The Secret World of Hollywood Poker
Four-star hotels, food from Matsuhisa, masseuses -- the high-stakes game frequented by Tobey Maguire, A-Rod and A-list actors welcomed an unknown player in 2006 who now has brought them the kind of press no publicist wants.
They are among the highest of the high-stakes players in this moneyed town: A-list actors, Hollywood hangers-on and businessmen who can shell out $50,000 just for a seat at the table. With eight or nine gathered, they play no-limit hold 'em into the night at one another's multimillion-dollar homes in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood or Malibu. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are won and lost -- sometimes in a single hand. They order in dinner from Matsuhisa or Madeo or tuck into filet mignon prepared by private chefs. They catch up on their busy lives, maybe discuss a business opportunity. All the while, the cards keep coming. When they tire, masseuses dole out massages. And at this level, the game is no longer simply about a group of buddies getting together for friendly bonding over cards. Indeed, this game -- and much of the world of high-stakes Hollywood poker -- is an intoxicating mix of competition, power and ego.
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