Celebrities Who’ve Won Major Poker Tournaments
The recently concluded main event of the World Series of Poker reached a head count of 8,663 poker players — setting the second highest record for entries. Major tournaments such as the WSOP elicit a large following; even celebrities have flocked to these events. Notable people have sat at poker tables in these massive poker stages. Some have even emerged triumphant as their match drew to a close, going home with a hefty sum fit for their lifestyle.
Below, we list five celebrities who have won major poker tournaments.
1. Gabe Kaplan
Gabe Kaplan is synonymous with Welcome Back, Kotter, a beloved sitcom from the 1970s. Since then, the actor has chosen to host High Stakes Poker, which sets the world’s top amateur poker players with pros for captivating matches. Gabe Kaplan himself has long been entrenched in poker gaming. In 1980, he participated and won the Super Bowl of Poker’s main event. Not to mention, he’s made waves in several WSOP events since 1978. Currently, his tournament fortune is a sizable $1,991,248.
2. Shannon Elizabeth
Shannon Elizabeth is known for her versatility as an actress. From horror (Thirteen Ghosts) to comedy (American Pie), she’s displayed her flexibility on the screen several times. Shannon Elizabeth isn’t only well-versed in acting, as she’s also exemplified great techniques in poker. In 2007, she came in third at the NBC National Poker Heads-Up Championship. Despite her win, the star eventually refocused on her work. As it stands, her total live poker earnings are at $245,866.
3. Richard Seymour
Forbes had ranked Richard Seymour as 51st of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes back in 2012— and with good reason. During his time with the New England Patriots, he’d won three Super Bowls. But what most people don’t know is that the athlete is a poker star as well. Upon retiring from pro football after 12 eventful seasons, he dedicated his tenacity and competitiveness to a career in poker. In 2018, he finished 3rd in the $25,000 PokerStars PCA High Roller. Currently, Seymour has over $600,000 in live tournament cash prizes.
4. Jennifer Tilly
Horror enthusiasts primarily recognize Jennifer Tilly as the voice behind Tiffany in the Chucky franchise. But in 2005, the Academy Award nominee had also won the WSOP Ladies No-Limit Hold-em, sweeping over $150,000 in tournament earnings. Since then, Tilly has played with an adept hand, ranking first in the 3rd WPT Ladies Invitation Tournament and winning the Bellagio Cup. Today, she has won roughly a million dollars from participating in poker tournaments.
5. Sam Simon
Sam Simon is renowned as a co-creator of The Simpsons. The animated sitcom is a household name in American TV, but Simon didn’t only garner praise for his work in television— he was likewise talented in poker. His interest in poker can be traced back to the 90s, although he only participated in local cash games. From 2007 to 2011, however, Simon sharpened his poker skills across WSOP tournaments. In the end, he’d earned six money finishes, bringing his total poker winnings to nearly $150,000.
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