Monday, April 26, 2010

Dangerous Woods

Championship Event
$3300 + $200 NL

James Woods
- Player Profile

In Hollywood, he's played everything from a pimp boyfriend (Casino), to a Watergate burglar (Nixon), to a crooked doctor (Any Given Sunday), but this week actor James Woods is playing his favorite role of poker player.

"I like the challenge from the mental aspect and how you have to figure things out," says Woods, who recently took down an invitational tournament in Connecticut. "I love that it's part math, part instinct and part personality. And everything is situational specific."

Woods is playing in the Championship Event in between various projects, including a film called An American Girl, that he's producing and directing and will feature Kristen Stewart (Twilight).

"It's a luxury vacation," says the 1986 Academy Award nominee (Salvador), "I have some time to play and relax. The Borgata's fantastic, I love to play here and I'm not just saying that."

Woods isn't just an actor who dabbles in poker, he takes it seriously when his schedule allows it. During the 2008 Borgata Summer Poker Open, he cashed in one event and made it to day 3 of the Championship Event.

"Borgata has the best structures around," says Woods, who loves the 30,000 in starting chips and 75 minute levels. "You can do well if you don't get greedy. That's the one thing the recession's taught us, don't get greedy and you can survive."

At the end of Day 1B, Woods has more 72,000 chips and is pleased with how he played. "I had an exceptional day. I increased my stack by 150% and was at a tough table," which included Kevin Saul, who has more than $2 million in career earnings. "I was very patient, made some good lay downs and had two big bluffs," says Woods.

The results weren't has good for his friend and poker pro Roy Winston, who busted early in the day. "I don't like him, but I know him," Woods says with a laugh.

"We're friends, we play together all the time in California," says Winston, adding, "he's a good player."

Woods acting career spans more than 30 years and includes a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but when it comes to poker he's still looking for a big score.

"Everything in my life is good," he says, "so winning a big poker tournament would be great. But what's the downside? There is no downside, unless it's on the Titantic an hour before it goes down."

After one day of play, there's no obvious leaks in Woods' game, but plenty of icebergs ahead.

Suspenseful Thriller for Woods

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