Australian actor Mel Gibson is dusting off the Maverick costume as we speak to head up a special charity poker event.
The controversial A-lister is teaming up with fellow actor Vince Vaughn to help the WPT (World Poker Tour) Foundation as it raises cash for charity.
The Four Kings & An Ace Charity Poker Tournament takes place this weekend in Beverly Hills and will witness some of the game’s best players doing battle over the felt.
The beneficiaries for the night’s tournament will be a Californian charity called Mending Kids which helps provide for life-saving surgery wherever it’s needed around the world.
Also co-hosting is British actor Andrew Garfield, star of The Amazing Spider-Man. Tickets for players cost $5,000, with spectators able to watch the action at $500 a go. “Surprise celebrity guests” are also being promised by the event organisers.
The night will also feature a silent auction where players can bid on a range of charity prize goodies.
Stars Of Hacksaw Ridge Renuite
For Gibbo, it will be a welcome return to the felt. He famously starred in Maverick, reprising the TV role played by James Garner in the original TV series. The 1993 film version was notable for one of the most outlandish poker scenes ever committed to celluloid. The final scene (SPOILER ALERT) featured quads, a straight flush, and a royal flush all in one hand.
Maverick wins the pot by moving all-in without seeing his final, royal flush-completing, card.
Vince Vaughn, meanwhile, played a key role in one of the funniest casino moments ever seen on screen. His scene in Swingers as ‘Trent’ advising his pal ‘Mike’ to double down in a game of blackjack must rank as one of the best scenes set in a casino.
The Four Kings & An Ace tournament also gives the stars and director of the upcoming film, Hacksaw Ridge, the chance to do battle over the green felt.
Both Garfield and Vaughn will be seen in Mel Gibson’s newest directorial outing. The World War II movie features Garfield as an army medic who refuses to shoot during the Battle of Okinawa. He ultimately becomes the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor in US military history. The film is based on a true story.
As well as Gibson’s charity co-hosts, the US-Australia co-production also features turns from Australian stars like Hugo Weaving, Richard Roxburgh, and Sam Worthington. It hits Australian screens on November 3, with Americans getting to see it in cinemas a day later.
The WPT Foundation was set up in 2012 by the organisers behind the World Poker Tour, a global series of televised live poker events. WPT Foundation is a non-profit organisation that raises money for various charitable causes.
Many of the Foundation’s fund-raising activities centre around charity poker events under the WPT Playing For A Better World banner. Beneficiaries have included vets’ initiatives in the US, children’s charities, and refuge shelters for abandoned animals.