other celebrities on this list, he’s appeared in multiple televised events and is a popular ambassador for the game.
4. Matt Damon
You may know Matt Damon best as an actor, and in fact played the lead role in poker film ‘Rounders’ alongside Edward Norton (also on this list!). He’s won tens of thousands of dollars in several major tournaments, including the World Poker Tour Hollywood Home Game. Damon is also known for his skills in high stakes private games. In fact, some sources say that he once won $250,000 in a single night.
5. Jennifer Tilly
Jennifer Tilly is not only a famous actress and poker player, but her long term boyfriend Phil Laak is a very accomplished poker pro! Jennifer and Phil are often seen to be competing against each other in large tournaments and televised events. Jennifer’s biggest accomplishment at the table is probably her win at the World Poker Tour Ladies’ Night Invitational.
6. Edward Norton
You may know Edward Norton best as an actor, but he also loves battling opponents on the felt. Co-star in the hit poker film rounders alongside Matt Damon, he’s won tens of thousands of dollars in several major tournaments, including the World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational. Norton has great respect for the game and is quoted as saying; “It’s a very sophisticated game that operates on a lot of levels, both mathematical and strategic”.