Poker fever grips Hollywood stars

A new addiction has gripped Hollywood and celebrities are as unlikely as ever to reveal their hands.

A new addiction has gripped Hollywood and celebrities are as unlikely as ever to reveal their hands.

Lucrative poker games have become commonplace in the sprawling mansions of the rich and famous.

Wealthy stars including Leonardo Di Caprio and Tobey Maguire can regularly be found slapping down $10,000 (€7,660) for a seat at a monthly “Billionaire Boys game”, according to the March edition of Vanity Fair magazine.

Celebs meet at poker professional Reagan Silber’s Bel Air mansion to indulge in a flutter, most likely playing a version known as Texas Hold ’Em.

Vanity Fair writer Duff McDonald cites actors Ben Affleck, Tobey Maguire, James Woods and Mimi Rogers as the most avid poker players.

“As a player, Maguire is variously described as intuitive, sponge-like and passionate,” he writes.

“Affleck, meanwhile, is said to be aggressive and fearless, traits that can backfire at the table.”

Rogers, an ex-wife of Tom Cruise, reportedly plays poker on the internet for hours every day, netting some £2,000 (4,000 dollars) since last March.

Woods helped establish HollywoodPoker.com so his fellow actors could go head to head in cyberspace.

According to the magazine, play ranges from light-hearted to deadly serious. Friends star David Schwimmer is said to be a bad loser, and cries out “Thank God!” whenever he wins the pot.

Spiderman star Maguire hosts games at his Hollywood Hills estate, which “usually requires a 2,000 dollar minimum buy-in", McDonald reports.

Stars including Brad Pitt, Ed Norton and Robert De Niro have all recently been linked to the game.

Affleck and singer Robbie Williams are among celebrities who have signed up to the European version of the World Poker Series in Monte Carlo in March.

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