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Tilly has been in the Hollywood spotlight for over twenty years, but the light on her is even brighter now because she has become an attraction in the
poker world too. The Oscar nominee for the 1994 film Bullets Over Broadway won the
Ladies No Limit Texas Hold'em event at the 2005
World Series of Poker. She beat a field of over 600 women and
took home $158,625 for the win. This accomplishment makes her the first celebrity to win an event at the prestigious Las Vegas
tournament. Two months later she followed up this accomplishment by winning the third
World Poker Tour Ladies Invitational
event at the Bicycle Casino. The women she bested included Isabelle Mercier and Cecilia Reyes Mortensen.
The first time I saw Jennifer Tilly play poker was on the World Poker Tour television show,
Hollywood Home Game. Since
she was the star of one of my favorite movies, Bound, I rooted for her. She ended up finishing second to Ming Na,
but gave a gallant effort. After the show aired, Jennifer has been smack dab in the middle of the poker community.
She has appeared on the Celebrity Poker Showdown, GSN's Poker Royale, and the third season of Poker Superstars.
You can also find her on High Stakes Poker where she is often seen standing behind professional poker player, Phil Laak.
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Tilly met Phil "the Unabomber" Laak
in the midst of her newfound passion and the two of them started dating. After winning her bracelet, she told one of the
reporters that Phil taught her everything she knows about poker, "through osmosis". She also said, "This
is better than an Oscar" as she showed off her new bracelet to the media and spectators. To make things even sweeter,
Phil celebrated her win with a second place finish of his own in the $2500 Pot Limit Holdem event.
Johnny Chan was the player who defeated Phil giving him his tenth bracelet.
Tilly's victory may be the best thing to happen to poker since Chris Moneymaker's win. At the
premiere party for the No Limit Holdem movie, I heard
a reporter state that even people in China who never heard of the World Series of Poker now know about the tournament because of Jennifer Tilly.
(The cult horror flick Bride of Chucky and one of the best goofy-gambler comedies Let It Ride are among her other movies.)
Expect to see Jennifer around the poker rooms a lot more in the future. She said, "I'm hooked on poker. I'm not going to stop playing
until I lose all my money."