The game of poker's boom may have been 6 years ago, but Hollywood celebrities, musicians and sports icon continue to enjoy the game. A glimpse of the celebrities into the game is available annually at the WSOP, the World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational and the various charity events, but many celebrities also play poker at home games and online casinos.
Anthrax lead singer Scott Ian has been playing poker for a number of years and has seen several friends converted into the game. Ian said on August 19th, 2009 that Keanu Reeves just got into Texas Holdem and learning more about the game by participating at a private game in Santa Monica. Ian said that he now plays at Ultimate Bet since it is tough to host home games because of his schedule.
Hollywood actor Lou Diamond Phillips has had a semi-regular home poker game running almost as long as he is been in the entertainment industry. Phillips put his skills to good use when he finished in 186th place out of 6,494 participants at the World Series of Poker Main Event. For over two decades, Phillips' home poker game has seen a changing group of actors and actresses.
Phillips said that George Clooney used to participate in his own game as well as Brad Pitt before he got the role in Thelma Louise and the entire 92010 cast. Like most Hollywood poker home games, the bets are substantial and the level of game play is high. Modest stakes and a casual yet competitive gaming atmosphere seem to be the standard in celebrity home poker games.
Hollywood actors and Simpsons cast member Hank Azaria has a regular poker game at his New York home where the buy-in cost is reported to be a modest $500. Simpsons maker Sam Simon shares a similar attitude, one that he is taking television this year with the debut of "Sam's Game" on the Playboy Channel.
Simon is recreating the home game poker experience show and expects to capture the viewer's love for the format. While High Stakes Poker relies on big names and big amounts, Sam's Game uses the same things that people love about home poker games-food, beer and chatting with your fellow players.
Poker popularity with Hollywood celebrities also have an effect on the vitality of poker. With Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander and Phillips both performing well in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event, much was made about what a celebrity at the final table could mean for the sport. In 2003, poker pro Chris Moneymaker's victory catapulted the game to public consciousness. Now, with the 4 month break before the WSOP Main Event final table, players are given an even bigger chance to introduce the game to the masses.
World Series of Poker Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack said that having a poker player like Phil Ivey at the Main Event final table this year will surely help the game to grow but the exposure of a Hollywood celebrity would attract in the media could be immense. Commissioner Pollack added that he hopes that more celebrities will participate in the WSOP next year.
09/07/2009 22:13 PM