Hollywood Stars Embrace Poker

Shannon Elizabeth playing poker

If you think of it, there is quite a lot in common between poker stars and Hollywood stars. Both appear on stage for a living, require unique and unusual talents to succeed, and, let’s face it, live exciting and unorthodox life. And ho, of course – make tons and tons of money. Maybe that’s why more and more Hollywood stars take poker as their new hobby, some take things one step further and replace their Hollywood career for professional poker, or just look at poker as their second career. Lets look at just a few of the stars who joined the poker community.

One such a star is Ben Affleck. The Oscar winning actor is taking poker passion to the next level. His record includes winning the California State Poker Championship in 2004, thus earning $365,000 and a seat to in the Bellagio/WPT championship later the same year.

Jennifer Tilly is one Hollywood actress who decided to trade acting for a professional poker career. The actress, who starred in movies like The Fabulous Baker Boys, Bullets Over Broadway and Liar Liar, was a professional poker player until December 2009. In her years as a poker professional Tilly won a 2005 WSOP golden bracelet, and the WPT Ladies Invitational Tournament in that same year.

Two times Academy Award-nominee, Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner James Woods is also showing a growing interest in the game. Although he has not won any significant tournament yet, he was spotted playing, more than once at the WPT and WSOP events.

With just over 60 movies, Mimi Rogers is a true Hollywood star. But she is also one of Hollywood’s biggest poker names. Mimi gained her poker passion when playing as a teenager, but turned to competitive play only in 2003. Her major poker tournament record includes participation in the WPT Open Event at the Bay 101 Shooting Stars, where she finished 27 and $1000 Ladies' No-Limit Hold 'em WSOP event, where she finished in 33rd place.

Who doesn’t know Seinfeld funny guy, Jason Alexander. But did you know that Alexander is a dedicated poker player? With 3 appearances in the WSOP main event, and an exclusive sponsorship agreement with Poker Stars poker room, Alexander is definitely here to stay.

At the age of 36 Shanon Elizabeth is more than just a pretty face. The American Pie star is by far one of Hollywood’s passionate poker players. She visits Las Vegas several times a month, to play with the leading poker names. She played a few times in the main event of the WSOP with limited success, but managed to cash out several times in other WSOP events. In 2006 she finished first, taking home $55,000 in a Caesars Palace hotel tournament beating 83 celebrities and poker professionals.

So, how about it? Which do you think is better? A Hollywood or a professional poker career? Ask any of the stars mentioned in this article. They might have the answer to us.