How Gambling Helped Matt Damon in Green Zone

How Matt Damon’s Gambling Skills Helped In Green Zone

Matt Damon, the star of Green Zone, is a prolific actor with a truly avid career. Damon has played all sorts of roles over the years and his skills always came through on the big screen, earning him the fame he enjoys these days. But, what very few people know about Damon is that he managed to pick up some unexpected skills while preparing for some of his roles.

One such skill includes cheating at cards or, more precisely, Texas Hold’em poker. Damon learned how to cheat at a poker table while preparing his lead role for the 1998 movie Rounders together with his co-star Ed Norton. And, on one occasion (that we know of), he decided to put this skill to the test in real life. While there are other great gambling movies that deserve to be recognized, Rounders is the movie poker lovers still talk about, more than a decade after it was first released.

Gambling against the Weinstein Brothers

In Rounders, a part of the plot revolves around Damon (Mike) pairing up with ‘Worm,’ his friend from the past played by Norton as they take on a number of local poker games in an attempt to make a quick buck. Although Mike is a good poker player, ‘Worm’ wants to make sure they come out on top and the best way for the pair to do it is by resorting to their well-rehearsed cheating routine, which involves signalling their cards to one another and building up pots.

Damon and Norton received proper training on how to do this before they started filming and, according to Norton, they were introduced to a fairly complex and quite efficient system signalling system. And, they got to test this system in real life in a poker game against the Weinstein brothers who produced the movie.

The four sat down for a friendly game of poker one night before the production started and Norton and Damon decided they should try their newly acquired skills. Sure enough, the system worked, and according to Ed, Damon was the one getting all the good cards, so he was the one in charge of building pots and setting things up for Matt. They ended up winning quite a bit of money and chopping it up in the end – just like in the movie.

Playing It Safe

Of course, in Rounders, Mike and ‘Worm’ get in a lot of trouble because of their cheating routine, which isn’t all that uncommon if you’re playing underground poker games. Cheating, no matter how complex, is never looked upon kindly by your fellow players for obvious reasons.

So, it’s probably a good thing Damon and Norton tried their newly acquired skills in a friendly and controlled environment where it could all go under the heading of friendly fun. Had they gone out seeking out real underground games similar to the one hosted by Teddy KGB, the notorious movie villain, it might not be such a fond memory.

Green Zone Scene

Matt Damon’s Gambling Skills & Green Zone Role

Have you ever thought about the skills required to succeed at poker? If you haven’t, you’re not alone. Many people start playing for fun and develop skills for the game as they go along. They are then able to use those skills to win more games and bigger jackpots.
As mentioned before, in Matt Damon’s case, he began getting serious about poker while preparing for a movie role. He then saw twice the benefits. While he became a better poker player, he was able to fine-tune those skills and become a better actor; especially one who was perfect for the role of Roy Miller in Green Zone.


It isn’t uncommon for a poker player to spend hours at a time focusing on just the game in front of him. Similarly, Roy Miller in Green Zone had to be an incredibly focused military man who couldn’t let minor distractions get in the way of his ultimate goal.

Just like how focus is essential to win a game of poker, appearing fully focused was a critical trait for Matt Damon to portray in this movie.


As a poker player or as Roy Miller in Green Zone, Matt Damon had to exude high levels of patience. While playing poker, Matt understood the importance of waiting patiently so you can exploit your opponents’ mistakes.

Matt Damon was able to use the patience he developed while playing poker, to accurately and effectively portray the emotions a person goes through while trying to remain patient during difficult, often frustrating times.


Strategy is all about being at least one step ahead. While it’s important to be present, developing a strategy is critical to success. Damon became all-too-familiar with utilizing strategy to exploit his opponents and make smarter moves.

He was then able to utilize what he learned about the importance of strategy too better understand his character’s position and point of view in the film Green Zone.

Good Discipline

While there is a lot of luck involved in poker, discipline is essential when it comes to overall success. While playing poker, you should know your limits, and it takes self-discipline to avoid playing above your bankroll. While Damon likely has a higher bankroll than most poker players, he still developed the discipline necessary to make smart decisions.

It was his discipline that helped him land the role of Roy Miller. He not only had to convince viewers with his acting that he was, in fact, a U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer, but he needed to look the part too. If you have seen Matt Damon recently, you know that he utilizes self-discipline every single day to stay healthy and fit, so he can accurately and effectively portray the roles in which he is cast.

Roles like the one he so wonderfully filled in the epic movie Green Zone, that you should watch as soon as you get the chance.

Matt Damon Playing Poker

Matt Damon still loves to gamble

Matt Damon still loves to play poker. He’s played the World Series of Poker a couple of times and is also a frequent visitor at various high stakes home games. There hasn’t been any reporting of him taking his skills to online poker or online casino, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he did. Online casinos have become increasingly popular during the last five years and we’ve seen many famous actors and entrepreneurs getting into the gaming industry. For example, there have been many poker pros, such as Tony G, who have started their own online casinos. To learn more about online casinos, visit CrispyGamer. They offer a wide variety of free spins no deposit bonuses in mobile casinos for new players to get started.