The 2023 PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) attracted 1,014 players, a mix of poker pros and amateurs, many of whom entered after earning a Platinum Pass. A number of celebrities were also scattered around the field, including the UFC announcer Bruce BufferStar survival “Boston” Rob Marianoi David Costabilewho currently plays Mike “Wags” Wagner on the hit Showtime show billions and also portrayed Gale Boetticher Breaking Bad.
So how did one of Hollywood’s busiest actors end up at the PSPC?
“Let me tell you a story: the early days. In the pandemic, remember? We were all in and there was a celebrity charity tournament that was put on through PokerStars,” he told PokerNews. “And I was invited to this and even Brian Koppelmanwhich was my boss at Billions, and Hank Azaria was running it, I won the tournament.”
The tournament he was referring to was the Stars CALL for Action powered by PokerStars Charity Tournament in May 2020. Costabile beat out a field full of A-list celebrities, including Breaking Bad co-stars Bryan Cranston i Aaron Paul – to win $100,000 for donating World Central Kitchena charity that supplies food to those who need it most.
“They’re working really hard in Ukraine to feed people and it’s an amazing organization,” Costabile explained. “I was really happy to be able to give them $100,000, I mean, it was great. Also, at that particular time, there was a lot of need. I really strongly believe in their cause.”
Other celebrities to participate were Amy Schumer, Michael Cera, Jon Hamm, Neymar Jr., Don Cheadle, Jeff Garlin, David Schwimmer, Edward Norton, Macaulay Culkin, Lisa Kudrow, Teri Hatcher, Kevin Pollak, David Arquette, Liam Payne, Ricky Williams, Jack Blacki Jason Alexanderamong many more.
David Costabile wins Stars CALL For Action powered by PokerStars – Charity Tournament
PokerStars comes calling
More than two years after his online victory, Costabile came close PokerStars about the idea of going down to the Bahamas and participating in the PSPC via a Platinum Pass.
“They called and said, ‘You can win poker events, why can’t you come and win this poker tournament?’ And then I said, ‘Yeah, can I come and win this poker tournament?’ So, funnily enough, that didn’t happen this time. But I’m one for two. Right? So this is the Hall of Fame. What’s the best batting average in the Hall of Fame? I could just say one day . I mean, this could be my last tournament. You know, I won the first one, I lost the second one.”
He continued: “I’ve played in smaller tournaments. I’ve probably played in online tournaments before the Middle Ages. It wasn’t on this particular scale and it wasn’t as heavy with professional poker players, people who can spend. all the time playing poker. This is where it gets more complicated for someone who just admires poker. I like to watch poker, I play poker, but I’m not a pro. I’m a professional actor. You just of knowing where you fit, how your piece of the puzzle fits, and then apply it.
As for the PSPC, Costabile was in the thick of things for most of Day 1. When asked if there were big hands or points, he didn’t hesitate.
“Here’s some advice for you as a poker player that I learned: When you’re short about 20 big blinds and you’re under the gun and you’re playing people who are tied ahead of you and you get queens, instead of relying on your gut telling you, “I should probably go all out at this point,” you think to yourself, “Maybe I’m going to get complicated.” This feeling of I should be complicated. It’s not a good feeling. This is not the voice to hear”.
Costabile, who lost this hand with pocket queens, ended up falling towards the end of Day 1 at level 8 (600/1,200/1,200) while playing the feature table. He got his last 8,200 in the hold in the small blind and called Antoine Saoutis in early position and Daniel Neilson enduring the kidnapping.
Both active players checked the board and Saout made a club flush to draw. Costabile said goodbye to his tablemates before leaving the stage.
“There’s nothing like being on TV and having to play poker with incredibly accomplished people, who then recognize that you’re the mark at the table and that you really want to get yourself,” Costabile said. “It was fun. When they weren’t trying to attack me, they were all very nice.”
David Costabile in PSPC action.
Which character would be the best poker player?
Costabile has played some classic characters over the years, including Daniel Hardman dresses and Thomas Klebanow Editor-in-Chief the wire – So who would be the best poker player in real life?
“I think Wags would probably be a great cash player.”
“Well, I think Gale would probably be a great mathematician, so he’d probably be a great tournament player,” Costabile said. “I think Wags would probably be a great cash player.”
As for Costabile himself, he seems to be a bit more like Wags than Gale, meaning he’s far from quiet and reserved, a bit more boisterous and engaging.
“I have to go back to New York and shoot a scene on Friday and maybe I looked a little more like Wags at that tournament,” he admitted. “We’re in the middle of shooting our seventh season of Billions and we’re going to wrap up at the end of May, and then I don’t know, I have other things that I just shot last year.”
Cameo on NBC’s The Office
David Costabile at the PSPC feature table.
Another role that Costabile played was that of “The Banker” in an episode of The office, widely regarded as one of the greatest comedies of all time. PokerNews couldn’t resist asking him the story behind his appearance on the legendary spoof sitcom.
“Rainn [Wilson] and I are very good friends and we were friends since college. We had all auditioned for The Office when it first came out and Rainn got it. It was great for him,” Costabile explained. “I didn’t audition for Dwight, I auditioned for Jim. I won’t make it.”
“There will be more poker. I’m hurt but I’m not out.”
He continued, “There was a group of us who were working in Los Angeles at the time and we all auditioned… At first it was a very slow grind and NBC really kept survival and then it became into something huge, which was great for them. I really had Rainn pushing for me to be on the show. I really wanted to be on the show before it ended, so I got in, which was good.”
Costabile’s experience with the PSPC may not have ended the same way as his charity tournament experience nearly three years ago, and while he joked that leaving at this point would leave him with a good record, there’s a solid chance the poker world will see more. of him
“Oh, yes, there will definitely be poker,” he said with a smile. “I’m going to study a little more. I’m really going to reconsider queens, but there will be more poker. I’m hurt but I’m not out.”
Chad Holloway Executive Editor USA
US Executive Editor, PokerNews Podcast co-host and 2013 WSOP bracelet winner.