Every celebrity plays poker.
Poker is good for celebrity.
You get to show your face around town; you have something to keep you busy in Vegas while the wife is keeping up with the Kardashians; you boost public perception for throwing your snazzy fedora in the ring at charity tournaments.
You restore blood flow to the parts of your body that forgot how piles of money can make you feel something. Just for showing up you get all kinds of comps, cred, and curtain calls. If you study up and play smart you might even fashion yourself into a winning player. The full arsenal of your brainpower and competitive wiles are welcome here—but cross the casino floor to the blackjack tables with that kind of know-how, and all bets are off.
In recent days, award-winning writer, actor and director Ben Affleck (Chasing Amy, Good Will Hunting, Argo) made waves in the press for his card-playing prowess. But oops! This was not the World Series of Poker he was besting. This was blackjack. Granted, it sounds like he was doing fairly well for himself. But while he was beating the game itself, the bigger game stepped in his path and said, “Get lost.” Unlike playing against a table full of dudes in hoodies, Affleck was playing against “the house.” The house banks the game, the house sets the rules, but ultimately the house all too often fixes the game by playing you for a fool, only to run you off when you call the bluff.