Poker Stories is a long-form audio podcast series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.
Vince Van Patten is a man of many talents. The son of legendary actor Dick Van Patten got his start as a child, appearing in numerous commercials, as well as TV shows and movies such as Bonanza, Baywatch, The Six Million Dollar Man, Hell Night, and The Break. Despite being introduced to gambling at a young age by his father, Van Patten ultimately dedicated himself to tennis, and won the ATP Rookie of the Year award. In 1981, he even beat John McEnroe to win the Seiko World Super Tennis Tournament in Tokyo, reaching a peak of no. 26 in the world.
After his tennis career was over, Van Patten returned to Los Angeles to continue acting, as well play host to some of Hollywood’s biggest home poker games. His experience with the game and his time in front of a camera made Van Patten a natural choice for the World Series of Poker in 1998, and when the World Poker Tour made its debut in 2002, he was hired alongside Mike Sexton as commentator. Van Patten is now sharing the duties with poker pro Tony Dunst, and is in the middle of his 18th season on tour.
Van Patten’s most recent project is a gambling movie that he co-wrote and stars in called 7 Days To Vegas. The film focuses on a group of poker players who will bet on anyone and anything. As the prop bets get bigger and bigger, Van Patten’s character agrees to attempt to walk from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, in under seven days, while wearing a suit. The film is available now on demand through Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and more.
Highlights from this interview include 600 drives to Vegas, selling toothpaste as a child actor, his slow start in tennis, fighting for a top ranking and beating John McEnroe, Dick Van Patten the smart gambling degenerate, learning poker at age 8, running three-card monte games in seventh grade, fake beards and mustaches, scraping up $5 of fountain change for gas money, his new movie, Hollywood home games with Jerry Van Dyke, John Huston, Ben Affleck, and Tobey Maguire, winning some teeth in a poker game, calling Scotty Nguyen’s WSOP win, how he got the WPT gig, dodging the cigar murderers, a three-day poker session, a sketchy game on the Mexican border, bear encounters at Yosemite, and trips to the racetrack with Mel Brooks.
You can check out the entirety of the interview in the audio player at the top of the page or download it directly to your device to play on the go from Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.
Catch up on past episodes featuring notables such as Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Bryn Kenney, Justin Bonomo, Nick Schulman, Barry Greenstein, Michael Mizrachi, Mike Sexton, Brian Rast, Jean-Robert Bellande, Joe Cada, Layne Flack, Chris Moneymaker, Maria Ho, and many more. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe to get the latest episodes automatically when they are released.