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It was a lovely evening in the spring of 2007, and like each and every Thursday night time in all those days, I was sitting down in a penthouse suite at the 4 Seasons on Doheney Travel in Beverly Hills taking part in significant-stakes hold’em alongside with Tobey Maguire and normal line up of mega-millionaires, celebs, and captains of sector.
That evening, Leonardo DiCaprio made the decision to swing by and check out out the motion. When Leo loved poker, he did not like the notion of placing his personal money at threat. For those people of you who examine my e book, Billion Dollar Hollywood Heist, you could keep in mind that Tobey and I had staked Leo in the early times of our game in order to attract wealthy whales who would effortlessly fall 6 figures to say they acquired to hang out with A-listers all night.
A pair decades experienced handed due to the fact we experienced used the celeb trapping performs, and at this issue our recreation experienced achieved famous status through the poker planet. There was no for a longer period a have to have to forged a significant web for the fish simply because the proverbial pond experienced been stocked! There was a checklist a mile prolonged filled with every person from bankers and billionaires to actors and athletes, all hoping for a likelihood to sit at our desk.
Our sport was whole that night, but I could tell that Leo definitely experienced the itch to sit down and engage in for a little bit. It’s important to notice that at the time I entered the suite each and every 7 days and was served my most loved beverage by our then-hostess, Molly Bloom, I would mentally transform off the rest of the planet. Any business enterprise dealings I experienced were set on maintain. No phone calls ended up authorized to occur from my home or business office as soon as I sat down to enjoy. Neither my assistant, the executives who labored for me, or even my spouse would dare to disrupt me through activity time. Soon after all, this wasn’t just any match. For me, it was pure small business. And when dealt with thoroughly, it would final result in a 6-determine earn for the evening.
Possessing explained that, on this certain night time, I scheduled a swift business meeting down in the lounge of the 4 Seasons. At that time, I had been generating a actuality Tv pilot for A&E starring rock star Fred Durst, who experienced also just concluded directing his next element movie. Fred had examine a script I owned and was extremely fascinated in staying attached as the director.
The other man or woman attending the assembly was Nick Cassavetes, who experienced directed numerous films which includes The Notebook. Nick preferred the script as well and agreed to satisfy with myself and Fred to discuss the risk of us all doing work together to get it set up. If you don’t know Cassavetes from his flicks, which also include Alpha Pet dog, My Sisters Keeper, and John Q, then you could identify his face from appearances on Large Stakes Poker. Nick was also a semi-typical participant in our recreation and I was a semi-common participant at his dwelling game, which happened on a distinct evening of the week.
I realized I could not blow this meeting off, but when Leonardo DiCaprio arrived at the recreation, it established a smaller conundrum for me. Tobey, 50 percent joking, 50 % critical, pointed out to me that considering the fact that the video game was total, my absence would go away a seat open up really should Leo come to a decision to participate in. In my thoughts, that would have been like leaving a giant bag of cash sitting down in the center of Situations Sq. when you determine to seize a slice of pizza, just hoping it’s even now there when you get back. There was no way I was going to danger my seat for the complete night… not even to Dicaprio!
So, I made a decision I would offer you to allow him participate in in my stead even though I shot down to the lounge for my conference. Contemplating Leo only performed aces and kings preflop, I figured it was truly worth the hazard.
Leo looked happier than Jack Dawson after profitable tickets to board the Titanic when I advised him he could acquire my seat and enjoy a couple of hands when I attended my assembly. He sat down on the button as the playing cards had been getting dealt, so I made the decision to give him a single sweat prior to I left.
The blinds have been $200-$400 and there had been two limpers and a increase in advance of it acquired to Leo, who looked down at 7-7 and just tossed ‘em into the muck as if he was holding 7-2 off after a a few wager. I figured my funds would be harmless for at the very least the future 20 minutes, and off I went!
It was a significantly occupied evening at the 4 Seasons that evening. In addition to Durst and Cassavetes, I ran into an outdated close friend, former MTV president Tony DiSanto, who was hanging out with media giant Ben Silverman. And on the way up I identified myself driving in the elevator with film producer and philanthropist multi-millionaire Steve Bing, who had been living at the Four Seasons for the past 12 months while one particular of his residences was becoming crafted in Beverly Hills. I invited him to appear verify out the sport, but he took a rain verify.
As I walked again into the room, I was a little bit anxious to see how Leo was undertaking. I confess I assume my coronary heart sank a little bit when I saw that my seat was vacant and DiCaprio was sitting down on the other facet of the penthouse on the lookout variety of upset.
I caught eyes with Bobby Safi as if to inquire, ‘What the hell occurred?’ Bob just shook his head, permitting me know that matters didn’t go effectively for Leo. Then Molly termed me above and instructed me that I was stuck my $100,000 from my obtain-in, and one more $75,000 in gain I had gained just before I permit the Wolf of Wall Avenue babysit my chips!
I was steaming and made the decision to head back again down to the lounge for a drink. I arrived up 30 minutes later and Leo was nevertheless just sitting down there searching bummed. I walked out on the balcony and he made the decision to stick to and give me the facts.
He explained to me he picked up pocket aces and got reraised all in preflop by Bob Safi. Bobby, who was just screwing all over, finished up profitable the hand with K-4 offsuit, flopping two pair for all my income. I explained to him I understood, that Bobby had snapped my aces for at the very least fifty percent a million in the previous couple weeks. I then just sat there wanting out at the metropolis skyline, most of it made up of properties that Mr. Safi experienced sold various instances more than as one of the biggest professional real estate moguls in Los Angeles.
Lastly, Leo spoke up and said, “If it makes you truly feel any far better I’m ready to set $10K to the decline.” I just turned, walked back in, and shouted for Molly to set me on the publications for a further $100k.
As I sat down, waiting for the chips to arrive, Leo came up and stood right behind me. Tobey began smiling, most likely taking satisfaction from my discomfort, and then Bob Safi gradually pushed around a large stack of chips in front of me and anyone in the home begun laughing.
I turned back to Leo, a person of the most effective actors on the planet, and he just gave me a seem that reported, ‘I just fooled your ass!’
Not only did I have my bankroll back, but I walked away from the evening winning over $300,000 and having a wonderful story to convey to. Truth of the matter be instructed, Leo and Tobey had carried out this exact fraud to me a few years prior when the activity was at Tobey’s house… so I should have been smart to it. But I assume that just created Leo come to a decision to market it even tougher.
Thanks for looking through, and as always, continue to be sharp! Continue to be Kardsharp!
Houston Curtis, founder of KardSharp.com and author of Billion Dollar Hollywood Heist has lived a successful double existence as each a producer and large stakes poker player for almost 30 a long time. His credits involve government generating gambling-related Tv exhibits these kinds of as The Top Blackjack Tour on CBS, The Aruba Poker Common on GSN and groundbreaking the poker educational DVD genre with titles that includes poker legend Phil Hellmuth.
Barred for daily life from Las Vegas Golden Nugget for “excessive winning” at blackjack, Houston is a single of the world’s most productive card mechanics and sleight-of-hand artists of the fashionable period. Curtis, who not often plays in tournaments, won a 2004 Legends of Poker no-restrict hold’em championship party besting Scotty Nguyen heads-up at the last table before heading on to co-observed the elite Hollywood poker ring that encouraged Aaron Sorkin’s Academy Award-nominated film Molly’s Video game.
Curtis now resides in Columbia, Missouri whilst maintaining offices in Los Angeles, and Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to jogging a generation company and impartial history label, Curtis also consults as a poker defense expert to customers across the world in search of insight into learn level card dishonest strategies by way of state-of-the-art sleight-of-hand strategy. In addition, Houston is now readily available for in-person and on-line speaking engagements, private sleight-of-hand instruction, and a assortment of media creation/generation companies. Houston can be contacted immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.