Celebrities Move All-In on Poker
After poker started garnering more television time, several celebrities from other areas started to make their way to the poker tables and try their hand at the game that was sweeping the nation.
Shannon Elizabeth - poker star
The most popular celebrity poker player would be American Pie co-star Shannon Elizabeth. She began to receive notice for her poker ability in 2006 when she cashed in three events at the World Series of Poker. She would then proceed to go on a Cinderella run at the 2007 NBC National Heads-Up Championship where she would finish 3rd to eventual champion Paul Wasicka. She is a regular player in Vegas and on the circuit, especially at the WSOP.
One of the more experienced celebrity poker players is actor James Woods. Known most recently for his role in the CBS show "Shark," Woods has been regular fixture in the L.A. poker scene for years. He has 14 professional cashes, which include three final tables and a cash at the 2006 World Series of Poker.
Tobey Maguire - poker star
Tobey Maguire is another actor whom has had his share of success in tournaments. The Spider-Man trilogy star has cashed in 9 tournaments, which includes 4 final tables. He also cashed twice in the 2007 WSOP, which included cashing in the Main Event. Unlike most celebrity players, Maguire has a professional win under his belt, taking down an event at the National Championship of Poker in 2004.
Sully Erna is widely known as a member of the group "Godsmack." However, most players will remember that he pulled off deep runs in both the 2006 and 2007 WSOP Main Events. While neither finish brought home a huge payday, it is still quite an accomplishment for an amateur player. His biggest payday came in late 2007 when he finished runner-up in a $5,000 NL Holdem event in a preliminary event at the WPT World Poker Classic. He took home over $307,325.
Jennifer Tilly - poker star
The most successful "celebrity player" would be actress Jennifer Tilly, also known as Phil Laak's better half. In 2005, she came out of nowhere to win the Ladies Event at the World Series of Poker. Her victory helped to bring in a wave of new women players to poker. After winning her bracelet, she decided to try poker as a career and had modest success, including a win in a WPT preliminary at the 2006 World Poker Classic. She announced in 2008 that she has given up poker as a career choice and will treat it more as a hobby.
There are many other celebrities that have made their way over to the felt to try and capture greatness. It is just a matter of time before another celebrity from a different field strikes it big in the poker world. The poker world loves a good story and there are few stories greater than a big name in television or music making it big in the game we all love.