By EW Staff
May 22, 2006 at 02:00 PM EDT

Don’t expect a lot of today’s PopWatch. The blogfather is dog tired.

You see, I stayed up most of the night playing this totally addictive online poker game that Sony Pictures launched as part of its Flash-y new website for Casino Royale, the next James Bond film. We’ll have to wait until November 17 to see if Daniel Craig (pictured, of Munich and Layer Cake fame) can change the minds of all the nay-sayers out there who don’t think the actor is soigné enough to slip into Pierce Brosnan’s tux, but in the meantime, is all Casino all the time.

As the plot of the new film purports to show us how Bond became 007, the site is devoted to the superspy’s backstory. Hack into M’s computer to read her top-secret personal dossier on Mr. J. Bond. His parents died in a climbing accident? Expelled from Eton for a dalliance with a maid? He used to — gasp! — box? The best part: A posh British voice will read all these documents to you, preventing you from having to actually, you know, read. There are also the typical mutimedia options (character bios, trailer, photos) to keep all you Bondaphiles in the know.

But as the centerpiece of the new film will surely be its swank casino setting, it’s the interactive poker game that anchors the site’s cards-and-chips motif. Play against the computer, other players, or set up your own game of friends — it’s that easy. Which brings us back to my newfound gambling addiction. My luck is changing. I’ve almost won back the 1,000 fake dollars I’m down, and the Aces are just rolling now. And yes, I’m getting help.

(Disclaimer: PopWatch does not endorse gambling. Even fake movie-fantasy gambling. Let the blogfather be a cautionary tale.)