Deadwood's John Hawkes Eyes First WSOP

John Hawkes
John Hawkes is living his poker dream.

John Hawkes, star of such TV series as Deadwood and Eastbound and Down and major motion pictures like Winter’s Bone, is in Las Vegas playing his first World Series of Poker event.

Hawkes has been trying to play at the WSOP for the last three years but has been confounded by regular television and movie roles.

This year he finally found time to make it to Las Vegas and play in the world’s biggest poker tournament series.

“When I showed up to register I felt like I was at Yankee Stadium, walking through the hallowed grounds here at the Rio,” he told during a break from the action.

“I staked a couple friends in this event so we’re living our poker dreams,” he said.

Hawkes was a relative latecomer to the game of poker for a man of his age, swept up in the poker boom of 2003 like so many younger players.

“I remember watching the 2003 main event in a bar and saw the match between Moneymaker and Farha and I’ve been hooked ever since,” he said.

Since then Hawkes has been playing every chance he gets, both on the internet and live. He told us he played online poker regularly before Black Friday, as well as at the Commerce and Bicycle Casinos in Los Angeles where he lives.

But legitimate casinos and the internet weren’t enough to satisfy his hunger for poker action.

“I’ve found a couple of semi-shady cash game operations around town,” he confided.

Hawkes is always working, but that doesn’t mean he’s not finding time for poker, even on set. The game was featured prominently in the Western Deadwood and Hawkes told us that the action wasn’t restricted to what went on in front of the cameras.

“A lot of times after they call wrap a few of us get together and play,” he said.

Hawkes only has time for this one WSOP event, today’s $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em tournament, and then it’s straight back to work on an upcoming project.

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