Poker is a fascinating game played around the world. A few talented and lucky individuals have had incredible success in the world of card games and have managed to turn that success into a celebrity status. Others players are famous through acting or entertainment and have done surprisingly well in the poker arena. With big winnings, internationally aired poker tournaments, and a unique persona, each of these seven famous celebrity poker players is now world famous.
1. Gabe Kaplan
This famous celebrity poker player first became well known for his acting role in a 1970s television sitcom. In the decades that followed Kaplan became far more interested in poker than acting. He has amassed well over one million dollars in winnings from various poker tournaments and is even the host of the popular poker television show High Stakes Poker. Kaplan is still a regular on the poker tournament circuit and is one of the best known players on Earth.
2. Jennifer Tilly
Poker is a game dominated almost entirely by men. Perhaps this is why Jennifer Tilly makes such a splash as a successful female poker player. Tilly has won close to a million dollars in various poker tournaments, many of which were televised on channels like ESPN. Although she first made it into the spotlight with an acting career, today she is best known for her skills as a poker player.
3. Ben Affleck
This famed actor has been a darling of the media for over a decade thanks to a successful career in Hollywood. Several years ago, Ben Affleck enlisted the help of poker teacher Annie Duke to teach him the finer points of the game. Affleck is now a regular in many Las Vegas and celebrity tournaments. His most successful event was the California State Poker Championship where he won over three hundred thousand dollars.
4. Laura Prepon
This actress is probably best known to most people as one of the stars of the television sitcom “That 70s Show”. Since the cancellation of the show, Laura Prepon has had extensive success in the world of professional poker. She is frequently seen playing tournaments in Las Vegas and in celebrity games held in the Hollywood Hills. Prepon is also the host of the poker show “Hollywood Hold’em” on the E! channel.
5. Rick Salomon
Although this actor has had only a fledgling career in Hollywood, he is the son of a Warner Brothers executive and has grown up in the eye of the media. In recent years he has gained notoriety of his own by winning some major poker tournaments in Las Vegas. During the 2006 Bellagio Cup, Rick Salomon took home over a quarter of a million dollars in winnings from one night of play.
6. Tobey Maguire
This Spiderman actor is rarely seen in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, but is still able to play poker on a regular basis. He organizes and hosts a number of celebrity poker tournaments in Hollywood and is believed to have won more than ten million dollars over the past few years.
7. Sam Simon
Few people would recognize the face of Sam Simon even if told he was a celebrity and poker player. Simon is the creator of the popular show “The Simpsons” and has remained a staple of the poker community for three decades. Simon has amassed more than three hundred thousand dollars in winnings over his lifetime at the poker table.
Andrew Greene is a poker-loving freelance writer and blogs for poker.org.uk, a great site for playing poker.