Ellen DeGeneres ‘Tougher than Denny’s Steak’ After Poker Lesson from Vince Van Patten

World Poker Tour (WPT) commentator Vince Van Patten believes Ellen DeGeneres’ real Game of Games may, in fact, be poker after providing the TV and comedy star with a private coaching session.

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres has been taught a thing or two about poker during a private coaching session with WPT announcer Vince Van Patten. (Image: Flickr)

Ellen’s poker lesson was a birthday gift organized by wife Portia de Rossi. The American comedian and talk show host celebrated her 62nd birthday on Jan. 26, and sat down for a crash course on the game.

Rossi posted a clip of the meeting between Van Patten and DeGeneres on Instagram. Although brief, the video suggests Van Patten was easing Ellen into the basics of poker.

Ellen DeGeneres Shows Her Poker Chops

As a poker player and commentator, Van Patten is adept at breaking down the game in a way casual viewers can understand. Although his style means he doesn’t discuss topics such as game theory during WPT broadcasts, his lesson struck a chord with DeGeneres.

During the meeting, she reminded the teacher that she has a way with words. As a long-time comedy writer, DeGeneres is able to spin a yarn or two and her sardonic tone suggests she already knows how to bluff.

Over the years, Ellen taken part in a variety of charity poker tournaments, including a 2004 event hosted by GQ. Reports also suggest she’s something of a home game host.

In 2018, celebrity gossip website Radar Online reported that Ellen has a fearsome reputation in celebrity poker circles. According to the publication’s unnamed source, DeGeneres often “loses her temper” in private games.

Exactly why people are “terrified” of her at the poker table wasn’t made clear in the article. Moreover, fact checker Gossip Cop claims that the reports were “nonsense.” However, Ellen has at least some experience at the felt.

Celebrities Are Always Ready to Play

Of course, this isn’t the first time an A-list celebrity has been accused of being a bully at the poker table. Hollywood home game host Molly Bloom claimed that Tobey Maguire isn’t always the best company at the poker table.

Along with a ruthless streak, she wrote in her book, Molly’s Game, that Maguire was the “worst tipper.” Tarring DeGeneres with the same brush may not be fair. However, by all accounts, she’s got the chops to make it as a poker player.

As Van Patten said in a tweet, the comedian was “tougher than a steak at Denny’s.”

If that’s the case, we may see Ellen join stars such as Ray Romano, Jason Alexander, and Brad Garrett at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) this summer.

Daniel Smyth
Written by
Daniel Smyth
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.

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