Willie Nelson Has Won a LOT of Poker Games Against Celebs
Willie Nelson's known for making great country music with his friends, but the country legend has far more tricks up his sleeve than that: For example, did you know he's a shark at the cards table?
It's true: Nelson loves to play poker, and he's pretty dang good at it. The singer has won high-stakes games against a slew of celebrities, to the tune of thousands and thousands of dollars. Among those who have fallen victim to Nelson's poker game are Owen Wilson, Jamey Johnson and Jack Johnson — the latter of whom even wrote a song about his experience called "Willie Got Me Stoned and Took All My Money."
Nelson can multitask during his legendary poker games, too. According to American Songwriter, it was during a cards game that Waylon Jennings first played "Good Hearted Woman" for his fellow outlaw legend, and Nelson added the line "Through teardrops and laughter / We'll walk through this world hand in hand." It went on to be the title track of a Jennings album in 1972, and Nelson added vocals to another version in 1975. Both renditions were No. 1 country hits.
Actor Woody Harrelson is another star whose wallet Nelson lightened in a poker game. During a 2018 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Harrelson recounted the experience, saying that former pro basketball player Don Nelson is another familiar name that has crossed paths with Nelson at the card table. While he declined to say exactly how much he'd lost to the country legend, Harrelson did admit that "I've built a wing on Willie's house."
Fans of Nelson's storied career know that his high-stakes poker antics are just the beginning, and he'll tell more of his life story in an upcoming new docuseries, which was announced in 2021. The end of last year also saw many live music ventures for Nelson and his musical pals: His annual Farm Aid returned to an in-person format in September, and his traveling Outlaw Music Festival hit the road once again.
See Pictures of Willie Nelson Through the Years: