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Actor Burt Reynolds passed away at the age of 82. The renowned actor was a huge Hollywood star in the 1970s with top-billing roles in Deliverance, The Longest Yard, Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, and the Biggest Little Whorehouse in Texas. Reynolds also appeared in P.T. Anderson's film Boogie Nights and received an Academy Award nomination for his role of porn director Jack Horner. In the poker world, Reynold's is most known from his role in Deal. In the 2008 indie film, Reynolds plays a pro named Tommy Vinson who emerges retirement to tutor a young player.

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Reynolds played a former poker pro in Shade (2008)

RIP Burt Reynolds. Say goodbye to old Smokey. Burt Reynolds, one of the biggest stars in Hollywood in the 1970s passed away at the age of 82. For a five-year stretch, Reynolds was the #1 box office draw in America in a multitude of action films and romantic comedies. That's astonishing considering his competition included some of the greatest thespians of all time. The 1970s was the heyday of cinema. Reynolds' peers included the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, and Robert Redford.

Despite being only an "ex-jock" football player and running back from Florida State who did his own stunts (especially the driving), Reynolds' smarmy charm won over audiences worldwide. Reynolds appeared in numerous populist films in the 1970s where he played the underdog going up against the Man, such as his role as a prisoner in The Longest Yard, or an outlaw on the run in Smokey in the Bandit.

Reynolds had a resurgence in the late 1990s due to his outstanding role in Boogie Nights, P.T. Anderson's take on the rise and fall of porn industry in the late 70s and early 1980s. Reynold's got a nod for his standout performance as porno king Jack Horner. It marked his first and only Academy Award nomination.

Boogie Nights put Reynolds back on the map and revitalized his career, much like Quentin Tarrantino did for John Travolta with Pulp Fiction several years earlier.

In 2008, Reynolds appeared a low budget poker film titled Deal. Written and directed by Gil Cates Jr., Reynolds played a retired poker pro who decided to take a young poker player under his wing and tutor him. Several poker players appeared in the film including Mike Sexton, Fossilman Raymer, Isabelle Mercier, Chris Moneymaker, Vince Van Patten, Phil Laak, and Antonio Esfanidairi. Both Jennifer Tilly and Shannon Elizabeth also appeared in the film.

Burt Reynolds was Wooderson before Wooderson was even born. If you're a millennial or new to cinema and a huge fan of Matthew McConaughey, then you must do a deep dive of Reynolds. McConaughey is the current incarnation of Reynolds, but he did it first in an era that included behemoth actors the likes of Redford, Pacino, DeNiro, and Hoffman.

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Reynolds as porno king Jack Horner in Boogie Nights (1997)

Reynolds played running back and halfback at Florida State in the late 1950s. His roommate was the legendary Lee Corso, who would go on to coach college football and become a popular commentator and co-host of ESPN's College Gameday. Reynolds never made it to the pro level, but he parlayed his athleticism into action roles. Reynolds was never shy about doing his own stunts..

At the start of his acting career in the 1960s, Reynolds held his own in b-list westerns and TV shows, but he finally got his break in 1972 during the redneck horror film Deliverance, which many friends of mine in Hollyweird insist was a documentary film because no one can squeal like a pig like Ned Beatty. Deliverance put Reynolds on the map and his career took off shortly after.

One of my favorite Hollywood stories involves Reynolds and Boogie Nights. At the time he was cast, Reynolds was unaware of P.T. Anderson and was suspicious about the material. He initially turned down the role multiple times. By the mid-90s, Reynolds' career had stalled and didn't field many job offers. He reluctantly accepted the gig and finished the shoot like a professional. When Reynolds viewed a final cut of Boogie Nights, he thought was involved in softcore porn, so he fired his agent on the spot. The next day, critics attending the screening hailed the film and praised Reynolds' for his role.

The folks who ran the Oscars agreed and nominated Reynolds for Best Supporting Actor. Reynolds did not win the Oscar (he lost to Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting), but over twenty years later, Boogie Nights is considered P.T. Anderson best film and one of the most influential films of the late 20th Century.

Whether it was blockbuster films in the 1970s, or paycheck films in the 80s, or throwback roles in the 90s, or even a b0list poker flick... Reynolds was always the focal point whenever he appeared on screen. Call it charisma or gravitas. But Burt Reynolds will always be the man.

Here's some of his work from Boogie Nights…

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Saturday November 9, 2019 at 12:32 am
Correction: Rob Campbell wins 2019 WSOP Player of Year after clerical error

The World Series of Poker issued a statement today to recognize Australian pro Robert Campbell as the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year and not Daniel Negreanu. They incorrectly awarded 2019 WSOP POY to Daniel Negreanu at the conclusion of the WSOP Europe because of a error in their database. After an investigation, the WSOP discovered Negreanu got awarded POY points in an event he did not cash. Campbell wins the 2019 WSOP POY with Shaun Deeb finishing in second place and Negreanu finishing in third place.

Friday November 8, 2019 at 2:58 am
Daniel Negreanu edges out Campbell/Deeb to win 2019 WSOP Player of the Year

Daniel Negreanu secured the 2019 World Series of Poker Player of the Year with a strong performance at the WSOP Europe at King's Casino in RozVegas that included seven cashes and a final table. Kid Poker caught Australian pro, Robert Campbell, who went into the WSOPE as the POY leader. Negreanu, a 6-time bracelet winner, won his third Player of the Year title, but became the first player to win POY without securing a bracelet victory.

Wednesday November 6, 2019 at 8:18 pm
PokerStars goes live in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania, now the fifth largest state in America after edging out Illinois with 12.8 million residents, officially has online poker again when PokerStars PA went online during a soft launch on Monday. The official launch will be Wednesday, November 6, 2019.

Tuesday November 5, 2019 at 3:02 am
2019 WSOP Europe: ElkY wins Colossus for 2nd bracelet

The 2019 WSOP Europe concluded with the 15th and final event at the King's Casino in RozVegas. French pro Bertrand Grospellier, otherwise known as 'ElkY', won the Event #15 €550 Colossus NL for his second career bracelet. Elky faded a field of 2,738 runners to win €190,375. Shaun Deeb finished in 11th place but missed out on catching Daniel Negreanu for 2019 WSOP Player of the Year.

Monday November 4, 2019 at 8:20 pm
Geoffrey Hum wins 2019 WPT Montreal for $500,000 CAD

Nova Scotia's Geoffrey Hum outlasted 1,109 runners and an insanely difficult final table to win the 2019 WPT Montreal at the Playground Casino in Montreal. Hum defeated Colorado's Adedapo Ajayi heads-up to win $500,000 CAD. The rest of the stacked final table had over $46 million in career cashes including Joseph Choeng, Mike Watson, Kristen Bicknell, and Swedish pro Martin Jacobsen. Hum also won a seat into the season-ending TOC in Las Vegas in 2020.

Friday November 1, 2019 at 12:15 am
2019 WSOP Europe: Alexandros Kolonias wins 2019 Main Event for €1.13 million

Greece's Alexandros Kolonias outlasted a field of 541 players to win the 2019 WSOP Europe Event #14 €10,350 Main Event. Kolonias outlasted a final four that included Italian pro Dario Sammartino, American pro Anthony Zinno, and Germany's Class Segebrecht. Sammartino, the runner-up at the 2019 WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas, finished in fourth place. Anthony Zinno busted in third place. Kolonias knocked out Segebrecht to win the bracelet and €1,133,678.

Thursday October 31, 2019 at 2:01 am
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WSOP Europe Main Event: Anthony Zinno leads final 6

The 2019 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event Championship is down to the final table of six players at the King's Casino in RozVegas. Anthony Zinno is the big stack with 16.8 million. Also still alive are Dario Sammartino, Rifat Palevic, Alexandros Kolonias, Anh Do, and Class Segebrecht. On Thursday, someone will win the bracelet and €1.13 million in cash. Follow WSOP for updates starting at 2pm local time in RozVegas.

Friday October 25, 2019 at 10:32 pm
2019 WSOP Europe: Chin Wei Lim wins €100K Diamond High Roller for €2.2 million

Chin Wei Lim, a high roller from Malaysia, won his first WSOP bracelet with a victory in WSOP Europe Event #12 €100,000 Diamond High Roller. Chin Wei Lim defeated Jean-Noel Thorel heads up to win the bracelet and €2,172,104. Phil Ivey went deep with an eighth-place finish. Earlier in the week, Lim took second in the €250K Super High Roller.

Wednesday October 23, 2019 at 9:55 pm
2019 WSOP Europe: Besim Hot wins €25,500 Mixed Games, denies Phil Hellmuth Bracelet #16

Besim Hot won his first bracelet with a victory in 2019 WSOP Europe Event #10 €25,500 Mixed Games Championship. Hot outlasted a difficult final table and picked off Phil Hellmuth heads-up to win €385,911. Daniel Negreanu finished in sixth place, which propelled him into the overall lead in the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year race.

Wednesday October 23, 2019 at 12:32 am
2019 WSOP Europe: Aussie pro Kahle Burns wins €25,500 Platinum High Roller

Australian pro Kahle Burns won his first bracelet with a victory in 2019 WSOP Europe Event #8 €25,500 Platinum High Roller. Burns banked a score worth €596,883 for outlasting a final table that included WSOP Main Event champ Hossein Ensan, Sam Trickett, Tim Adams, Alex Foxen, and WSOP POY Leader Robert Campbell. Burns knocked out Sam Trickett in second place and denied Trickett's decade long quest to finally win a bracelet.

Tuesday October 22, 2019 at 1:45 am
2019 WSOP Europe: Siamak Tooran, Tomas Fara, Espen Sandvik, Vangelis Kaimakamis win bracelets

Action at the 2019 WSOP Europe continued at the King's Casino in RozVegas. Espen Sandvik outlasted a mixed games final table that included Jeff Madsen and Phil Hellmuth to win WSOPE Event #5 €2,500 8-Game Mix for €75,246. Siamak Tooran outlasted a field of 111 players to win WSOP Europe Event #6 €25,500 Short Deck High Roller NL for a score worth €740,996. Tomas Fara from the Czech Republic outlasted 377 runners and won WSOPE Event #7 €1,100 Turbo Bounty Hunter NL for €59,904. Meanwhile, Greece's Vangelis Kaimakamis faded 766 players to win WSOPE Event #3 €1,350 Mini Main Event for €167,056.

Friday October 18, 2019 at 9:38 pm
2019 WSOP Europe: James Chen wins €250,000 Super High Roller

James Chen rallied back from a short stack at the final table to win the 2019 WSOP Europe Event #4 €250,000 Super High Roller at the King's Casino in RozVegas. Chen banked €2,844,215 and outlasted a final table that included Cary Katz, Tony G, Christoph Vogelsang, and Chin Wei Lim. Chen defeated Lim heads-up for the bracelet, which would be the first ever for Taiwan.

Thursday October 17, 2019 at 7:33 pm
2019 WSOP Europe: Dash Dudley wins another PLO bracelet

American pro Dash Dudley won his second PLO bracelet of 2019. He took down his first bracelet earlier this summer in Las Vegas at the 2019 WSOP, and he added a second one with a victory in 2019 WSOP Europe Event #2 €550 PLO by fading a field of 467 players to win €51,600. In Event #1 €350 NL Opener, Jeff Lisandro made the final table but busted in 8th place. Ukraine's Renat Bohdanov went on to win the first event at the WSOP Europe.

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