I’ve watched my fair share of poker on television—although, I must admit, I still find it weird that poker is on ESPN. While there are some real rough looking guys and some total goobers sitting around the poker tables, poker has recently had a surge of hot women joining the ranks amongst the top poker players in the profession. What I find most surprising is the number of Hollywood actresses that have joined in on the fun. The following cinematic babes have given a whole new meaning to the term “double threat.”
Jennifer Tilly is possibly the most prolific actress/poker player. Not many women can tout that they are an Academy Award nominee and a winner of a World Series of Poker Ladies’ Event bracelet winner. In 2005, Jennifer Tilly won her World Series of Poker bracelet—with it came a nice purse of $158,625. In the same year, she won her third World Poker Tour Ladies Invitational Tournament.
In 2008, Tilly announced her retirement from poker in Bluff magazine, stating, “I love poker but greatness in poker is an elusive dream. There are too many variants. Trying to find validation in poker is like trying to find a virgin in a whorehouse. I’m not giving up poker entirely – gambling is an addiction after all. I’m just going to treat it more like a hobby and less like a career.” It would only take her one year to realize that poker was her calling. With her live tournament winnings exceeding $590,000, I’d say she made the right decision in coming back.
Shannon Elizabeth is an actress who hasn’t left acting behind and committed fully to poker. Although her main source of income is still from acting, the $212,605 she has claimed in total tournament winnings counts for something. While possibly best known as a sex symbol from her role in American Pie, she has become a forced to be reckoned with at the poker tables.
This sex symbol isn’t afraid to use her looks to her advantage, too. In an interview with Blender magazine, she stated, “A lot of men get lost in their cards if you introduce a decent distraction.” Well played, Shannon, well played.
Jodie Foster, a two-time Academy Award winner, fell in love with the game of poker during the filming of the 1994, Oscar nominated flick Maverick. It was in this movie that she had the opportunity to learn about poker. Twenty years later, she is still an active poker player, playing in celebrity poker tournaments for charity.
Most recently, she teamed back up with her “Maverick” co-star, Mel Gibson, to raise $300,000 for Mending Kids International. While Jodie didn’t take home a big pot for herself, the $300,000 raised will go to help those that need corrected congenital heart defects, orthopedic abnormalities, severe scoliosis, and cranial facial deformities.
Cameron Diaz does more than enjoy a casual game of poker, it is her fix. In her own words, she has become a “poker addict.” Of all the places she might end up, her relationship with Justin Timberlake led her to the casinos of Tunica, Mississippi.
She hasn’t just had success in Tunica though. She placed second place in a recent re-buy event. However, the way she tells it, she got first place. “I took second (place), but I actually won because I never bought back into the tournament. The guy who beat me bought back in like five times.”
Laura Prepon is so involved in poker that she isn’t only an amazing player, but is the host and an executive producer of “Hollywood Hold’em” on the E! Network. When she isn’t posing for Maxim, Laura is a regular at the Bicycle Casino, in Los Angeles. She is such a regular player that she has even earned her own nickname “Red Dragon.” Why Red Dragon?
Laura says it is because “I’m scary at the table. But it’s only because I can hold my own and I can play…I have taken their money many times.”
Laura’s impressive resume includes a trip to the World Series Poker Tournament Main Event, in 2006, and a contender in the World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational in both 2007 and 2010. As a non-professional player, she has amassed winnings of over $500,000. She has yet to win a World Series of Poker Ladies’ Event bracelet, but I anticipate her winning one shortly.
Paris Hilton — what can I say about Paris Hilton? As you can tell from the pictures below, it appears as if she doesn’t take the game very seriously. While she has had some success, the majority of her headlines read as follows: Paris Hilton doesn’t know when to fold ’em.
It is no wonder that she made headline news in 2006 for losing her $150,000 Bentley in a poker game.