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Poker has long attracted celebrity poker players from the world of television, film and sports. Some of the most beloved celebrities are those that portray badass characters. A film really doesn’t need a plot as long as there’s plenty of gratuitous violence. Don’t believe us? Explain The Expendables.

We’ve often wondered how some of Hollywood’s top badasses would do at the poker table. Below we look at 7 of the most recognizable badasses in TV and Film and how they’d fare in the poker world.

Chuck Norris

Chuck NorrisDo we even need to speculate on how Chuck Norris would do in poker? His stare would make Phil Ivey fold. His roundhouse kick would shut Mike Matusow’s mouth. When he makes the final table of the WSOP Main Event, the November Nine would be renamed Chuck Norris and the runner-ups.

Alex Dreyfus would immediately ban Chuck Norris from the Global Poker League in order to give everyone else a chance to win. Also, anyone that that beats Chuck Norris heads-up receives instant induction into the Poker Hall of Fame. We have it on good authority from The Doctor that Norris doesn’t lose a heads-up match for the next 50 years.

Norris doesn’t need to know psychology or even hand ranges because everyone knows that the only hand that beats a Royal Flush is Chuck Norris.

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone has played various badasses through his career but the character that most poker players would identify with is Rocky. Stallone has a deep understanding of human nature and a fearlessness that would make him an excellent poker player and a great tournament player.

And he would be an excellent draw for a rail. Imagine having a packed Mothership at the Rio with fans chanting, “Rocky! Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!” It would be the perfect script for Rocky 8. A retired Rocky Balboa, after beating cancer and helping Adonis Creed become the Light Heavyweight Champion, goes to Las Vegas with dreams of becoming a World Champion one more time – this time in poker.

Michelle Rodriguez

Michelle Rodriguez was a female badass long before Ronda Rousey came to prominence in the UFC. Just look at her career in film. She has made a career out of kicking ass and she will have no problem doing the same at the poker table.

Think that Hollywood attitude is an act? Think again. She was kicked out of five different schools growing up and her whole purpose as an actor is to show that women can be powerful. You little Jedi mind tricks at the poker table won’t phase her.

Michelle Rodriguez

Rodriguez has no fear and that will be her greatest asset at the poker table. It’s not like the money means anything. She is worth over $30 million, so poker is all about the competition. You’ll never know whether she has the nuts or is shoving with total air.

Stone Cold Steve Austin

WWE Legend Stone Cold Steve Austin would certainly be a character at the table. We’re not sure how much money he’d actually win, but he would be entertaining to say the least. Of course, it might get a little annoying to hear him repeatedly ask the dealer “What?”

As far as his poker skills, we think he would have the edge in terms of psychology and being able to intimidate his opponents. However, if he drinks as many beers at the poker table as he does after a match or a promo session, he may not be able to see his cards.

Win or lose, someone is going to end up having a mud hole stomped in their ass. And that’s the bottom line, cause Stone Cold said so.

The Rock

The RockThe “Most Electrifying Man in Sports and Entertainment” would be a lot like Daniel Negreanu at the tables. His outgoing personality and charm would make him a fan favorite and this will allow him to make brilliant reads on his opponents.

If that doesn’t work, he can always deliver a “Rock Bottom” to his opponents during the break in order to thin the field. Due to his competitive nature, he would be better suited to play poker tournaments and we could see him as regular on the California tournament circuit.

Bruce Lee

The late Bruce Lee passed away in the early years of the World Series of Poker but would have likely been an elite player if given the chance. In addition to be an amazing martial artist, he was a philosopher that studied psychology and had an amazing understanding of human nature.

Lee was also an astute student who believed that all knowledge leads to self-knowledge. This would have forced Lee to become both a student of the game and of the people of the game. Lee would be a feared player at the table and would never have to lift a finger.

Of course, Lee would have played during a time where it was not always safe to do so. We expect that quite a few old school poker pros would have gotten their skulls cracked by Mr. Lee, earning their respect or at least their silence.

Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson will be one of the quieter players at the poker table, but don’t let his silence fool you into thinking he is a weak player. He will be one of those players that knows everything that is going on at the table, including the guy in Seat 3 that has been palming $5 chips every 30 minutes in order to save some of his profits.

LIam Neeson

Be careful when you tangle with Neeson in a pot. He has a unique set of poker skills. Skills that can be dangerous for lesser poker players. If you fold now, he will let things slide. However, if you choose to raise his blind, he will hunt you down. He will find you, and he will kill you. Either that or he’ll shove all-in.


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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.