The World Series of Poker -- Matt Damon and Edward Norton turned up at last week's tournament

Call it Greed and Gloating in Las Vegas. When 350 big-time cardsharps convened last week for the 29th annual World Series of Poker at Binion’s Horseshoe hotel and casino, they had to contend with an unexpected distraction: Hollywood It Boys Matt Damon and Edward Norton, who came to Vegas to show off the chops they’d developed while filming Miramax’s gambling film Rounders. The stars acted suitably humble — not surprising given the rumor that there was a bounty for anyone who could knock ”the pretty boys,” as one hotel employee dubbed them, out of the tournament. Even without a price on his head, Norton didn’t think much of his chances. ”Winning is so inconceivable, it’s not worth validating with speculation.” He was right. In less than two hours Norton ”got crushed,” as he puts it. A few hours later, Damon also succumbed, losing to world-class player Doyle Bruson. ”I’m still on an adrenaline rush,” said Damon. ”I lost to the best guy in the world.”

— Andrew Essex and Tricia Laine