Mads Mikkleson: Daniel Craig “Sucked” at Poker

Daniel Craig Sucked at Poker According to Mads Mikkleson

Mads Mikkelsen, Bond villain of Casino Royale, humorously criticized Daniel Craig’s notable flaw in his first outing as 007. Casino Royale, directed by Martin Campbell, premiered in 2006 and introduced audiences to Craig’s rebooted James Bond.

The film’s plot involves a gripping poker game in Montenegro, where Bond, played by Craig, and Mikkelsen’s character, the villainous Le Chiffre, face off, with 007 ultimately claiming victory. But all wasn’t as it seemed.

In a recent GQ interview where Mikkelsen reflects on his most memorable roles, he candidly discloses that during the filming of Casino Royale, Daniel Craig did not possess any real-world poker skills.


During the course of the interview, Mikkelsen amusingly tells how Craig’s unfamiliarity with poker made it even more exasperating that his character had to lose big.

“Everybody knew how to play poker around that table, except for one: Daniel,” said Mikkleson. “He had no clue. He sucked. And it was the worst thing ever that he, of all people, had to beat [my character] and win all my money. It was like, ‘This is wrong.’ Well, I got him back with the rope, so that’s good.”

Story continues below…

The Significance of Casinos and Card Games in the James Bond Franchise

Daniel Craig might have sucked at poker, which one might think it would be a prerequisite for landing the Bond gig. Can you act though? At least Craig passes this with flying colours. But what is it with James Bond and gambling at casinos?

The integration of casinos and card games into the Bond series is not accidental. It’s deeply embedded in the fabric of the James Bond character, which was penned by Ian Fleming.

From the outset, Fleming used games of chance as a means to define his character’s cool under pressure. The very first novel, Casino Royale (1953), revolves around a game of Baccarat where Bond had to bankrupt Le Chiffre. This was changed to poker in the 2006 film adaptation to resonate more with contemporary audiences.

We first met James Bond in a casino

The first time we ever met Bond on the silver screen he was in a casino. He was playing Baccarat and a frustrated Sylvia Trench asks who he is, to which he replies, ‘Bond, James Bond.’ The rest is history.

Casinos epitomize luxury, risk, and the high stakes world of espionage. They’re an arena where Bond can display his refined taste, intellect, and cool demeanor. And, card games are a metaphor for the high-risk world of spying.

In addition, these games provide a stage for psychological warfare. It’s not just about winning the game, but also about studying opponents, understanding their strategies, and staying one step ahead – all skills that are crucial in the world of espionage.

Will the next James Bond actor be good at poker? Only time will tell, but as we know with Daniel Craig, it’s not really necessary.