Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Grand

The Golden Nugget in Downtown Las Vegas has become L.A. East this week as scenes for an upcoming movie about poker are being filmed in the casino.

“The Grand,” described on the Internet Movie Database as an “improvisational comedy centered around a handful of actors in an actual poker tournament,” features an all-star cast of comedic actors, including Jason Alexander, Woody Harrelson, Ray Romano, Cheryl Hines, Michael McKean, Richard Kind and David Cross.

Some of the stars have darkened the doors of the Nugget’s real poker room to partake in a little no-limit hold’em. Alexander played on Monday night, though unfortunately this intrepid blogger was not around that evening. I’ve already imagined what I would have said if I took a big pot off of him. (Warning: obscure “Seinfeld” reference ahead.) “I’ll use this money toward a home with TWO solariums,” I’d say. OK, a bit cheesy perhaps.

I was playing at the Nugget Tuesday night when Kind walked in. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, he played Paul Lassiter on ABC’s TV show “Spin City.”

I talked with Kind about the movie and he told me he gets to bust both Phil Hellmuth and Doyle Brunson in one scene from the big tournament, which is called The Grand.

Kind said he walks up to Hellmuth in one scene and asks, “Who are you?”

“I’m Phil,” the Poker Brat replies.

“Oh yes! You’re Phil Gordon, right?” Kind says.

I asked Kind when the movie might be released and he said he didn’t know. IMDB lists the movie as a 2007 release.

You might wonder how well Kind plays. I’d assess his play as pretty good. He certainly knows what the good hands are and he bet them strongly. His weakness seemed to be calling too many sizeable pre-flop raises after limping in, subsequently having to fold after the flop.

Kind unsurprisingly drew a fair amount of attention, although many couldn’t quite place him. One fellow walked by and did a double take.

A player at the table said, “He was in a television show.”

“I don’t watch TV,” the other guy replied and walked off.

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