– General Information –
Kevin Hart is an American comedian, actor, recreational poker player, and poker ambassador. He was born on July 6th, 1979 in Philadelphia, PA.
Hart rose to prominence as a stand-up comedian in the early 2000’s. That landed him many television and movie roles. The first blockbuster hit he starred in was the 2014 comedy Ride Along.
As for poker, he got signed to be a brand ambassador for PokerStars in early 2017, after being spotted in an event at PS’s Caribbean Adventure. However, in 2020, he “switched sides” and became a promoter for partypoker.
Even before signing with Stars, Hart was an avid recreational poker player, In fact, all of his recorded live tournament cashes are from before signing his major brand deal with Stars.
His net worth is estimated to be around $200 million.
– Key Career Dates –
- c. 2001: He starts making a living by doing stand-up comedy, while also starting to get TV and movie roles.
- 2010: He wins a $170 No Limit Hold’em tournament for $20,265 at the Larry Flynt’s Challenge Cup in Gardena, CA. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
- 2017: He gets signed by PokerStars to promote the biggest online poker room in the world.
– Kevin Hart’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Hart, like almost all comics, started at the open mic nights of his local comedy clubs. His career got off to a slow start – many of his first appearances ended with boos from the audience.
However, by the early 2000’s, his act improved significantly and even won a couple of amateur comedy contests outside his home state, in Massachusetts. In 2001, he got cast on a TV show on FOX titled Undeclared. In 2008, he went on his first nationwide comedy tour titled “I’m a Grown Little Man”.
Around the same time his stand-up career started to take off, he also started to play small buy-in tournaments in California for recreation. He told this to Jeff Gross on partypokerTV’s now-deleted podcast in August 2020:
“You’re probably going 15 years back, when I first fell in love with poker.
I remember I used to play little, small tournaments at the Hustler Casino. The big deal was, trying to play a game and learn a game, but the thing was, I felt like, I can just sit here at this table and have a good time with people that I didn’t know, and you got to know.
It’s something that time just seems to pass while doing. And it’s harmless. You’re out of trouble, you’re minding your business, and your biggest enemy is your own mind.”
→ Live Tournaments ←
In that podcast interview with Jeff Gross, he also confirmed that the Hendon page under the name “Kevin Hart” is actually his.
That profile shows $47,828 in live tournament cashes. They’re from 5 different events from between 2008 and 2014. Interestingly, all of Hart’s live cashes are from before he became prominent in the poker world as a brand ambassador for major poker sites.
The first recorded cash on his page is from January 2008. He came in 2nd in a $335 No Limit Hold’em event for $16,330 at Mo’s Deepstack Tournament in the famous Bicycle Casino in Southern California.
Two years later, in January 2010, he won a $170 NLHE tournament at the Larry Flynt’s Challenge Cup in the Hustler Casino in Gardena, CA. He managed to outlast a 479-player field and was awarded $20,265 for his feat. That is the biggest single live tournament score of his career to date.
→ World Series Of Poker ←
Kevin Hart is yet to win his first WSOP gold bracelet.
In fact, he hasn’t even cashed in any World Series events yet. He has one ITM finish for $4,783 from a $365 WSOP Circuit event from 2014.
→ Live Cash Games ←
Hart played in PokerStars’ Cash Game Challenge during the PS Championships in Monte Carlo in May 2017. It was a €25/€50 NLHE cash session featuring elite poker pros such as Daniel Negreanu, Liv Boeree, and Charlie Carell.
In that game, Hart played a truly insane, one of a kind poker hand against German amateur Mila Monroe who won her seat and her buy-in through a social media contest.
Monroe 3-bet all-in on the river, bluffing with 6-high. Since her opponent was only holding King high, her last barrel should have gone through. However, Hart decided to call – since he misread his hand and thought he had a straight…
After the cards were turned over, he immediately realized the blunder. As a kind gesture to the amateur, Hart gave her €15,000 from his own stack to keep her in the game.
Watch @KevinHart4real show his big HART in this unbelievable hand from the brand new PokerStars Championship Cash Challenge Series. Catch more cash game action on @Channel4 at 00:05 Wednesday, January 10th. pic.twitter.com/2BL8CV0PrL
— PokerStars UK & IRE (@PokerStarsUK) January 7, 2018
→ Online Poker ←
While Hart has been the ambassador to two of the major online poker rooms already (more on that below), he doesn’t have an account with publicly tracked results, be it tournament or cash games.
→ Sponsorships ←
In January 2017, PokerStars officials spotted the world-famous comic playing in one of the events at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas. As we wrote earlier, Hart has been a poker fan for over a decade by then.
Eventually, he agreed to sign a promotion deal. He soon became the most prominently featured face in Stars’ ad campaigns and promotional content. As part of his gig, he even played a heads-up challenge against the world record holder sprinter, the Jamaican Usain Bolt.
However, in April 2020, he became one of the many famous ambassadors PS lost. Hart signed with another major online poker room, partypoker, and he’s been endorsing them ever since.
→ As a Comedian ←
As we wrote earlier, Hart started performing at open mic nights in his hometown, Philadelphia, and also in New York. He decided to give comedy a try thanks to the encouragement of his co-workers at the shoe store he was working at.
After a rocky start, he eventually grew into one of the most successful comedians in the United States. He went on multiple nationwide tours with sold out venues, such as his debut tour “I’m a Grown Little Man” in 2008, or the What Now? Tour in 2016.
He also found success as a comedic actor, appearing in the 2014 comedy hit Ride Along and its 2016 sequel Ride Along 2; as well as in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), and voicing a character in the animated movie The Secret Life of Pets (2016).
In 2019, it was announced that he would be the host of that year’s Academy Awards, the Oscars. However, when some controversy erupted pertaining to his old jokes about gay people, he decided to step aside. The Oscars hasn’t had a host since.