$2m pot for actors who play their cards right - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

The game of poker has shed its murky connections to become the favourite pastime of actors, celebrities and "those with a taste for the finer things in life".

As part of this new image, the World Poker Exchange has a $2 million "monster pot" up for grabs at a "lifestyle" tournament in London next month.

The actress Jennifer Tilly, 46, will challenge all comers after beating 600 players to win £88,000 at the Texas Hold Em event in Las Vegas.

Tilly, 46, an Oscar nominee for her role in Woody Allens Bullets Over Broadway, said that all her time playing gangsters "molls" and hanging around gambling dens came in handy.

Nolan Dalla, who helped organise the tournament, said Tilly showed an "incredible amount of talent" to win in Las Vegas.

Tilly, whose films have also included The Fabulous Baker Boys, said she had learned plenty of pointers from her boyfriend, the poker player Phil "Unabomber" Laak, who is also coming to Britain.

"When youre living with Phil, you kinda learn by osmosis," she said. "Even in the middle of the night, he wakes up screaming out poker terms." The actress leads a celebrity line-up for the event at the former Billingsgate Market.

Matt Savage, who is directing the tournament, said it was designed for people with "a taste for the finer things in life".

"Europe is experiencing a huge boom in interest and play, both online and offline," he said. "The idea is for players to combine long hours of poker with excursions to Kensington Palace, backstage visits to the West End play The Producers, a champagne reception on the Millennium Wheel, a private tour of the Saatchi gallery and a private concert with Grace Jones."

Haden Ware, the chief executive of World Poker Exchange, said the event marked "a new era in gaming in London".

Other players include the actor Willie Garson, of Sex and the City, Nicholas Gonzalez, an actor in The O.C. and Spin City, and the actress Mimi Rogers.

Competing with them will be some of the worlds leading poker players, as well as Dominic Tofani, 21, of Milton Keynes. He said: "Actors seem to be doing well at the moment. Maybe theyve got good poker faces."

Other news from around the same time

£70m-a-year scam smashed in Spain - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

A worldwide con run from post offices around Málaga in Spain has defrauded thousands of victims, in....

Downtown Business Marks 80 Years in the Poker Chip Game - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Those familiar with the musical Guys and Dolls know a pair of loaded dice was an important tool of 1....

Star `Cruises` to Goa, Lakshadweep this year - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Come October and the worlds best and biggest cruise ships would sail into the Arabian Sea. Star C....


A consultation on tightening the planning rules for casinos was announced by ODPM Minister, Baroness....

Irate casino staff to meet with hotel bosses - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Two meetings have been scheduled for next week to allow frustrated staff at the Crystal Palace Casin....

Sky City spins the wheel of fortune - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Sky City Entertainment investors have enjoyed a glittering roulette ride of rising share prices and ....

World Gaming plc sales and marketing update - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

World Gaming plc (LSE: WGP, OTC BB: WGMGY), a UK-based e-gaming solutions provider, ("the Company"),....

Bookie IAS upbeat despite looming loss - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Online bookie International All Sports (IAS) Ltd warned of an upcoming annual loss but investors jum....

Kinmen, Penghu seen as natural haven for tourists - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

With a view to improving the economy of Taiwans offshore islands, many residents there are pushing f....

High-rollers on a winning streak put LCI in the red - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

A WINNING streak by high-rollers and disruption from refurbishments combined to push London Clubs In....