Poker Pro Surprises Ellen DeGeneres On Birthday

Published By Mia Gardner : 31 Jan 2020 | Last Updated: 30 Mar 2020

Talk show host and world-renowned comedian Ellen DeGeneres recently turned 62, and wasn’t shy about openly celebrating. But her special day was a bit more unusual than even she anticipated. None other than Vince Van Patten pitched up at her door, offering a personal Poker lesson. Patten is well known as an announcer for the World Poker Tour (WPT,) and is himself an exceptional player of the popular casino game.

The surprise was organised by Portia de Rossi, DeGeneres’s wife, who decided that the lesson was the best possible gift she could organise. According to Rossi, she and her wife regularly watch WPT episodes on television, and even play on a regular basis with friends. So a personalised lesson was certainly on the cards as a 62nd birthday gift.

Table Captain Ahoy

Patten spoke more about the experience in an interview on According to him, DeGeneres is an outstanding Poker player on many levels, demonstrating aggressive tactics, and a true natural knack for the game. But, he added, her most notable trait was that she was a Table Captain.

A Table Captain is a player that can mould the dynamic of a game, simply by being good at smooth talking. This might sound like a superfluous skill for a game like Poker, but the WPT announcer assured that this was not the case. He explained that a game can shift drastically based on a Table Captain’s interactions, even convincing others to fold, or stay in a game.

In a short clip posted to Instagram by Rossi, the teacher and student can be seen conversing. The smart mouthed quick drops a quick joke about table talk, instantly demonstrating why she is such a beloved talk show host. The post quickly gathered over 50,000 likes.

Not All Jokes

But the encounter wasn’t all just fun and games. Patten explains that he shared a few extremely valuable Poker tips, all of which can drastically improve a game. The area he focused on was bet sizes, which is a fundamental aspect of the game to understand. At least for any player that wants to take things to the next level.

Experts understand that over-betting and under-betting are a fundamental strategy, allowing for maximum returns, and even forcing opponents out of the game.

So it seems that DeGeneres may just have what it takes to go true pro. Though, she likely won’t be giving up as a talk show host in order to do so. At least not yet. But maybe after a few more pro lesson, it may become a valid option. uses cookies to give the best experience possible. Please read our Cookie Policy for more details