Jennifer Tilly: Sexy Actress and Poker Champion
Born Jennifer E. Chan on September 16, 1958, in Harbor City, Jennifer Tilly is the daughter of Harry Chan and Patricia Tilly. She started acting during her teenage years at the Stephens College in Missouri where she studied theater. To help pay for tuition, she wrote articles for magazines and entered writing competitions. She then proceeded to Los Angeles for college because she says she wanted to “sell out.”
Jennifer Tilly is often cast as the ditzy wife/girlfriend in movies, especially with her buxom appearance and mousy voice. Her filmography includes Let it Ride, Bullets over Broadway, Seed of Chuckyi, and Liar, Liar. Her distinctive voice is heard in animated films like Home on the Range and Monsters, Inc. Her interviews often give the impression of a dumb blonde, with her choice of clothes and general appearance, but her intelligent and lively interaction with the TV audience and the host belies the image.
Given her education and intelligence, it is not surprising then that Jennifer Tilly is now making waves as a champion poker player. Though she enjoyed poker games before in what she called “Crazy Games,” Jennifer Tilly was introduced into the world of professional poker games via celebrity poker games that were aired on television. Among her TV poker games appearances are on Bravo’s Celebrity Poker Showdown and the Hollywood Home Game episode for the World Poker Tour. It was during this period when Jennifer Tilly started dating Phil Laak, also known as the Unabomber. Laak provided her with books about poker games, taught her poker strategies, and imparted poker tips. In fact, she says that her poker education was acquired through osmosis. Armed with poker knowledge and an innate intelligence, Jennifer Tilly gained sufficient confidence to play more and to win more.
Jennifer Tilly first gained the poker world’s attention on June 27, 2005, when she won the World Series of Poker gold bracelet and $158,625 in pot money in the Ladies’ No-Limit Texas Hold'em event. She beat exactly 600 players, which also marked the first time a celebrity has won the title in an open competition. Jennifer Tilly was initially vilified because of her relative inexperience as a professional poker player, helped in large part by her ditzy blonde image. Two months later, she proved them wrong when she beat veteran poker players Cecilia Mortenson and Isabelle Mercier to win the third World Poker Tour Ladies Invitational Tournament. It is said that the poker strategies of Jennifer Tilly continues to improve such that one should not mess with her blinds.
Jennifer Tilly continued to play professional poker games after her two title wins. On December 2006, she won the Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic/WPT Event Season Five in the No Limit Hold'em category. Notable finishes include seventh place in the Bellagio Cup III Event No. 21 No Limit Hold'em category and sixth place in Event No. 24 of the same tournament held July 2007; fourth place in the No Limit Tournament on December 2007; and twelfth place in the LA Poker Classic/WPT Event Season 6 No Limit Hold'em Championship on February 2008. She did not do so well in the 37th Annual World Series of Poker, landing at 99th place and the 38th Annual World Series of Poker at 30th place. But as poker is an unpredictable game, her loss and wins record is still pretty impressive for a new poker player, especially one with a reputation for being beautiful but dumb. Indeed, Jennifer Tilly is fast shaping up as a very competitive and equally stunning poker player.
In relation to the stunning part, poker aficionados have come to expect that Jennifer Tilly will wear plunging necklines during poker tournaments. It seems that her buxomly chest serves as a distraction for players, and well it should be. At a curvy 36C-24-34, she can wear anything she wants at her age and still get away with it. Besides, if this is one of her poker strategies, then she is certainly entitled to it since having a beautiful body and a brilliant mind is neither cheating nor a crime when playing poker games.
Fortunately, Jennifer Tilly is called the Unabomber within poker circles. When Jay Leno asked her about her new career as a poker player, Jennifer Tilly said that her nickname could not be Jennifer “The Boob” Tilly. This would have given more media mileage for the poker world had she been called The Boob, though I doubt if a stupid nickname will change the brilliant mind behind it.