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Top five poker playing celebrities… from Ben Affleck to Shane Warne

By Sam Ruffe

Often considered the reserve of Vegas addicts and home game heroes, poker has seen a massive resurgence in recent years.

Shows like Celebrity Poker Showdown, Celebrity Poker Club, Ultimate Poker Showdown, and World Poker Tour grace our TV’s on a regular basis.

But it’s not just the general public who are jumping on the bandwagon, celebrities around the globe are making the switch from the red carpet to green felt.

Here is MM’s list of the top five poker playing celebs.

Ben Affleck

When not acting in movies such as Daredevil and Pearl Harbour, Affleck can often be found with a chip and a chair in some of Hollywood’s most lucrative cash games.

Although reports about his skill level vary, under the tutelage of poker professionals Amir Vahedi and Annie Duke, the California native has found relative success on the felt.

Affleck is a regular participant in the annual World Series of Poker and in 2004 he took home the California State Poker Championship – earning himself $356,000 in the process.

Victoria Coren

Mixing column inches with cards, the London-born writer and presenter is a regular fixture at poker events around the country.

Coren’s poker highlights include victory at the London leg of the 2006 European Poker Tour and a second place finish in the International Federation of Poker’s inaugural The Table World Championship.

The Only Connect star has also presented Late Night Poker and The Poker Nations Cup on Channel 4 and Ultimate Poker Challenge for Channel 5.

Coren – who recently married Peep Show star David Mitchell – has earned close to £1millon playing poker and plays under the banner of Team Pokerstars.

Shannon Elizabeth

Famed for her role as Nadia in the American Pie movies Elizabeth once described poker playing as her ‘second career’.

A regular visitor to Las Vegas, the Scary Movie star has established herself as one of the top celebrity poker players on the scene.

Elizabeth’s poker highlights include cashes in the 2006 and 2007 World Series of Poker and an impressive 3rd place finish in NBC National Heads-up Championship.

Tobey Maguire

Boasting multiple cashes in the WSOP, the Spiderman star has found nearly as much success in the card rooms as he has on the big screen.

On an episode of Poker After Dark, 13-time WSOP champion Phil Hellmuth alleged that Maguire has amassed almost $10million through playing poker.

The L.A resident is a regular at high-stakes Hollywood cash games and often faces-off against Tinseltown residents such as Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Shane Warne

Widely regarded as one of the greatest bowlers to ever play cricket the former Australian international cricketer and hair loss hero is a regular a celebrity poker events.

In January 2008 Warne signed a two year endorsement deal with 888 poker to represent them in their flagship UK open and the lucrative Aussie Millions tournament.

For more information on poker and to keep up to date with the latest news, tips and gossip in the poker world, visit Cardschat forum.

Image courtesy of Pokervideos2010 via YouTube, with thanks.

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