Pitt, Clooney 'can't play poker'

Pitt, Clooney 'can't play poker', by Shaun Davies - 16th June 2008
(Credit: NineMSN)

Australia's king of cards has confirmed what many may have already suspected — most of the cast of Ocean's 13 can't play poker.

Poker supremo Joe Hachem, who won US$7.5 million ($7.9 million) at the World Series of Poker in 2005, played Texas Hold 'Em against the film's stars at Cannes in 2007.

But while Matt Damon and Don Cheadle showed some aptitude for the game, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and other cast members were completely out of their depth, Hachem told ninemsn.

"These guys are supposed to be action hero types and suddenly I walk in the room and they're looking a little frightened. But I wasn't there to take anyone's money," he said.

"George and Brad were very reluctant to play. Their on-screen persona is, you know, these action dudes and they don't want to be seen as being stupid."

But it was James Bond star Daniel Craig who seemed to fear poker more than anyone.

Reports surfaced in 2006 that Craig, who first played poker-loving spy Bond in Casino Royale, was a dud when it came to playing cards.

Hachem said Craig, who was also staying in Cannes, "turned white" when asked to join in a game.

"He didn't know how to play. But I don't blame him," he said.

The poker champ was also surprised the stars did not carry cash and had to borrow money from each other to throw in for the pot.

Not surprisingly, Hachem cleaned up — but he didn't keep the winnings.

The game was played at Hotel Ducal in Cannes, as part of a promotion for the online gambling site PokerStars.com, which Hachem represents.

Hachem said he was somewhat overwhelmed to be in the presence of Hollywood royalty, but managed to "pretty much bluff [his] way through everything".

He said that while his life had changed forever since his 2005 win, his family and friends kept him grounded.

"There's no such thing as normal anymore. Once you go through that trapdoor there's no coming back. But the critical elements of my life, they haven't changed," he said.


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