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"The Gambler" Star Mark Wahlberg: I Have a Good Poker Face

Gambling has been thrust into the mainstream of late, and it’s nothing to do with DDoS attacks, Danish trojan horses, or hypocritical octogenarian casino owners.

Instead, we have Mark Wahlberg to thank as he buzzes around town to promote his latest movie The Gambler – the remake of the 1974 movie directed by Karel Reisz and starring James Caan.

It’s a world away from the comedy of Ted, and the action-packed Transformers: Age of Extinction (a movie that made me feel as if someone had peeled back my eyelids and poured absinthe in them), but if you are going to be starring in a movie called The Gambler, you had better be used to taking some risks.

Wahlberg believes that preparation for his movies is integral to the development of the part. He has to experience what it is like to become one with his role. This is why during a trip to The Wynn in Macau, Wahlberg ran up $45k playing blackjack before heading to the roulette wheel and slapping it all on black. Just like in the movie, it came in red. He walked away with nothing. One assumes that Wahlberg has also spent a lot of time talking to Teddy Bears, beating up speak your weight machines, and God only knows what he got up when researching Boogie Nights?

So how would Wahlberg fare if he was playing poker? Apparently, not so bad. During an interview with USA Today – where he was playing a spot of poker and blackjack – reporter Donna Freydkin asked Wahlberg if he had a good poker face?

I think I have a good poker face, when it comes to my kids, and trying not to crack a smile when they are in trouble,” said Wahlberg.

Wahlberg has four children aged between nothing and eleven. He even brought his 11-year-old onto the set of The Gambler so she could experience Daddy’s world (a world he told Jimmy Fallon he doesn’t want her to be a part of).

So how did his daughter find the action on the film set?

“Dad, this movie looks really, really boring,” his daughter told him.

So it will be exactly the same as the last couple of gambling movies that have flopped so miserably then?

Wahlberg Searching for a Pardon

Wahlberg may not have gambled much when he was younger, but he was always in a spot of bother. The actor spent 45 days in jail during the 1980s for hitting a man with a stick whilst trying to steal some booze. Wahlberg has recently asked the state of Massachusetts for a pardon.

“I am not the same person I was 26 years ago,” said Wahlberg.

Wahlberg was 17 years old at the time of his incarceration.

The Gambler opens nationwide on December 19.



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Lee Davy

Life can be viewed as the sum of the parts or the parts themselves. I believe in the holistic view of life, or the sum. When dealing with individual parts you develop whack-a-mole syndrome; each time you clobber one problem with your hammer another one just pops up.