Celebrity Poker with Chris Line - Meet LIT

Shuffle up and ROCK OUT with with Jeremy Popoff of LIT

It's time to Shuffle up and ROCK OUT! The Orange County, California band LIT is gracing me with their presence today and these boys just can't stop selling records! Their winning streak started with 1999's major-label debut, "A Place In the Sun" yielding the smash singles "My Own Worst Enemy," which held the number one position for three months and received a Billboard Music Award for the biggest Modern Rock Song of 1999, "Ziplock " and "Miserable," which was among the top ten most played songs of 2000 and featured Pamela Anderson in the video.

By all means, these guys are rock stars and their smash tunes will forever be heard around the world! I was lucky enough to speak with Jeremy Popoff of LIT about Pam, LIT, his new business venture, and of course...POKER BABY!


Is this the "King of Fullerton, California" as your manager would put it?
I don't know if I'm the king but Fullerton is a great town! My whole band grew up in Anaheim and we moved to Fullerton 9 years ago. It's a great town. It has an old town Pasadena type of feel.

Where do we have the pleasure of talking to you from?
I am in Fullerton right now.

Do you have a card room you call home since there is one every 30 feet in Cali?
Commerce is where I usually play and sometimes The Hawaiian Gardens. However, that place is like playing poker in a tent! Commerce is like 20 minutes from my house. I also play in a tourney at Normandy and that's pretty cool! I prefer to play in Vegas because that is where you are supposed to play and feel less like a degenerate!

I need you to spill the beans on what celebrities you've banged chips with?
I've actually played with Robin Leach and Jeff Garlin from Curb Your Enthusiasm. I did a tournament at the Palms and Annie Duke was the host of the tournament and she's now dating the guy who was dating Shannon Elizabeth! I won that tournament and when I was done I walked up to her and said, "That is how the pros do it!"

Yeah Annie is cool! I actually talked her once about our home and we found out our houses were built in the same year. No idea how that topic came up!
Annie's f@%#in hot in person, too, lol!

Do you have poker nights at home and am I invited?
Yes you're invited but I haven't had one in a while. There's definitely a gaggle of card players in Fullerton!

What type of games do you play?
I don't do Omaha. It's mostly hold'em. NL tournaments are kind of the real deal.

Everyone knows the WSOP is coming in a few weeks! What are your predictions for the Main Event as far as entrants?
It's just crazy now. It's so giant and ridiculously big and half the players are people you've never heard of before! It's just nuts!

A lot of people say that the WSOP should raise the buy in to 25k or 50k to slim the field since it's getting so big. What is your take on it?
Half the people that win seats are internet players so they'll just raise the satellite buy-ins and get the same number of people anyway. You always hear the pro's whining about the amateurs coming in and taking it but that's the nature. They wouldn't be making as much as they are now if it wasn't so popular. They're getting endorsements and stuff out of all of this!

Will you be making it out to Vegas for the WSOP?
Unfortunately I won't be.

Have you played in any WPT or WSOP events in the past and will you in the future?
Not yet. I was in an online satellite though and it automatically entered me into the bigger satellite when I won. Unfortunately, it blinded me out because I thought the initial tournament I was in was the only one to win the seat. Apparently there were two and I never made it to the table!

Have you cashed in any tourneys anywhere at anytime?
I do okay. My biggest problem is I'm a little impatient. Because I don't make my living doing it, I love to gamble and I drink beers and cocktails so I do it for fun. I love the game but I don't have the discipline to sit and wait. I have won some money too! The coolest tournament I won was at the Palms when I won 20 Grand for The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Does your brother A. Jay Popoff, the front man for LIT, play?
He knows how to play and the other guys play a little. They usually only play when we have home games.

Fred Chamanara is a successful restaurant owner who we see at the tables; with your new restaurant will we be seeing you sitting at the big game on TV or at the Bellagio?
You never know. I like to role in unannounced when I have time to kill so we'll see! The one thing with poker and me is I love eating while I play. I just think the whole concept is hysterical. Chicken skewers and stuff are great!

When it comes to celebrities playing poker, we just interviewed Sully Erna of Godsmack and that guy can play! He has won satellites into 3 of 4 WPT events he's played in. What do you think of celebrities such as Shannon Elizabeth, Brad Garrett, Ben Affleck, and Jennifer Tilly playing cards?
I think it's cool. It's like golf in a way that when you're playing, it's the only thing you are thinking about. Being in the entertainment business can be so stressful and when you can sit at a poker table it's like taking a mini vacation. That's why I fell in love with golf.

What do you think of some of the pro's we've all learned to love?
I like Phil Ivey and also the old timers who won a few times who sit there and school everyone. I started when they were the only guys playing poker!

Out of all the poker on TV like the WPT, WSOP, High Stakes Poker, Poker Superstars, and Celebrity Poker Showdown, what are your favorites and least favorites?
I don't have a lot of time to watch a specific show but when I flip thru and see ANYTHING poker, my girlfriend says "here we go...oh boy!"

Do you play online?
I have a MAC so I play online. Speaking of which, they need to hook up Jeremy Popoff! I got a duffle bag once from one of the sites and that just means I'm pretty much a loser. When u see that guy in the airport with a poker bag u know he lost a lot of money!

Off the subject but because it is Pam, how the hell did you score Pamela Anderson for the "Miserable" video by your band, LIT?
We did VIP first and that's her TV show. LIT was on there for a whole episode. At the time we were shopping treatments for the "Miserable" video but we wanted to do a live video at an arena but the record company said it was dated. They kept shoving the treatment at the band and it was about a model and we played on top of her gigantic body. They kept pushing us to do it so one day I was sitting on the TV set and Pam walked by when I was talking to record people. I said, "If Pam can be the giant model we'll do it." The next morning we confirmed it and that was that!

That is the hottest she's ever looked in her life!
And what's crazy is that anytime they do anything on Pam on TV, they play the shit out of the "Miserable" video!

What style of poker do you play?
I'm pretty tight early on then I get aggressive and ballsy later. I say I'm pretty aggressive.

What is it restaurant all about I heard you are involved in?
It's called The Slidebar! It's the other bar besides House of Blues that has an outside bar in Orange County, CA! We have an insane chef and we have rock n' roll memorabilia from all our friends! We've been open for 3 months and it's incredible! There are flat screens all over and there's usually poker on a few of them!

As always, I have to ask...Shana Hiatt or Courtney Friehl?

Who's the biggest donkey in "LIT"?
LOL, Probably me!