Peacock tries for better hand

GOOD MORNING: Deal another hand to the plethora of poker players and parlors live and filmed now popping up on screens large and small. NBC’s “Las Vegas” exec producer and creator Gary Scott Thompson said the show’s staff is figuring how to bring in a poker tournament on the already successful series. Celebs have already queried about playing on/in the show. Thompson admits of the series, “The timing’s perfect — we’re on the crest of a wave.” The show’s moved to a giant complex of stages on the Culver City Studios lot with a 40,000-square-foot, three-story casino. Show segs cost $2.5 million each. James Caan, who plays the series casino boss, tells me he became a non-gambler years ago after going $12,000 in debt to Caesars. Caan could have learned from his role as a loser in “The Gambler.” He admits: “I have friends like him today!” … Josh Lucas, who plays a gambler on board WB’s “Poseidon” — and is a seasoned poker player ashore — lamented to me that too many today are lured by TV into poker games in which they’re not equipped to play. Lucas belongs to a N.Y. poker-playing group called Big Money Wednesday. Lucas hasn’t been playing a lot lately, as he has starred on B’way in “The Glass Menagerie,” on film in “Stealth” and “Glory Road” and now “Poseidon.” … Richard Dreyfuss, playing “a lonely wealthy gay man” in “Poseidon,” tells me he heads to London on the pic’s completion to spend a year as a senior advisory member at Oxford on a project “on the nature of democracy in specific forms.” That’s a far cry from swimming upstream in an upside-down “Poseidon.”

AND TALKING about Las Vegas — Kenneth Feld of Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey’s Circus has had meetings regarding a permanent show in Vegas. “It will be the most exciting program I’ve ever been involved with,” he said. Feld, in L.A. for a run at Staples Center, will meet with Mark Wolper on their planned reality show in which celebs would live and travel with the circus, learning and performing jobs ranging from tightrope walking to lion training. Wolper says he still has “the taste and smell” of the circus from his childhood and sez the teaming of the Wolpers and the Feld families “is a great combination.” Feld Entertainment’s “live” show, “Winnie the Pooh,” which has been globe-circling, comes to the Kodak in L.A. Sept. 30-Oct. 9 and plays the Beacon Theater in N.Y. for a month at Christmas — as an annual date … Ivana Trump was partied by Nikki Haskell Tuesday night when Ivana announced plans for her 85-story, $2 billion condo-hotel, the Ivana, in Las Vegas and the Ivana Great Barrier Reef Hotel in Australia. On hand was Ivana’s William Morris agent, Norman Brokaw, who is also talking to nets about a “luxurious reality” show in her many residences — N.Y., London, Palm Beach and St. Tropez. Haskell also announced her designer exercise belt Star Crunchers, which goes on sale ($200) Aug. 10 with Saks as one of the outlets … Angela Lansbury learned of her Emmy nomination (guest actress in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”/”Trial by Jury,” as mother of Alfred Molina) while recovering from knee surgery at St. John’s. She’s now home and A-OK while undergoing therapy … Lee Grant and Joe Feury, who are taking deserved bows for their sensaysh HBO “A Father … A Son … Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” the story of Kirk and Michael Douglas and family, are now ogling footage directed by John Alpert for their next for HBO. It follows the wounded in Iraq … Pauly Shore heads to N.Y. to p.a. his TBS “Minding the Store” next week and to play a four-day gig at Caroline’s while there. He also re-appears on “Entourage” … Nic Bettauer’s “Duck,” a story of a man (Philip Baker Hall) and a duck, screens tonight at the Egyptian with a Q&A following with Hall and Joe, the duck … Admiral Mike Mullen, who takes over as chief of naval operations Friday in ceremonies at Annapolis, is the son of (late ) Hollywood publicist Jack Mullen and his wife, Jane. We’ve seen Mike grow up as the apple of his parents’ eyes. Congrats.

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