Kevin Pollak the actor is being seen as somewhat of a king amongst his fellow peers, just at a charity dinner the other night his fellow actor friend Don Cheadle gave him a fist bump saying ”You represented us big time dude”. Pollak knew straight away what Cheadle was talking about.
Pollak finished in a hugely respectable 134th in this year’s World Series Of Poker Main Event; this meant that he broke the record of being the highest placed finish by a celebrity. The previous record was also held by an actor, Lou Diamond Phillips who once finished in 186th place. Many poker professionals have never even been that far in the Main Event, yet Pollak managed it in his first attempt.
Pollak, who is probably more famous for his stand up comedy, has also appeared in numerous movies such as “A Few Good Men” and “Goodfellas”. He will be extremely proud of his achievement in the world’s biggest poker tournament, especially considering the caliber of players he outlasted.
Pollak manage to stay in the tournament longer than Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan and even Phil Ivey. His best memory of the tournament has got to be knocking out the quadruple bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu.
It really is something he has put high up on his list of life achievements, especially as all the other players didn’t really take him seriously. He was always joking the whole time and doing impressions of fellow actor Christopher Walken. “It allowed me to get into the opponents minds in a way they probably didn’t realise” he stated. “I could literally manipulate some players with my humour!”
He claims even the hardest acting jobs are a walk in the park compared to a 5 day stint of poker. “I once worked a 22 hour day when on the set of ‘the usual suspects’, but that was a complete cakewalk compared to this”. He also claims the he felt exhilarated, excited, and nervous and stressed out all at the same time throughout the tournament.
Pollak admits that being a celebrity did help him, as players never really valued him as a poker player, a wrong move considering he has played most of his life. He also used his impersonation skills to find little tells against his opponents, being an impersonator makes him so much more adept at noticing human subtleties. He used this to his advantage and learned more and more the longer he was there.
Pollak admits he is in awe of the final nine but firmly claims he had no real chance of making it that far, he feels he went further than he could have possibly dreamed of, even though he went out with a bad beat. He and an opponent had QQ each in their hand but Pollak lost out to a four card flush.
Will Pollak be back next year? “If my schedule allows I will definitely be up for it” he says.