Ray Romano Talks Poker, Brad Garrett, and ‘Men of a Certain Age’
Comedian Talks to Card Player During Day 1A
For the fourth consecutive year, Ray Romano played in the World Series of Poker main event. Unfortunately for the comedic actor, it also marked the fourth consecutive year he failed to make the money as he was unable to make it through day 1.
However, Romano took time out of one of breaks to talk to Card Player about his home poker game, the rambunctious Brad Garrett, and his new show on TNT.
“I played as a teenager,” Romano said about his start in poker. “I would play with my buddies in Queens, and now we’ve got a home game with the boys once a month.”
That home game includes Garrett, who played Romano’s brother in the hit CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.
Garrett has become a bit of a regular at the high-profile, celebrity poker events in recent years, often stealing and securing the spotlight with his booming voice and provocative jokes.
Romano admits his former co-star isn’t exactly that way in their home games.
“He tweaks it a little. Once there’s a crowd, it’s his energy source,” said Romano. “He goes in spurts. But we have to censor him sometimes, even in our home game.”
Everybody might love Raymond, but no one seemed to have a problem taking his chips. Romano drew a tougher than average table draw on day 1A, sitting to the right of last year’s $40,000-event winner, Vitaly Lunkin.
After his pocket jacks failed to hold up against an opponent’s A-K, Romano got the last of his chips in with middle pair against an opponent’s straight-flush draw. That straight flush came on the river with ESPN’s cameras rolling, making it likely that the TV star gets some added face time on ESPN later this year.
Romano was sporting a hat with the title of his new TNT show, Men of a Certain Age.
“It’s about three men my age, which is about twice you,” said Romano, accurately guessing the interviewer’s age. “Take your age and double it, it’s just [about] life.”
Romano says it’s certainly different to star in a TNT show, as opposed to one of the major networks.
“Money-wise, it’s like going from the World Series event to pitching pennies against the wall,” said Romano. “But that’s not to say it’s not where I want to be, because creatively they give us our freedom and they take care of the shows. In that aspect, we haven’t sacrificed anything.”
The second season of Men of a Certain Age begins in the fall. According to Romano, the show is under contract for four seasons.
The TV star is just one of many celebrities to play in the World Series of Poker. Seinfeld (and more recently Curb Your Enthusiasm) star Jason Alexander made a deep run in last year’s main event, and NBA star Shawn Marion also joined Romano in this year’s day 1A field just one year after the L.A. Lakers’ Jordan Farmar competed in the event.
A plethora of celebrities once again showed up to support the WSOP’s Ante Up for Africa charity event this year, including Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Shannon Elizabeth, Jerome Bettis, Don Cheadle, Evander Holyfield, Montel Williams, and Jeff French.
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