Such a superbly entertaining and inclusive game is poker, that people from all walks of life and across industries, genders and nations flock to play and get involved. Far from its unjust reputation as nothing more than the last refuse of a busted gambler, in fact the game is strictly for the thinkers and incredibly skilful which is why only the very best players accumulate the big money wins.
Frankly, some of the earnings from the biggest tournaments are just ludicrous (i.e. in the millions). But, as you can see below, some of the celebrities aren’t exactly killing it at the tables.
Here are five folks from your telly box enjoying their well earnt time away from the day job.
Victoria Coren Mitchell
As an occasional host of the BBC’s Have I Got News For You, Observer columnist, television poker presenter for various TV networks and wife of British comedian David Mitchell, Coren Mitchell has plenty to be getting on with. But regardless, to counter any potential boredom, she has also become a successful member on the poker circuit. Coren’s poker career high points include taking down the London leg of the 2006 European Poker Tour and a second place finish in the International Federation of Poker’s The Table World Championship. All this on her way to accumulating $2,461,988 in live tournament earnings. So good a player is VCM that two years ago she became the only player in history to win a second European Poker Tour title. The same year she also announced that she was to split from Team PokerStars in protest at the Amaya owned poker network’s controversial introduction of casino games, and since then a sportsbook, to what many believe should be a poker exclusive website.
Coren Mitchells’s success and fame have bolstered an already successful online poker market in the UK who have been inspired by the success of her and other UK players. Despite her split with the company, PokerStars continues to be a top choice for players in the United Kingdom, both pro and amateurs alike.
So traumatised by what he witnessed on an ambassadorial visit to Sudan’s Darfur region, Hollywood A-lister Don Cheadle set out with friends Annie Duke and Norman Epstein to found the Ante Up For Africa Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament which, after taking $700,000 on its first day, has progressed to raise many millions more since and has, in the past, even been included in the WSOP in Las Vegas and Monte Carlo. A keen player himself, Cheadle has played in plenty of televised poker tournaments, including when he took down his good friend and poker legend and super star Phil Ivey at the NBC Heads Up Championship event. He has also taken part in Poker After Dark and the Celebrity Poker Shoot Out.
With a paltry $540 in live tournament earnings, Matt Damon, star of poker film Rounders, has some way to go to match the money he has made from his day job, and that’s putting it mildly (this YouTube clip is aptly named ‘Matt Damon Sucks At Poker’. Having banked somewhere to the north of $75 million for his on screen movie roles, Damon has the bank roll to play high stakes poker and lose plenty of it. Part of the Hollywood elite underground games that also includes Leo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Matt’s own cousin Ben Affleck, details of which will be hitting the big screens themselves in the upcoming film Molly’s Game, Damon is also a competitor on the legal celebrity circuit too, as well as playing for charities such as the aforementioned Ante Up For Africa Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament.
One of Australia’s finest ever spin bowlers, Shane Warne has also developed a career away from the crease by spending his post cricket life at the poker tables like the annual WSOP instead. An ever present thorn in the side of English Cricket throughout the nineties and noughties, Warne was easily the best bowler of his generation and one of the sport’s leading lights and celebrity names. Since then, he has collected $93,571 in live poker tournament earnings and, in 2008, signed a two year sponsorship deal with 888poker to be an ambassador, a lucrative position he occupied for seven years before parting ways last year. To be fair to “Warney”, it’s questionable whether he’ll notice the drop in bankroll, as Shane is no stranger to endorsements. Collecting sponsorship deals with as much appetite as he has for wickets and chips, he has also represented Dafabet and Sporting Bet in the past.
While Phelps made his name breaking record upon record in Olympic swimming pools round the world, these days the American all-time Olympic Medal record holder is just as famous, if not as successful, for swimming with the sharks at the poker table. Phelps a tournament and cash game player has current live earnings that stand at around at $5,580 and is close friends with some poker pro Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari. Despite being the most successful Olympic swimmer of all time, it’s not a sport that pays high in itself, yet the swimmer still amassed millions mainly through sponsorship, some of which Phelps lost when a deal with Kellogg’s cereal fell through after the swimmer had been photographed “over indulging” at a party. Fortunately he retained deals with Speedo, Visa, Omega watches and Subway providing him with a much needed poker bankroll, something which friends fear Phelps has become obsessed with.
Latest posts by Sean Adl-Tabatabai (see all)
- DEFCON Alert Raised, US Citizens Told ‘Prepare For War’ - October 21, 2016
- 7 Reasons Why ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ May Actually Be ‘Indigo People’ - October 21, 2016
- Study Reveals Eight Hour Sleep Cycle Is Unnatural - October 21, 2016