When cameras roll to film three final tables from the World Poker Tour World Championship next week, Lynn Gilmartin will once again be hosting the action from the anchor desk.
A regular part of the tour since 2013, the Australian is one of the faces of the tour’s television show, but has also taken on more movie roles as an actress in recent years.
That included a recent poker-related film with Russell Crowe. And at the Wynn this week, Gilmartin also transformed into another role – successful poker player. Playing in the $10,400 championship, she’s now advanced to Day 4 on Saturday with 650,000 chips and her first WPT cash.
“It’s outrageous,” she says of her deep run in the tournament. “I can’t believe it.”
Gilmartin spoke with PokerScout Friday from the Wynn about her poker success, acting career, recently becoming a mother, and more.
Running deep in the WPT World Championship
Stroll through the Wynn ballroom and television camera teams regularly move around the room filming the action on the felt. On Friday, much of that involved Gilmartin.
While she’s accustomed to being in front of WPT cameras, having them clamor over her play at the tables is a bit unusual. She’s staying positive though, and bringing her best play to the tables.
“It’s pretty unexpected,” she says. “I’ve also really been believing in myself. I have not been studying, which I regret. But I just haven’t had the time with mum life.”
Despite not preparing as much as she hoped, Gilmartin just keeps advancing in the tournament. Consistently finding some pots going her way, that free-wheeling approach seems to be working.
— Lynn Gilmartin (@LynnGilmartin) December 17, 2022
Some occasional advice has also come from her husband, poker pro and WPT Spanish commentator Angel Guillen. Tour commentator Tony Dunst, who finished the championship on the bubble, also offered some tips. But Gilmartin has mostly gone it alone at the Wynn.
“When I knew I was going to play the main event, we had a plan like, ‘Okay, we’re going to have a plan. We’re going to have study sessions, two or three lessons a week.’ That never happened. We had one lesson in a playground, but it’s working. So we’re going with it.
“And that’s exactly what Angel said this morning, ‘what you’re doing is working.’ I got some advice from him, and Tony was lovely. Last night he texted me after watching the stream and sending me some advice, and some other friends as well. So I just appreciate the support so much.”
An appearance by Gilmartin at their tables has been a bit of a surprise to fellow players as well. She’s started Saturday as one of only 128 players remaining and hoping for an even deeper run at the Wynn.
“Everyone’s so shocked to see me on this side of the felt because it’s not a common scenario,” she says, “but with just the support alone, I feel like a champion already.”
On the film set, working with with Russell Crowe
In recent years, Gilmartin’s life and career has transitioned some. After COVID, she and Guillen moved to her native Australia. They now live on the Gold Coast, considered the country’s version of Hollywood.
“It’s been great,” she says. “The film and TV industry went berserk in Australia during COVID. It really boomed because we had no COVID for such a long time. So a lot of American productions are coming into Australia. In fact, Australia had to turn back billions of dollars worth of film productions because we just didn’t have the capacity.
“I worked more in Australia than I did in almost a decade in LA in terms of film. It feels great. I missed Australia so much. So getting that really nice solid dose of home for a while was wonderful. And now coming back to Vegas and traveling again for the World Poker Tour events, it just feels really nice to be back especially after having a baby. And now I just feel like I’ve got my feet back on the ground.”
In the film industry, Gilmartin recently worked with Russell Crowe. She was part of his film Poker Face, which was released in November. Crowe wrote, directed, and starred in the film with Gilmartin not only acting, but she and Guillen also helped with some poker scenes.
“Working with Russell was amazing,” she says. “It was incredible to watch a genius in action, witnessing him write about our game and bring it to life so beautifully.”
Gilmartin and Guillen hoped to offer a hand that might be seen at a normal poker table, not the Hollywood stereotype of a premier hand versus another unlikely premier hand.
“Angel and I helped Russell design the poker hands. We wrote a series of 10 hands to complement the story he was crafting,” she says.
“In the end though, not all of the hands were used, but that’s the nature of film. But we love what he chose though, as it’s not what you would expect to see in a film, which is exactly what we were going for. We didn’t want to just have a quads versus a royal flush boring hand.”
As in the movie industry, however, not everything works out as planned. She had a great time acting in the film, but some of that consulting work ended up on the cutting room floor. One of those hands, however, proved critical in the film.
New role as a mom and kicking off Day 4
Life in Australia now includes a 1-year-old old boy for Gilmartin and Guillen. She loves her role and is thrilled to see her new son grow and develop.
“It’s amazing,” she says. “Life is busy. It’s like a constant moving freight train. But it’s the most amazing experience. All the cliches that you hear are so true. It’s just the most rewarding experience. And I’m very grateful that I’m able to take him on tour with me and I have Angel’s mom and auntie here helping us.”
Now with a minimum payout of at least $29,400 in the bag, Gilmartin hopes for something even more special. She’s on a smaller stack and will need to find some chips early, but she’s in a spot most poker players would envy. She adds laughing: “$4.1 million, that’s what I want.”
That didn’t quite happen as Gilmartin hit the rail Saturday afternoon, scoring 91st for $36,500 – a nice finish for someone who is usually reporting on card chsarks rather than being one herself.