Houston Curtis: Why You Should not Give Leonardo DiCaprio Entry To Your Poker Bankroll
It was a ravishing night within the spring of 2007, and like each Thursday night time in these days, I used to be sitting in a penthouse suite on the 4 Seasons on Doheney Drive in Beverly Hills taking part in high-stakes maintain’em together with Tobey Maguire and common line up of mega-millionaires, celebs, and captains of business.
That night time, Leonardo DiCaprio determined to swing by and take a look at the motion. Whereas Leo loved poker, he didn’t like the thought of placing his personal cash in danger. For these of you who learn my ebook, Billion Greenback Hollywood Heist, you would possibly keep in mind that Tobey and I had staked Leo within the early days of our sport so as to entice wealthy whales who would simply drop six figures to say they acquired to hang around with A-listers all night time.
A pair years had handed since we had used the celeb trapping performs, and at this level our sport had reached legendary standing all through the poker world. There was now not a have to forged an enormous web for the fish as a result of the proverbial pond had been stocked! There was a listing a mile lengthy crammed with everybody from bankers and billionaires to actors and athletes, all hoping for an opportunity to sit down at our desk.
Our sport was full that night time, however I may inform that Leo actually had the itch to sit down down and play for a bit. It’s essential to notice that after I entered the suite every week and was served my favourite beverage by our then-hostess, Molly Bloom, I’d mentally flip off the remainder of the world. Any enterprise dealings I had have been placed on maintain. No calls have been allowed to return from my house or workplace as soon as I sat right down to play. Neither my assistant, the executives who labored for me, and even my spouse would dare to disrupt me throughout sport time. In any case, this wasn’t simply any sport. For me, it was pure enterprise. And when dealt with correctly, it could lead to a six-figure win for the night.
Having mentioned that, on this specific night time, I scheduled a fast enterprise assembly down within the lounge of the 4 Seasons. At the moment, I had been producing a actuality TV pilot for A&E starring rock star Fred Durst, who had additionally simply completed directing his second function movie. Fred had learn a script I owned and was very inquisitive about being connected because the director.
The opposite individual attending the assembly was Nick Cassavetes, who had directed a number of movies together with The Pocket book. Nick preferred the script as effectively and agreed to fulfill with myself and Fred to debate the potential for us all working collectively to get it arrange. Should you don’t know Cassavetes from his films, which additionally embody Alpha Canine, My Sisters Keeper, and John Q, then it’s possible you’ll acknowledge his face from appearances on Excessive Stakes Poker. Nick was additionally a semi-regular participant in our sport and I used to be a semi-regular participant at his house sport, which occurred on a unique night time of the week.
I knew I couldn’t blow this assembly off, however when Leonardo DiCaprio arrived on the sport, it created a small conundrum for me. Tobey, half joking, half critical, identified to me that for the reason that sport was full, my absence would depart a seat open ought to Leo determine to play. In my thoughts, that will have been like leaving a large bag of money sitting in the midst of Instances Sq. when you determine to seize a slice of pizza, simply hoping it’s nonetheless there once you get again. There was no method I used to be going to threat my seat for the whole night time… not even to Dicaprio!
So, I made a decision I’d supply to let him play in my stead whereas I shot right down to the lounge for my assembly. Contemplating Leo solely performed aces and kings preflop, I figured it was definitely worth the threat.
Leo appeared happier than Jack Dawson after successful tickets to board the Titanic once I advised him he may take my seat and play a number of arms whereas I attended my assembly. He sat down on the button because the playing cards have been being dealt, so I made a decision to offer him one sweat earlier than I left.
The blinds have been $200-$400 and there have been two limpers and a increase earlier than it acquired to Leo, who appeared down at 7-7 and simply tossed ‘em into the muck as if he was holding 7-2 off after a 3 wager. I figured my cash can be secure for at the very least the following 20 minutes, and off I went!
It was a very busy night time on the 4 Seasons that night. Along with Durst and Cassavetes, I bumped into an previous buddy, former MTV president Tony DiSanto, who was hanging out with media big Ben Silverman. And on the way in which up I discovered myself using within the elevator with film producer and philanthropist multi-millionaire Steve Bing, who had been dwelling on the 4 Seasons for the previous yr whereas certainly one of his properties was being inbuilt Beverly Hills. I invited him to return try the sport, however he took a rain examine.
As I walked again into the room, I used to be a bit anxious to see how Leo was doing. I admit I believe my coronary heart sank a bit once I noticed that my seat was empty and DiCaprio was sitting on the opposite aspect of the penthouse wanting type of upset.
I caught eyes with Bobby Safi as if to ask, ‘What the hell occurred?’ Bob simply shook his head, letting me know that issues didn’t go effectively for Leo. Then Molly known as me over and advised me that I used to be caught my $100,000 from my buy-in, and one other $75,000 in revenue I had gained earlier than I let the Wolf of Wall Avenue babysit my chips!
I used to be steaming and determined to go again right down to the lounge for a drink. I got here up half-hour later and Leo was nonetheless simply sitting there wanting bummed. I walked out on the balcony and he determined to observe and provides me the small print.
He advised me he picked up pocket aces and acquired reraised all in preflop by Bob Safi. Bobby, who was simply screwing round, ended up successful the hand with Ok-4 offsuit, flopping two pair for all my cash. I advised him I understood, that Bobby had snapped my aces for at the very least half one million prior to now few weeks. I then simply sat there searching on the metropolis skyline, most of it made up of buildings that Mr. Safi had offered quite a few instances over as one of many largest business actual property moguls in Los Angeles.
Lastly, Leo spoke up and mentioned, “If it makes you’re feeling any higher I’m keen to place $10K in the direction of the loss.” I simply turned, walked again in, and shouted for Molly to place me on the books for an additional $100k.
As I sat down, ready for the chips to return, Leo got here up and stood proper behind me. Tobey began smiling, in all probability taking enjoyment from my ache, after which Bob Safi slowly pushed over a large stack of chips in entrance of me and everybody within the room began laughing.
I turned again to Leo, among the finest actors on the planet, and he simply gave me a glance that mentioned, ‘I simply fooled your ass!’
Not solely did I’ve my bankroll again, however I walked away from the night successful over $300,000 and having a terrific story to inform. Fact be advised, Leo and Tobey had completed this similar rip-off to me a number of years prior when the sport was at Tobey’s home… so I ought to have been smart to it. However I believe that simply made Leo determine to promote it even tougher.
Thanks for studying, and as at all times, keep sharp! Keep Kardsharp!
Houston Curtis, founding father of KardSharp.com and writer of Billion Greenback Hollywood Heist has lived a profitable double life as each a producer and excessive stakes poker participant for practically 30 years. His credit embody govt producing gambling-related TV exhibits equivalent to The Final Blackjack Tour on CBS, The Aruba Poker Traditional on GSN and pioneering the poker educational DVD style with titles that includes poker legend Phil Hellmuth.
Barred for all times from Las Vegas Golden Nugget for “extreme successful” at blackjack, Houston is without doubt one of the world’s most profitable card mechanics and sleight-of-hand artists of the fashionable period. Curtis, who hardly ever performs in tournaments, gained a 2004 Legends of Poker no-limit maintain’em championship occasion besting Scotty Nguyen heads-up on the closing desk earlier than occurring to co-found the elite Hollywood poker ring that impressed Aaron Sorkin’s Academy Award-nominated movie Molly’s Sport.
Curtis now resides in Columbia, Missouri whereas sustaining workplaces in Los Angeles, and Phoenix, Arizona. Along with operating a manufacturing firm and impartial file label, Curtis additionally consults as a poker safety knowledgeable to shoppers throughout the globe searching for perception into grasp degree card dishonest ways through superior sleight-of-hand method. As well as, Houston is now obtainable for in-person and on-line talking engagements, personal sleight-of-hand instruction, and a wide range of media creation/manufacturing providers. Houston could be contacted straight at [email protected]