Understanding James Woods

James Woods

James Woods is among the growing sector of celebrities who've been bitten by the "poker bug." Only playing seriously at poker over the past couple of years, his acting resume is certainly much more impressive than his poker wins. That is not shorting his poker ability as much as it highlights his amazing acting career: he has Emmy's, Oscar nominations, Golden Globes, etc. Many of his fellow actors list him as one of their most respected colleagues, and nearly every actor would love to have the movie credits that he has earned (Ghosts of the Mississippi, Casino, Hercules, Any Given Sunday, etc.)

Although Woods's 60th birthday is not far down the road, he seems as if he's found a new lease on life by discovering poker. A deeply intellectual and intelligent man, he is intrigued by the emotional and mental challenge that poker brings. He is nearly giddy with excitement over the prospect of this new challenge in his life. He's using his connections to help quicken his learning curve, as proven professionals with WSOP bracelets have given him advice and lessons. In addition, James is a humble student of the game. He is a poker sponge, actively soaking up poker information via every available resource. He reads about poker, talks about poker, watches poker greats playing, plays against poker greats, and is steadily working to become an ambassador of poker.

He is confident at the table, a key element to his game and acting. Now that he's locked horns against some of the greatest to ever play the game, it seems that the confidence will continue to grow. His play is always measured and careful, as he uses his sharp intelligence to analyze each hand and play.

Hollywood Woods

James Woods: Play Profile & Prediction

PLAY PROFILE: His best game seems to be Hold 'Em. The pro's felt that he was too conservative during his earlier playing outings, but he's gaining steam as he plays. He is starting to get better reads on his opposition as he gains experience. He has now been proven to have enough poker guts to re-raise on a bluff, a move that he once may have been too timid to try.

Ironically, one of James's poker strengths may also be a relative weakness. Extremely intelligent, James has the mental strength to improve quickly in the game. On the other hand, his intelligence causes him to over-analyze at the table. When he thinks too much, he often distrusts his instincts. I've seen James think himself into a fold, when his gut was apparently telling him to call or raise. That propensity may cause him troubles in the long run.

Is he serious about poker? By the looks of this quote from Woods, I'd say so: "I'm absolutely gonna win it, because I'm ruthless. I sit at the poker table and my job is to destroy people."

PREDICTIONS: James's dual-role of celebrity and poker personality will lead him to be a famous face in the poker world. He's one of the major face-men of Hollywood Poker. He was the "captain" of a poker team (the James Woods Gang) on Game Show Network's Poker Royale. In addition, he makes tons of radio, television, and magazine appearances talking all things poker. The future of poker game is uncertain. He has connections with poker greats to guide and lead his efforts. He has poker sponsors and a great bankroll. I see the problem in how he'll evaluate success. James is so competitive and serious about the game, I wonder if steady play and small profits will satisfy him. In other words, James is seeking to become a poker superstar. I can foresee James Woods being a formidable opponent in big-time poker, but I am not certain he can achieve the lofty goals that he's self-imposed. Look for Woods to make many televised poker appearances in invitation tournaments, but not many final tables of open tournaments.


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