The World Series of Poker Main Event has always been the ultimate for poker players, with every superstar you could possibly name staking their $10,000 entry fee on becoming the WSOP Main Event champion and having ultimate glory. But it isn’t just the big guns to watch out for, what about the celebrities that rock up and try to show us how it’s done. There are so many celebrity poker fans out there, and while they may not all make it to the World Series of Poker, or even be successful, here are some of the most surprising (well we think so anyway) celebrities that have indeed played in the Main Event.
Probably the least surprising of all our entries, considering he took up tournament poker back in 2004, Tobey Maguire (best known for portraying Spiderman in the film trilogy) has entered multiple WSOP Main Events. It should come as no shock to learn his successes could well be down to his tutor, professional poker player Daniel Negreanu. It may not have been his debut, but Maguire’s most memorable year at the WSOP Main Event has to be 2007. He finished 292nd winning just short of $40,000, after his pocket kings were beaten by Donnacha O’Dea’s aces.
He was a born-winner on the football pitch, as a player at least – he was part of the Manchester United squad to win the treble in 1999. As a manager, his talents may have left little to be desired. But this natural winning mentality managed to transpire to the poker table. We are of course talking about Teddy Sheringham, who finished fifth in the European Poker Tour Main Event in Vilamoura – his most impressive display to date, which was saw him against 383 opponents and pocket a tidy €93,121. However, he entered the WSOP Main Event in 2012. Not quite as successful, earning $28,530 for a 388th place finish – but surely surprising, nonetheless.
Another former sport star now and the turn of ex-professional snooker maestro, Steve ‘The Nugget’ Davis to try his hand at something new, namely poker. He entered the 2006 WSOP Main Event, which to date, still holds the record for the largest prize pool. He may not have gotten into the action too much, finishing 579th and pocketing $20,617 (some way off the $12,000,000 earned by winner Jamie Gold), but that didn’t deter him and he tried again. Two years later in 2008, he finished a slightly more respectable 389th, winning $28,950. If this didn’t surprise you already, did you know he’s also a keen chess player?
You’d be forgiven for not knowing the final name on our list – Michael Greco played Beppe Di Marco in BBC One’s long-running soap Eastenders, back in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s. He later went on to appear on Celebrity Love Island. Swapping LDN for LA, Greco is a keen poker player and having started out in poker rings, is now on the poker tournament circuit. After entering events at the World Series of Poker for a couple of years, he took the plunge and entered the Main Event in 2009. He may have only won $36,626 but he finished in the highest position of all the players on our list: 170th, out of 6,496 players.
There are so many other celebrities that have played in the WSOP Main Event, some that we expected and others that shock. Do you agree with our list or have we missed someone more surprising out? Let us know.