When the six players took to the Final Table in this week's WPT Invitational.
The WORLD POKER TOUR'S(TM) annual celebrity pro-am at the Commerce Casino, it marked the first time an actor was sitting at the green felt -- and not just a poker pro with a great poker face. Tom Everett Scott, star of the Tom Hank's film "That Thing You Do" and soon to be seen in the CBS Movie "Surrender Dorothy" with Diane Keaton, started the tournament with a pile of chips that placed him fourth in the chip count.
Scott had to battle it out with the final two celebrities in the field -- Hill Harper of CSI:NY and film star Mimi Rogers to claim the celebrity title in the event that featured 40+ celebrities competing with nearly 200 poker pros. The top ranked celebrity was to receive a $5,000 check to go to charity and Scott has selected Caring for Children and Families with Aids.
Each of the three final celebrities was also awarded the coveted 1,000- chip "Official WORLD POKER TOUR Luxury Poker Chest" from maker U.S. Playing Card and from the WPT. The set features beautifully branded 11.5-gram chips, the same type used by the pros in tournament play, two decks of professional- quality WPT playing cards and two cut cards in a handsome two-tiered wood case. The US Playing Card WORLD POKER TOUR-branded products have become the favorite of the Hollywood set. Scott praised the set as "Awesome."
Seeming slightly stunned to have made the Final Table, Scott said, "I really can't believe it. I really don't know what I did to get here. I play a lot of games with my friends and I just hope I did them proud."
He and the five other finalists were vying for a total $200,000 prize pool --$100,000 of it going to the winner, along with a seat at the WPT World Championship at Bellagio in Las Vegas in April.
Scott ante-ed up alongside pros Alex Brenes, one of the three poker playing Brenes brothers from Costa Rica. Brothers Humberto and Erek, who also run the family peanut exporting business, have each made other WPT Final Tables. The last seat will be taken by Bruce Buffer, brother of fight announcer "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" Michael Buffer, who serves as his business manager and also acts as announcer himself for "Ultimate Fighting Challenge."
Scott outlasted the other 40 celebrities with a combination of conservative, slow building of his chip cache and occasional high risk "All- Ins." The last six included Harper, Rogers, Jeremy Sisto ("Six Feet Under"), Chris Masterson ("Malcolm in the Middle") and Stephen Collins ("7th Heaven"). After receiving his "Official WPT Luxury Chest," Scott laughed, "Guess this means I'll be hosting a few home games of my own to make use of all of those chips!"