Luck of the Stars: 3 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Poker Players

Categories: celebrities

We’re all about the celebrity skinny. This week, we’re here to reveal the secret poker lives of three of your favorite stars.

Image Credit: Pixabay / Public Domain


Are you curious about your favorite celebs’ gambling habits? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve got the scoop on all the hot gossip around the poker tables, including who’s winning big and who should probably retire. It’s all about the game, so strap in and get ready to delve deep into the secret poker lives of the stars. Plus, learn how to join them yourself.

Nicky Hilton Hits the Tables

Everyone’s favorite Hilton has designed some of Hollywood’s hottest clothes, makeup and jewelry. But did you know that she’s also been spotted at the poker table? That’s right, this millionaire heiress and wife to the infamous James Rothschild isn’t only LA’s favorite fashion designer. She’s also a tournament player seen at the 7th Annual World Poker Tour Invitational.

This tournament has quickly become a place for the stars of poker to mingle, connect and throw their chips down. Hilton is no exception, and it seems as though she’s quite smitten with the game, so much so that she’s also gotten on the web to spar a bit in an online room run by one of her good friends, Doyle Brunson.

If that name sounds familiar to you, it’s because Brunson is one of America’s top poker players of all time. His list of credentials is long and includes an induction into the Poker Hall of Fame and coming out as the all-time champion in the World Series of Poker twice. Not only that, but he was the first player to win over $1 million in a tournament. What’s all that mean? Buddying up to a guy like that could mean that Hilton is serious about her game. After all, nobody could ask for a better teacher.

Tobey Maguire Has the Poker Face

You know Tobey Maguire as the affable Spider-Man, a character intent on defending the good people from evil in all its ghoulish forms. But Maguire’s Spider-Man came out back in 2002. What’s he been up to since then? Besides a genius adaptation of The Great Gatsby, Maguire has been busy with other things — poker being among his favorite.

Tobey Maguire’s boyish charm and amiable features were one of the reasons we fell in love with him as Spider-Man — but they weren’t enough to save him from poker scandal.

Unlike Hilton, Maguire has gotten a lot of attention for his shenanigans at the tables. He started to play back in 2004 and quickly became part of a prestigious poker ring, which included Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Leonardo DiCaprio. Numerous online successes and tournament triumphs only spurred his lucrative hobby onward, but eventually, he experienced a fall from public grace over the game.

Maguire received a ton of bad press after a secret high-stakes game went wrong, allegedly paying out players using illegally acquired funds. He, along with other winners, was sued, with Maguire agreeing to settle the suit to the tune of $80,000. He further took an image hit when the woman in charge of running the game published a memoir, which claimed Maguire was the worst tipper out of them all.

Regardless, Maguire’s boyish face and delightful charm continue to make him a favorite among fans everywhere. He’s been getting into film production recently, and while we don’t know where he’ll take it next, we’re waiting with bated breath.

Matt Damon Holds All the Cards

Matt Damon is everyone’s favorite celebrity and an absolute whiz when it comes to the cards. Interestingly enough, his poker career took off right after his acting career did — and it was all because of one role that changed his life.

We love Matt Damon, pictured here with his gorgeous wife Luciana Bozán Barroso — but do you know how he got started in his poker career? It’s quite a tale.

Image Credit: Wikimedia / CC BY-SA

His 1998 film Rounders centered around a poker team (Ed Norton is the other half, playing the infamous “Worm”) who travel around searching for high-stakes games to play so that they could pay off a series of debts. Although the role was great for Damon, it didn’t give him Hollywood street cred. It also gave him some incredible real-world Texas Hold ‘em skills, which he’s used ever since.

Damon has had a storied career since the 1990s, and poker has been a part of that. He’s played with other stars in games around town and even made it to the World Series of Poker 2010 Main Event, in addition to playing various charity events as well. He was, of course, also implicated in the same ring Maguire was. However, he seems to have escaped most of the bad press Maguire shouldered. Perhaps he’s a better tipper?

How to Join Your Favorite Celebs

Are you ready to hit the tables? It’s imperative to learn the basics of poker hand rankings before you decide to play so that you’re well-prepared in the competition.

 Image Credit: Wikimedia / CC BY-SA

Caption: Are you ready to hit the tables? It’s imperative to learn the basics of poker hand rankings before you decide to play so that you’re well-prepared in the competition.

All this talk about poker probably makes you want to lay some cards down. If you want to play like the stars, you’ll have to become well-versed in the art of poker. That entails learning the basics, plus a few extras to keep in mind. You’ll want to prepare for any eventuality, so be sure to learn a strategy for going all-in at both poker tournaments and cash games. That way, you’ll learn the principles regarding certain situations that may arise and how to act accordingly.

Another must-do when sitting down to a game is to know the betting etiquette. You want to be as polite as possible and avoid ruffling any feathers around the table. If you don’t show your fellow players courtesy, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb and mark yourself as an amateur quickly. Once you do learn the correct poker protocol, it’s a good idea to play in a low-stakes game first before moving on to tournaments and higher-stakes rounds. That way, you’ll get some practice under your belt and show up prepared to slay at your venue of choice.

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Professional player Nick Brancato explains correct poker etiquette and discusses how to bet, call and raise politely.

It’s not only about going all-in or playing the right cards, however. You have to look the part as well. Take some tips from professional poker players — for example, many people choose to wear shades or sunglasses at the table to hide their eyes. That gives them the advantage because other players cannot see what they’re looking at, and the shades slightly obscure their facial expression, helping to better hold a “poker face.”

Some players have even gone so far as to wear masks and hoodies at the table, keeping their faces hidden further from view. Your choice of clothing should also be well-thought-out. Some prefer to use clothing to distract other players. If that’s you, flashy colors, odd cuts and other out-of-place pieces could serve in your favor. However, some people use clothes to blend in, drawing attention away from themselves.

Be sure to think over your appearance and what you want to convey before you pick your clothing because other people always judge you based on how you look. You may want to give your opponents the impression of professionalism, or you may want them to think you aren’t as experienced as you are — that depends on what kind of player you are and who you want to become.

Remember that poker is a game of skill, luck and glamor — but most of all, it should be fun. Now that you know all the hot celebrity gossip and how to throw down at the tables yourself, there’s only one thing left to do: Get out there and start playing.

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Gloria Vanderbilt, fashion icon, dead at 95

Categories: celebrities
Gloria Vanderbilt, fashion icon, dead at 95

I want to say my Gloria Vanderbilt jeans were literally my very first foray into fashion.  The first “label” I had to have. I was like 10.  This news is devastating, although she had a long long life.

The American artist, author, actress, fashion designer, heiress and socialite was born in 1924.

Vanderbilt was the daughter of Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt and Gloria Mercedes.

The Gloria Vanderbilt collections have included clothing, jewelry, perfumes, shoes, leather goods, sheets, paper goods and home furnishings.

The company trademark was taken from her first professional stage play, “The Swan.”

She is the mother of CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper.

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Taylor Swift drops new album over night

Categories: celebrities
Taylor Swift drops new album over night

Taylor Swift dropped her new single Calm Down on Thursday night, which takes aim at anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.

The 29 year old singer dropped the new song at just after midnight EST, which also takes shots at haters and trolls of all varieties.   The starlet spoke to the toxicity of fandom, with some lyrics that will likely be controversial to some.

‘You are somebody that I don’t know / but you’re takin’ shots at me like it’s Patron / like damn / it’s 7 a.m.’ the song begins.

Say it in the street, that’s a knockout / but you say it in a tweet, that’s a cop out / and I’m just like hey / are you okay,’ she continues.

Her chorus includes the lyrics, ‘You need to calm down, you’re being too loud/You need to just stop, like can you just not step on my gown?/You need to calm down.’

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Ronan Farrow calls out media during award acceptance

Categories: celebrities
Ronan Farrow calls out media during award acceptance

You know Ronan Farrow.  He’s the journalist that blew Hollywood wide open with his expose on Harvey Weinstein and other showbiz industry leaders who assaulted actors and actresses for decades.  Essentially starting the #MeToo movement.

Now Ronan is calling out his own industry. The media.

While accepting a Mirror Award for media reporting from Syracuse University on Thursday, Ronan noted the good and the bad of media.  He saluted fellow journalists and industry leaders at the Manhattan luncheon for bravery in producing stories that keep the media honest and transparent — even at the cost of burning bridges and losing job opportunities.

At the same time, he said “I can see people who have lied to protect power.”

He refused to name names, but if I were one of the people he alluded to I’d be pretty nervous right now.

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Nickelodeon casts ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’ reboot

Categories: celebrities
Nickelodeon casts ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’ reboot

Nickelodeon has revived the fan favorite ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’ for a limited series run that will coincide with the film release of the same name.

The cast includes, Sam Ashe Arnold (Best. Worst. Weekend. Ever.), Tamara Smart (Artemis Fowl), Jeremy Taylor (It), Miya Cech (Rim of the World), and Lyliana Wray (Black-ish) are all starring in the limited series.

No date is set, but probably the fall.

The reboot is part of a few classic shake ups at the kids channel.  Also on the horizon is a SpongeBob SquarePants spinoffs, an All That revival, and a Blue’s Clues remake.

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Britney Spears shares conspiracy theory about Paparazzo

Categories: celebrities
Britney Spears shares conspiracy theory about Paparazzo

Britney Spears aired out a “conspiracy theory” of her own after photos surfaced of her soaking up the sun in Miami with her boyfriend, Sam Asghari. Which, frankly, I found adorable.

The singer spent some quality time with her boyfriend in Florida over the weekend, and photos of the couple on a yacht began to make the rounds online hours after their sun-filled date — but Spears wasn’t happy with how she appeared in the pictures, so she took to her Instagram story to share her thoughts.

Someone named Manuel had the presence of mind to capture the video and preserve it.  Thank you to him.   In it Spears airs her concern that paparazzi are altering the photos they take of her to make her look “40 lbs heavier” than she really is.  She gives viewers an up down with the camera and says “This is how I really am. I’m skinny as a needle”.

So idk.  I thought she looked great and happy in the pics. Check you her video below. Cuts off at the end, sorry.

Again, for reference.  I think she looks great.

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Kylie and Jordyn are friends again!

Categories: celebrities
Kylie and Jordyn are friends again!

Like many of you, the scandal of the Jordyn/Tristan hook up and the subsequent end of Kylie n Jordyn, aka bff queens, was almost too much for me to bare.  I waited for months, (four, actually), to hear of a reconciliation and word is that moment has arrived.

Several outlets, including E!, and they should know, are reporting that Kylie Jenner and Jordyn Woods have broken some ground in mending their deep scars.

Still, some are saying you shouldn’t hold out hope that Jordyn will be moving back into the manse or doing lip kit collabs with her one time bestie.   One source told US Magazine, “Kylie knows the separation from Jordyn will help both of them—and Kylie’s family—to heal.”

I’m still holding out for a full rebound and much future success.  After all, the two never stopped following each others Gram feeds.  That sounds like a pair who never wanted the split in the first place. I’m wondering if family pressures forced Kylie’s hand.  We may never know.

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