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Poker News: August 31, 2006

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Copyright © 2006 Daily Express

HEADLINE: Bond star gets the gambling bug after Casino Royale role

NEW James Bond actor Daniel Craig has added gambling to his range of 007-inspired skills.

The 38-year-old star, who had to learn how to drive a high-powered car and handle a gun convincingly for his Bond debut, revealed he has now become a card-sharp.

Craig was taught to play a plausible hand of poker during the filming of gambling scenes in the forthcoming 007 movie Casino Royale.

In one casino scene, Bond has to ruin the arch villain by bluffing him at the poker table. And Craig enjoyed learning how to play poker so much he has taken to the game in his spare time as well.

British card player John Duthie, who has made £1.5million from poker, was asked to advise on the gambling scenes. He said Craig not only had to learn the game but also had to look convincing playing it.

He added: "And let’s just say there were some extra-curricular sessions that went on off-set that were all down to the cast and crew. I think some were playing for their week’s wages."

It is unlikely that Craig would be playing for a week’s wages, however – he is being paid £1.5million for his first appearance as Ian Fleming’s cold-blooded spy.

He has signed to make two more 007 movies. For the next one, set for release in May 2008, he will get a £3million pay day and he will receive £4million for his third outing as Bond two years later.

Craig, who appeared in the thrillers Layer Cake and Enduring Love, has received an unprecedented amount of flak for his portrayal of a darker, more fallible Bond – even though the film remains strictly under wraps until its November release.

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