When Farah Fath (Gigi, OLTL) met and began dating co-star John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex), she had no idea she would soon develop another passion — poker. I caught up with the always-charming Fath, who recounted a recent Atlantic City experience.Soap Opera Weekly: You’ve become quite a poker player.
Farah Fath: Yes, I’m a little bit obsessed. I can’t believe that it wasn’t in my life until this past year. I don’t want to necessarily say I’m that good, but I’m not terrible. It’s the most fun game ever.
Weekly: Do you go to Atlantic City and play with the big boys?
Fath: I’ve gone with John-Paul and my sister — my sister’s totally into it, too, and she’s really good. She actually studies it; reads books on poker. We don’t always place [and] we don’t always win; in Atlantic City, I get very close. A few weeks ago, I went to a tournament. Out of the 190 people, the top 18 places paid. 18th place was $800; 1st place was almost $17,000.
Fath: I placed 19th (laughs), meaning I lost. That’s been my luck as far as Atlantic City goes, but I have to keep in mind I’m still doing pretty well for just having learned in the last year — and a lot of the people in Atlantic City are professionals.
Weekly: When you and John-Paul go, do you get recognized? If so, does that hinder your playing?
Fath: We got recognized the first time we went. We stepped into a hotel and we got recognized by a host. He came scurrying over to us right after we checked in. He said, “I’m a huge fan” and he knew our real names. That’s always really impressive, if the fan knows your real name and not just the character. Before John-Paul shaved his head, we couldn’t walk around for more than 90 seconds without [fans] gasping and pointing, and screaming, “Rex!” He is highly recognizable with his blonde tips, you know, especially in a casino where there’s people from all over the country.
Weekly: And you?
Fath: Me, not so much. I blend in more, because when I’m at the casino, I don’t really make myself up. I’m just wearing sweats and a hat, and I could care less about doing my makeup. I can understand why I don’t get recognized. It’s to the point where they’ll ask me to take the picture. I’m fine with that. I think it’s hilarious. One woman came up to us and said, “Rex, oh, my God, I love your girlfriend. I love Gigi — she’s my favorite, she’s my idol, she’s the best character on the show. Wish she was here,” and I was standing right in front of her.
Weekly: Did you make your presence known?
Fath: I stood there — I was looking at her, she was looking at me — but she kept talking to him about me and he never [gave] me away, because he knows I kind of like going under the radar. But she was a really big fan of mine, so finally, I spoke up. I said, “By the way, I play Gigi,” and you should have seen the look on her face, registering my face. She couldn’t believe it; she screamed, she grabbed me, she hugged me.
Weekly: I love that story. Does anything happen when you are actually playing?
Fath: I make him wear a hat in the poker room when he has his hair. I don’t like people [to] come up to us while we’re playing.
Weekly: Sounds like fun.
Fath: It is. The only hobby I would never participate in with John-Paul is golf.