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23 June 2011

Poker News Media: 'Spider-Man' Tobey Maguire, 'Catch Me If You Can' Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon 'Rounders' Caught In Poker Sting

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Spider-Man star... Mr Spider-Man himself, Tobey Maguire, is one of a dozen or Hollywood stars being sued in connection with an illegal gambling ring that allegedly ran multi-million dollar underground poker games.

And you wonder why Hollywood so embraced the popular poker themed game 'Rounders'.

One of the Hollywood card sharks being sued in connection with a mega-millions illegal gambling ring that ran high-stakes poker games has spoken, revealing the secret games still continue and labeling Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire a cheapskate.

Dan Blizerian is facing a $100,000 lawsuit from duped investors who allege jailed Beverly Hills hedge fund manager Brad Ruderman used their funds to pay off his monster debt to a host of Tinsel town identities, including Maguire.

An FBI investigation into Ruderman, who is serving a 121-month sentence in a Texas jail, uncovered how he lost $25 million of investor money, including $5.2 million in the clandestine games held on a twice weekly basis in suites at the luxurious Beverly Hills hotel, Four Seasons and the Viper Room on Sunset Boulevard.

Tinsel town A-listers Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have been named as players in the no-limit Texas Hold 'em games, which had a buy-in of $100,000.

According to a series of lawsuits filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court, in Los Angeles, the games ended in 2009.

But speaking out as part of a Star magazine investigation, Blizerian shed new light of the intriguing underground scene that was, at one time so intense, the door to the suite where the games were held were manned by armed guards.

Blizerian and his brother Adam, who is also an avid poker player, told press the games are held at the home of a top Hollywood movie producer.

"The buy-in is anywhere from $40,000 to $200,000," Adam told Star, adding: "That's a serious buy in. Some guys can be in for millions. A-Lister's are there, still."

The pair would not name the celebrities who still played, nor who coordinated the games.

Under California law, it's illegal to play for money at underground poker clubs, although it is a crime rarely prosecuted.

Dan told Star he often played against Maguire, 35, who he called a "nit" -- a reference in poker circles to an extremely tight/passive player that avoids confrontations.

Nits, it's suggested, tend to avoid big pots and do not like to gamble.

"Tobey is a jerk off," Dan said of the actor Maguire, who is being sued for Ruderman's losing hand to him, totaling $311,300.

"He's cheap as f**k and plays like a cheap b*tch... a guy who's worth all that money playing as if he's broke. Come on, dude."

Others facing hefty lawsuits in the wake of Ruderman's losses include billionaire businessman Alex Gores, The Notebook director Nick Cassavetes, Welcome Back, Kotter star Gabe Kaplan, Paris Hilton's infamous sex tape partner, Rick Salomon, record label owner Cody Leibel and Las Vegas nightlife entrepreneur and real-estate developer Andrew Sasson.

Dan told Star he would fight the lawsuit.

"I'm not paying a single cent," he added, in the exclusive interview.

"They can kiss my ass. If a casino gets taken and then lawyers come after them, the establishment isn't going to then go after one of its players to cover their lost. Are you kidding me? I'm not paying s**t."

Tens of millions of dollars is understood to have changed hands in the illegal games.

Marvel Entertainment does not offer marvel themed poker games but does offer Marvel Entertainment themed online slot games, available in website portals such as Media Man Int and via online gaming brands such as Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment and Richard Branson's Virgin Casino. PartyCasino.com, the online casino leading brand by Bwin.Party is understood to be in negotiation with both the United States, Canadian and Australian governments regarding b2 gaming. Party came to a settlement with the United States Department Of Justice two years ago to the tune of approximately $100 million, and are looking to expand gaming in the U.S beyond their World Poker Tour brand.

Who are you betting on? Spider-Man or the 'Catch Me If You Can' man? Maybe you would prefer not to say and just place a silent bet!

Tobey Maguire sued over illegal poker winnings...

Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire and other celebrities have been caught in a web of lawsuits seeking to reclaim more than $US4 million ($3.8 million) won during unlicensed poker matches at upscale Beverly Hills hotels, court records show.

The lawsuits were filed by a bankruptcy trustee attempting to recoup money for investors who were duped in a Ponzi scheme.

The legal actions claim the clandestine Texas Hold 'em matches were played between 2006 and 2009, with some of the money taken in the Ponzi scheme used to pay off debts incurred by its architect, Bradley Ruderman.

Maguire is being sued for $US311,000 plus interest that the lawsuit says was won from Ruderman. In all, 22 people have been individually sued to try to recoup money.

Among them was Nick Cassavettes, director of The Notebook. The trustee is attempting to recover nearly $US73,000 plus interest from the actor-director.

Maguire's attorney, Robert Barta, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment but was expected to file a response to the suit later this week.

Cassavettes's agent Jeff Berg also did not immediately respond to a phone message.
Also being sued is billionaire businessman Alec Gores, who along with his brother attempted to buy Miramax Films last year.

Gores is being sued for $US445,500. Phone message left for Frank Stefanik, a spokesman at The Gores Group, and his attorney, Patricia Glaser, were not immediately returned.

Ruderman was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison earlier this year after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud, two counts of investment adviser fraud and willful failure to file taxes.

Bankruptcy trustee Howard Ehrenberg filed the lawsuits in late March, attempting to recoup money on behalf of people who invested in what the legal action called a Ponzi scheme organised by Ruderman.

The suits contend the defendants have no right to keep money won from Ruderman, since the games did not have the appropriate government licenses.

Tournaments were held in luxury hotels in Beverly Hills and organised by a woman identified as Molly Bloom, who is being sued for nearly $US475,000 paid to her by Ruderman, the lawsuits said.

The claims were first reported Wednesday by RadarOnline and Star Magazine. (Credit: AP)

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