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James Woods hits the World Poker Tour Championship

James Woods hits the World Poker Tour Championship — We follow the actor around and log a day of his gambling

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As perfect days go, April 18 was a keeper for Woods. It was his birthday (he’s 59). He talked to Mom. And best of all, the actor got to spend it chasing $3,760,165 in the WPT World Championship (airing June 28 on the Travel Channel) at Las Vegas’ Bellagio hotel. Woods explains: ”It’s like the Thrilla in Manila with cards.”

11:52 AM
Woods settles in: table 3, seat 3. Here, he’s known as Jimmy. ”I don’t need luck because I’m going to win the f—ing thing. I’m serious.”

12:58 PM
A risky play nets Jimmy five grand. ”Did you see that monster bluff? That’s poker, baby!”

1:42 PM
Jimmy is up 17 thou at the first break.

3:29 PM
Break No. 2, and none too soon. ”Well, I’ve lost $22,000. That was fun,” he cracks. The ups and downs continue through hundreds of hands…

8:55 PM
Day one ends with Jimmy’s chip count at more than $60,000. ”It’s like World War I. I’m going to dance between the raindrops of shrapnel and get to the other side.” He stops himself?for once. ”That’s poetic. I’m getting too poetic.”