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Kimberly Lansing

by Halli Pinson

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Kimberly LansingAnyone who follows poker will know that the game got a little more interesting when Kimberly Lansing came on the scene. With her signature style and dazzling good looks, Lansing has managed to turn a tournament update into something to look forward to.

Kimberly Lansing was raised in Laguna Hills and Rancho Mirage, California. She attended the University of Southern California, majoring in Broadcast Journalism. During her time in college, Lansing worked at the college news station, Annenberg TV News, a job that prepared her for a career that didn’t take long to begin. Shortly after receiving her bachelor’s degree, Lansing began writing for Us Weekly Magazine and the Associated Press. Her stunning beauty and fun, relaxed persona soon landed her a highly coveted job at People Magazine covering Hollywood red carpet events. Her freelance career blossomed, bringing her contracts with In Style Magazine and Gala. Soon she was working as a hostess and correspondent at Hollywood.com Television.

Unlike most, Lansing remembers the exact day that she first played poker: it was on her birthday in Palm Springs, California, prompted by her boyfriend, player Jim Davenport. Because of her competitive personality, Lansing was drawn to the game and started playing online. She said she “immediately fell in love with the game” and was soon joining Davenport at the Bike, Commerce and Hustler casinos in Los Angeles. “I absolutely loved it and I started getting pretty confident with my game,” remembers Lansing.

Kim Lansing World Poker TourBecause of her love for poker, Lansing’s next job was a natural fit. In 2005, she was offered a position hosting the OnGame Network’s Poker Classic at the Casino de Barcelona. Then, in March 2007, she reported at the World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational Tournament for People Magazine. It was there that the WPT took notice of Lansing’s good looks and charming personality, in addition to the natural way she talked about poker. She was offered a job as their online hostess, a position that hadn’t previously existed and was essentially created for her. Lansing took the job, and did it well – soon she was traveling the tournament circuit, reporting live from the casino floor with news and interviews that were miles away from the flat and boring clips that had become common in the industry. Before Lansing came on board, the WPT had a few men doing online interviews from the tournaments, but no one brought the charisma that their new hostess possessed. Lansing says of herself, “To be honest with you, I don't think it has a ton to do with looks. I think I'm rare: I don't think there are a lot of girls out there that can do what I'm doing.”

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Lansing soon became an online sensation in the poker community, with threads about her popping up on all the major forums. Because of her popularity, she was often asked to assist with the hosting duties on the World Poker Tour television show, alongside her good friend Layla Kayleigh. Lansing remained extremely busy, still working for several other companies as a writer and reporter. She says that there are major differences between interviewing poker players and celebrities on the red carpet, but that she prefers the casualness of her WPT job: “In poker, there's really nothing uncomfortable about it. We are talking about the game, were talking about a sport, if you will, or a game that people love and do for a living as well.” Lansing has said that her favorite players to interview are Barry Greenstein and Kenna James.

Kimberly Lansing PokerDespite her hectic schedule, Lansing still remained a poker player through it all, playing in several major events along the way, as well as cash games (which she says she prefers to tournaments). Her most notable finish was at the Commerce Casino WPT Invitational event, when she placed 8th. She also appeared at the WPT Ladies night and competed in the Ladies Event at the World Series of Poker. When asked about the idea of ladies events being exclusive and unnecessary, Lansing was diplomatic, stating that she can see both sides of the issue but ultimately votes in favor of the events. “Some women can be intimidated by men. I think that the ladies events are great. It's a great way for women to celebrate the sport, get together, and have fun and play against each other.” Despite her support for the ladies tournaments, Lansing says that she prefers to play with men because they are easier for her to read.

With all the travel and hard work that has come with her success, Lansing has thrived and seems to enjoy every minute of it. “What I love about what I do is that I am always doing something different,” says the beauty. Like the best poker players, she is always looking for opportunity to improve at her job, saying, “Every single time I do an interview, every time I get on camera, every time I write a story, I want to get better at what I do, and it's constant.”

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