Top Ten Celebrity Poker Players
Poker is a card game that anyone can pick up quickly and enjoy. It should be no shock that it attracts famous individuals, so several well-known celebrities regularly participate in the green felt.
In the same way, most of us gained inspiration from the Chris Moneymaker Main Event fairytale or the way the game brings family and friends together. The same can be said for celebrities.
And in the same way, it gave some of us hunger and drove us to crush our opponents on the felt. The same can be said for the people on this list. Here are the top ten celebrity poker players who love the game just like we do:
#1 Tobey Maguire
Maguire started playing tournament poker in 2004. He has received training from poker expert Daniel Negreanu and has placed highly in several competitions. One of those events was the World Series of Poker Main Event, as Maguire appeared on ESPN's broadcast in 2005, 2006, and 2007.
He was one of several famous people who played in Molly Bloom's high-stakes poker games at The Viper Room in the middle of the 2000s, along with Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck. It has been widely confirmed that the central figure of the biopic Molly’s Game, played by Michael Cera, is Tobey Maguire.
Various sources have claimed that Maguire regularly crushed those high-stakes private games and continues to do some today, however more infrequently.
#2 Victoria Coren Mitchell
Victoria has played poker for the entirety of her adult life and was a fixture on the UK poker circuit for many years before achieving success. In earlier years, she could have been regularly found at London’s Vic poker room grinding at the cash tables or partaking in some of the more significant tournament series.
In a £200 Pot Limit Hold'em Tournament at the European Poker Championships in London in 2004, she earned approximately £14,000 for placing second, which was her first notable performance. One month later, she won the Channel 4 late-night poker show Celebrity Poker Club.
This would kickstart massive success for her, as she would go on to win two EPT titles and become the first woman to claim one, placing her in the history books. She married Peep Show’s David Mitchell and took a backseat from poker after starting a family, although she did make a semi-deep run at EPT Monte Carlo in 2022.
#3 Jennifer Tilly
Jennifer Tilly is no newcomer to gambling; one of her early roles alongside Richard Dreyfus was in the movie Let it Ride, which is about a gambler who has a lucky day at the racetrack. However, Jennifer is a competent aggressor at the poker table and a gambler.
Jennifer is one of the most well-known poker faces for anyone who watches televised poker. Whether playing on High Stakes Poker, Poker After Dark, or Poker Night in America, Jennifer has been a mainstay on American televised poker and entertains with her aggressive approach and fun table talk.
Tilly dominated the Ladies No-Limit Texas Hold'em competition in 2005, earning her the coveted WSOP bracelet. She has earned more than $1 million in high-stakes poker cash games and has her professional poker player boyfriend, Phil Laak, serves as her coach.
#4 Brad Garrett
In a notable altercation with "Poker Brat" Phil Hellmuth on Poker Night in America, Garrett reprimanded him for his continuous trash-talking. Garrett defines himself as a part-time professional poker player.
His most significant live win came in 2005 when he took first place in Season 5 of the Celebrity Poker Tournament Championship and earned $100,000. Since then, he has won many small cash prizes at several live poker tournaments, notably two at the WSOP and, most frequently, one at the Las Vegas 2022 Aria Poker Classics.
#5 Shannon Elizabeth
Shannon acknowledged her passion for poker in 2006, calling it "her second career." She frequently traveled to Las Vegas to play poker with the finest players, and in 2007 she reached the semifinal of the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship.
This outcome and previous tournament cash demonstrated her success as a prominent poker player. In 2010, she came in second place in the $5,000 Ante Up for African charity event for a $79k payoff, just missing out on a WSOP victory.
Although it appears that she doesn't play as much these days—her final actual in-the-money poker performance was in 2013.
#6 Matt Damon
Matt Damon blended his time acting in Blockbuster movies with frequent visits to The World Series of Poker. He was often found playing in the WSOP Main Event by camera crews and was reportedly very friendly and fun at the tables.
Damon shot in popularity inside the poker world after his performance in the poker film Rounders where he would captivate poker fans with his role as Mike McDermott, a grinder with dreams of Vegas and the Mirage.
To gain an understanding of poker, he and co-star Edward Norton circuited the LA poker scene, playing in low-stakes cash games and live tournaments to truly understand what poker was like in the early 2000s.
Matt participates in the infamous "Molly's Game" cash game, and he plays poker primarily behind closed doors and away from the public's view.
#7 Ben Affleck
According to rumors, the Hollywood actor improved his skills after lessons from pros Annie Duke and Amir Vahedi. He attributed his success at the 2004 California State Poker Tournament to the one-on-one sessions.
Affleck staged a celebrity poker game in 2020 that helped food banks generate $1.75 million. Bryan Cranston and Adam Sandler, among others, participated, paying $10,000 to enter the competition.
#8 Kevin Hart
The comedian enjoys gambling big time and has participated in several extremely significant poker tournaments when he isn't making films or making excuses for mistakes and offensive remarks.
At the 2017 PokerStars Championship in the Bahamas, he participated in the $100k (buy-in) Super High Roller, receiving sponsorship from both partypoker and PokerStars.
He paid the $300k required to participate in the Super High Roller Bowl in Las Vegas only a few months later. The 16-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil "The Poker Brat" Hellmuth, was removed from the competition by Hart on day 1 of this event, and on day 2 of the five-day competition, Hart was ousted in 24th place.
#9 Aaron Paul
Another well-known name who enjoys busting a flush and stacking players at the poker game is Aaron Paul from the television show Breaking Bad.
Along with competing in the PokerStars Championship, Aaron reached Day 2 of the 2015 WSOP Main Event. Despite not having much luck at the tables yet, Aaron enjoys playing poker but is friendlier and more courteous than his on-screen counterpart Jesse Pinkman.
#10 Jason Alexander
After reaching acting immortality through his character, George Costanza, on Seinfeld, Jason Alexander took a liking to the poker feel and played both live and online poker.
He was frequent on American televised poker in the early-2000s and won $500,000 for a charity of his choice after he took down the Celebrity Poker Showdown Championship in season eight.
He still regularly plays in private games and runs an annual celebrity poker tournament that has been going on for over two decades!