You don't want to mess with Tobey Maguire when it comes to high stakes poker
Do you remember five years ago when Texas Hold Em was the biggest thing on television? To this day you find championship games played on ESPN and other cable networks. There were even celebrity poker games broadcast on television. In 1998, the movie ROUNDERS popularized the game for most audiences who may not even have known there were other kinds of poker besides Five Card Draw.
In recent years, the poker craze has died down a bit, but there is still somewhat of an underground world when it comes to Hollywood mega stars playing the game for very large pots. Some of the biggest stars who play in these games include Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Hank Azaria, Michael Bay, Charlie Sheen, and Megan Fox.
There is an entire subculture of movie stars who play these poker games on a regular basis, and some like Tobey Maguire have their names thrust into headlines. Maguire was involved in a game that had ramifications when a player was taken down as part of a Ponzi scheme. The sheer amounts of money (Maguire allegedly won $4 million in a recent game) goes to show that poker is alive and well.
A very telling quote regarding the allure of the game comes from an article over at Hollywood Interrupted: One of [the] bigger theories about poker, and this may be especially true for Tobey, is that poker is a great way for dudes to hang out without really getting to know each other. You don’t really find out what people’s hopes and dreams are, and you don’t really get attached. I mean, you’re buddies and you’re chummy, but Tobey is a super private dude, from what I understand. He doesn’t give interviews, even though people think it’s a big deal when a huge star plays in a tournament. I think for him, it’s a social thing where he doesn’t have to let people in.
While this is not exactly movie news, it is very interesting to get a peek into another side of Hollywood and celebrities that we do not normally see. From a movie standpoint, the only major movie about the game of poker is really ROUNDERS. I do recall a funny scene with Topher Grace in OCEAN'S ELEVEN and a celebrity poker game. We often see the back room poker matches as a seedy, underground cliche in film, but it looks to be a much bigger deal than that.