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Celebrity Gamblers: Shannon Elizabeth

Posted on December 12, 2021 | 6:59 pm

The charms of online casino gambling appeal to people from all over the world, with all kinds of lives, personalities, and backgrounds.

This includes celebrities…

… all kinds of them!

For every Robert Kraft, business mogel who quietly operates at the tables and behind the scenes, there’s a wild athlete like Phil Mickleson who makes headlines left and right.

In this ecosystem, Shannon Elizabeth has made a place for herself in the gaming community with her rock solid poker skills.

Initially rising to fame as an actress and model, Elizabeth has successfully built a fusion of her media fame with hard-won respect in the world of poker.

In many ways, actors enjoy serious advantages at the table! After all, getting the best of your opponents depends in no small part on disguising the true intentions behind your bets. Surely a professional actor would be more convincing at bluffing than your average competitor, but it goes deeper than that… a trained actor can disguise the intention behind every bet,

Let’s get to know this singular figure, focusing on her background and success at the world’s most competitive poker tables – what’s her gambling story?

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Rising Fame in the 1990s

rising_fame_in_the_1990sLet’s get one thing out of the way. No matter the strength of her gaming skills and intelligence, Elizabeth’s early fame owed a lot to her (considerable) physical beauty.

Growing up in Waco, TX, Elizabeth became a model represented by Ford & Elite before even beginning her film career. Though she had acted in five films prior, it was her appearance in the 1999 sexual comedy American Pie that skyrocketed her into the world of celebrity. Her role was highly sexualized, and it seems more or less impossible to imagine that so many people would know her name if she looked like everyone else.

With that said, her time in the spotlight has been (and continues to be) much more than that of a pretty face who made one big movie.

With 38 films to her credit, including notable contributions to the horror genre and the holiday mega-hit Love Actually, Elizabeth has hardly rested on her laurels. She has many TV credits, has tried on the role of executive producer, and has been tremendously active in the philanthropic world of animal welfare.

And what’s more, through friendship with Jennifer Tilly, she’s become a force to be reckoned with on the poker scene.

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Her Slice of the Pie

her_slice_of_the_pieBeginning in the mid 2000s, Elizabeth began coming to the poker tables with gusto. She began playing in home games in the Los Angeles area, benefiting from coaching from the likes of Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari.

She quickly began to refer to poker as her “second career,” and made regular trips to Las Vegas to play at the best tables in the Western hemisphere.

Her rise to prominence was rapid and enduring. In the 2005, she made her first appearance at the World Series of Poker Main Event. She was mentored by Daniel Negreanu, and did well, finishing just outside of the money.

Appearances followed on the TV show Celebrity Poker Showdown (4th edition), the inaugural Nicky Hilton New Year’s Eve Poker Tournament (which she won), the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championships (reaching the semi-finals), and cashed four times in WSOP events.

All told, she cashed in 12 major tournaments between 2006 and 2010. Elizabeth also became a representative for Full Tilt Poker and signed with top-shelf player marketing and representation agency Poker Royalty.

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Beauty and a Beast

While Shannon Elizabeth hasn’t been as active at the tables in recent years, she still remains one of the most famous (and well-regarded) celebrities to have embraced the world of professional poker.

Her lifetime tournament winnings of approximately $300,000 are just a drop in the bucket of an estimated net worth of $10 million, so she certainly has an ample bankroll if she ever wishes to renew her engagement with the sport. In the meantime, she will likely continue to dominate just about any home-, amateur-, or celebrity game in which she takes part.

Whether her play makes headlines or not, this beauty is an absolute beast at the tables. Perhaps her opponents tend to underestimate her play – a common experience for women players in general, and for conventionally attractive ones all the more so – but poker is one career where this actually can work to the femme’s advantage.

We wish her every success, and the tables and beyond, and can’t wait to see what she gets up to next.

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