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Vincent Van Patten
Claim To Fame:
This one is hard to pinpoint. I asked about 10 different people and the responses were varied. Probably the most common response was... who's he? So I decided to go with The Bionic Boy. A close second is professional Tennis player.
Where Is He Now:
He recently released a book, "The Picasso Flop", a poker murder mystery and is working on a second one.
And if you are into poker you probably are aware of his gig as co-host and commentator for the weekly World Poker Tour television program. Also in the poker world, he has endorsed the online poker Website Hollywood Poker with actor James Woods.
He also appears in commercials for Milwaukee's Potawatomi Casino.
He continues to play in many of the major poker tournament events.
When asked how he got into poker, his response was, "Well, I was taught how to play poker from my father, actor Dick Van Patten, at age 9. He played great poker and used to have games in our house, in the kitchen, four nights a week with celebrity friends like Walter Matthau, Gabe Kaplan and Get Smart’s Don Adams. So he figured, 'Well, the kid better learn how to play,' so I learned to play and learned how to read the Racing Form. I used to watch them play and, by age 14, I was good enough. I just loved the game of poker. Eventually I was good enough to get in that game. And as a 14 year old I was playing against these adults who were throwing pizza at each other. It was a pretty serious game, but there was laughter and insults. It was crazy.
From there my game really evolved. I was such a lover of the game. I even had a fake mustache and beard made up from a guy named Ziggy in the San Fernando Valley. I put ‘em on when I
was 16 years old and drive to Gardena, California where gambling was legal if you were over 21. I’d be playing, but I was only 5 feet tall, and had this fake beard on and moustache. I looked like a freak. Sometimes security guards would say, 'How old are you?' I figured out that if you said, '21,' it looked ridiculous, so I’d say, '38.' For some reason, they would just look at me and walk away. I got away with it.
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