It’s not uncommon to hear about celebrity poker tournaments, whether it is high stakes or for charity. Despite busy and demanding schedules, many of the celebrities find the time to play some poker. Most are admittedly pretty lackluster and stick to charity or private events, while some excel at the sport. With that in mind, here’s a look at the 10 best celebrity poker players.
1. Patrick Bruel – This French actor and musician is by far the most regarded celebrity poker player. The seven-time French chart-topper has 10 World Series of Poker (WSOP) finishes, and he won the highly regarded bracelet in 1998. He has a total of 24 major finishes.
2. Jennifer Tilly – Tilly is best known for her roles in Liar Liar and Bride of Chucky, but has appeared in many more films. She has 17 major finishes and won a Bracelet in 2005 for the Ladies No Limit Hold’em. She has also won CardPlayer’s Best Celebrity Player of the Year Award.
3. Shannon Elizabeth – Best known as Nadia from the American Pie movie series, the beautiful Elizabeth has racked up a nice six major finishes, including one at the World Poker Tour. She’s known for beating some of the best players in the world, such as Barry Greenstein and Jeff Madsen.
4. Gabe Kaplan – Kaplan is best known for his poker skills, but starred in Welcome Back, Kotter. He has 14 major finishes, including nine for the WSOP and three for WPT. Kaplan first made an appearance at the WSOP back in 1978.
5. Tobey Maguire – Everyone knows Maguire for his role as Spider-Man in the Blockbuster movie series with the same name. He has been featured on ESPN’s coverage of the WSOP from 2005 to 2007. He has two WSOP and WPT finishes to his name, and was named the 2004 National Championship of Poker Winner.
6. James Woods – Woods is known for his performances in The Onion Field, Nixon, and Shark. Woods has 22 major event finishes including one WSOP and two WPT finishes.
7. Ben Affleck – Slated to play Batman in the upcoming sequel to Man of Steel. Affleck won the California State Poker Championship in 2004. According to poker giant Betfair, he earned $356,400 for that victory and continues by saying that he “is rumored to be a regular in high-stakes cash games in Los Angeles.” He has one major finish but has appeared in several major tournaments, which is an accomplishment in its own.
8. Matt Damon – The other Good Will Hunting star is also known for his role in one of the most influential poker films, Rounders. He is set to begin filming a sequel with Edward Norton. Damon has competed in several WSOP events and began his career while preparing for his role in Rounders in 1998, which reportedly cost him $25,000. Damon is also said to have declined a 7-figure offer poker sponsorship.
9. Ray Romano – The Everybody Loves Raymond star has two major finishes, one of which is a WSOP finish. Romano has competed in the WSOP from 2007 – 2013.
10. Vince Van Patten – This former child actor and tennis pro is now a WTP announcer. He has two total finishes, both coming from the WSOP.
Poker has become increasingly popular with celebrities in the past few years, and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. There are several other celebrities that are working on getting on the list such as Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), Michael Phelps (Olympic swimmer), and Nelly (musician).