Nick Cassavetes: From High-Stakes Hollywood Home Games to the WSOP

Published on 6 July 2014 by Pokerlistings 368

Nick Cassavetes has been playing poker for more than a decade, both at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and in some of the highest-stakes celebrity home games in Hollywood. Cassavetes is playing in the 2014 WSOP Main Event and spoke to the PokerListings video crew about why he loves poker and why celebrities feel the need to play such high stakes. Cassavetes has directed featured films including The Notebook and Alpha Dog and said even though he might not be as good as some of the pros playing at the WSOP, he always has fun and like to support the game.

Nick: I don't know, I mean the poker has been a phenomenon. The hidden cam on the table just made everybody... it's like no other sport in the world. Federer and Djokovic played, right? You can't play against them. There's no chance but you can play against Phil Ivey and you're going lose 98% of the time but you going to beat him 2% of the time, right? That's what people love. They love the chance to be the best. Everybody wants to be the best at something.

For a minute at the WSOP under the right circumstance, if you run good and play good, you can do that. I mean, I got into poker like everybody else did when Moneymaker I won the title. I was like what? I was a bridge player, a gin player and a bridge player and backgammon. and I didn't even know how to play poker. I didn't know what was so I played a couple of times with few people. The first tournament I ever played in was 2000 Main Event. When I say I didn't know how to play back then, I mean, I really didn't know how to play. And I got hit with a deck and I went deep and it was a lot of fun.

We play all the time in Los Angeles. I like the game. It's not my life but there's a giant, giant difference between amateurs and professional players. It's bigger than everybody thinks. Yes, home games are one thing and coming and grinding it out against a pro is another thing.

But I like to come and support the sport. And who knows if I get a lot of chips and maybe some people are in trouble. Oh God, I can't tell those. No, no, no, it's an active community in Los Angeles. People like to play and they like to play big and they're not very good me, included. But, yeah, it's really active out there. And it's a pretty good life style. It's gets exclusivity number one, and then number two, if you not very good maybe you can use your money against somebody else. Maybe that's one of their weapons in their arsenal. And nobody thinks they suck. Nobody thinks they're bad, everybody thinks they're good.