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Poker Draws A-Listers to PCA
The glory that is the Atlantis Hotel and Casino, the warm island weather in Nassau and the crystal clear blue waters of the Caribbean didn’t draw a host of A-list celebrities to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure this week.
The game of poker did.
“I’m not going to quit my day job, but I really love poker and I think I’m getting better at it,” said guitar legend Slash, who joined a host of big name celebrities, sports stars and Team PokerStars Pros playing in the amfAR and PokerStars charity event at the PCA this week.
“It’s just such an amazing game. So many different things can happen. With all the different people involved and all the different possibilities with the cards, it’s just a fantastic game.”
R&B star Kelly Rowland just picked up poker, but spent the entire day before her performance at an exclusive PokerStars party held at Atlantis Saturday night playing the game.
“I’m getting more and more used to it,” she said. “And I’ll tell you one thing, after playing last night, I definitely want to have a girls’ night when I get back home.
“I’m going to watch these pros like hawks so I can go back to Houston and take my friends' money.”
Model and actress Joanna Krupa appeared on the PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge this season and was named the TV hostess for the new PokerStars North American Poker Tour this week.
She also anted up for AIDS research and is apparently really taking to the game.
“It’s so funny because it’s so unexpected, you never know what’s going to happen,” she said. “You might have the most amazing cards and still lose the hand or you might have crappy cards and still win. It’s definitely interesting, challenging and fun.
“I’m waiting for the time I’m actually going to play in a tournament with Joe (Cada) and Daniel (Negreanu). It’ll be fun and maybe I’ll learn their tricks of the trade and become a pro one day.”
2008 Playboy Playmate of the Year Jayde Nicole played in the main event at the PCA, sharing the felt with 2009 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Cada on Day 1.
She said she started playing about four months ago and found the competition in the Bahamas a little daunting.
“It was very nerve racking at the beginning,” she said. “But I love poker. It’s fun, especially for me because there aren’t a lot of girls in poker and there aren’t a lot of Playboy models in poker, so I get a funny reaction from people. The truth is I really like meeting all the boys.”
Both Nicole and Krupa said the poker pros they’ve met this week have been quick to offer a few tips, but Slash’s experience has been quite different.
“They don’t talk to me,” he laughed. “But it’s OK. We have a couple of home games that are mostly rock people and I’ve cleaned up there a couple of times already.”
However, the men aren’t being ignored completely as Carlos Bernard, from TV’s 24, said he was lucky enough to have the opportunity to pick a few PokerStars pros brains this week.
“I’m not hustling anybody right now,” he said. “So it’s been good to play with the pros and learn a few tricks.”