Celebrity Poker Players Who Can Compete in the Big Leagues Alongside the Pros
Poker is a game for the masses. While a small percentage of the pros manage to dominate the game at the highest level, there are so many good players out there. In fact, some of the most unlikely people play and excel. This includes many celebrities that you watch on livestreams, or you see in the movies.
Is it really surprising though, as people with money love to tussle for the chance to make more? And isn’t that what poker is all about – competition, rivalry, and money?
Top 6 Celebrity Poker Players
While numerous celebs enjoy the game, there is only a handful that are competent enough to compete at the top of the industry and manage to play head-to-head with some of the top professionals.
1. Ben Affleck – Actor
Ben Affleck has been an avid celebrity poker player since he was young. In fact, it is alleged that he paid for pro training to refine his craft. In 2004, alone, he won nearly $360K at the tables. He even earned a seat at the Poker World Championships that same year. While he’s been more successful playing blackjack, he tends to stick more to poker more nowadays. Like Dana White, he was banned from several Vegas casinos for card counting while playing 21.
His poker skills and status landed him a seat at the famous and scandalous Molly Bloom tables in Los Angeles. There, he played with other Hollywood greats, such as his best friend, Matt Damon. Damon fell in love with the game after shooting the poker movie, Rounders.
2. Kevin Hart – Actor and Comedian
Of all the celebrity poker players on this list, Kevin Hart is probably one of the most skilled. As a past celeb brand ambassador for PokerStars and a current PartyPoker representative, the Jumanji star and comedian is often seated against prominent poker pros on the circuit.
3. Gerard Pique – Soccer Talisman
Spanish footballer, Gerard Pique is an outstanding soccer player. The ex-Man United player has been a mainstay in the heart of the Barcelona defense for years now and is a Spanish national football team veteran.
However, Shakira’s ex-hubby also excels when it comes to poker. In fact, he has played on the European Tour and in several WSOP events. He has accumulated over $250K in winnings, making him one of the most successful celebrity poker icons in the world.
4. Ninja – Video Game Extraordinaire
Most people know Tyler Blevins by his screen name – NINJA. The video gaming prodigy is probably the most successful game streamer to date. But it seems that games, in general, are his strength, as he has displayed a real skill at the poker table.
Despite being coy over his card skills, a Hustler Casino Live special showed us his true metal. The celebrity poker amateur took on the likes of other streamers and even got to go head-to-head with Phil Helmuth and Tom Dwan.
Of the experience, he said, “I had so much fun. Got just straight addicted, almost immediately.” Watch the matchup below:
5. Mr Beast – Top YouTube Content Producer
Mr Beast is famous for his outrageous giveaway videos. Few would peg him as a celebrity poker icon. However, if you view the video we showcased above, you’ll notice his presence at the table with Ninja and the other card sharks. In fact, there are numerous videos on YouTube with him playing the game. In the past, he’s taken on poker icons like Phil Helmuth and Doyle Brunson.
The most he has won at the table is $439K. That was his recorded takings at the Poker Pros vs Streamers video above.
6. Stephen Curry – NBA Basketball Athlete
Steve Curry is on the brink of a record $1 billion endorsement, so he certainly doesn’t need money. However, he is the second-best celebrity poker player in the NBA, according to Phil Helmuth. He is second only to his teammate.
Helmuth said: “Steph Curry’s a good poker player too. He’s probably the second-best poker player in the NBA.”He went on to say, “Without question, Draymond Green is the best poker player in the NBA.”
Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and members of the NBA basketball team often use their downtime to play head-to-head. They’ve even used the platform to raise funds for the Warriors Community Foundation. The Warriors team and Phil Helmuth played a tourney with $10,000 buy-ins where all the profits went to charity.
Something to Fall Back on as Celebrity Poker Players
It’s great to be multi-talented. It means that there is always a fallback strategy if plan A gets old. There are numerous people that make good money from playing poker full-time and it certainly helps attract big invites when you are on the celebrity A-list.
If any person on this list decided to focus full-time on the game, there is a good chance they could make a good go at it, even if they’d have to use their fame to help them along a bit.