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Event #26 - WSOP Ladies - No Limit Hold'em Results & Report

36th Annual World Series of Poker

Event #26 - WSOP Ladies - No Limit Hold'em
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
3700 West Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV, 89103, US
Full Schedule
Jennifer Tilly A Performance Worthy of an Oscar: Actress Jennifer Tilly wins Ladies World Poker Championship
Question: Would you rather be loved or respected? Answer: I would rather be loved by somebody who respected me. -...
Profile: Jennifer Tilly
Date: June 26, 2005 Time: 11:00 AM

Buy-In: $1,000
Prizepool: $546,910
Entries: 601
Game Type: No Limit Hold'em

Place Country Name Prize
1 USA Jennifer Tilly $158,335
2 USA Anh Le $83,540
3 USA Carolyn Ancheta $43,680
4 Spain Cecilia Reyes AKA "Ceci" $38,220
5 USA Angel Word AKA "pokerangel" $32,815
6 USA Teresa Chang $27,345
7 USA Susan Carpenter $21,875
8 USA Beth Shak $16,405
9 USA Janis Numan $10,940
10 USA Dorothy Canada $6,015
11 USA Desiree Venderwal $6,015
12 USA Wendy Rosen $6,015
13 USA Daniella Shpack $4,920
14 USA Brenda Julian $4,920
15 USA Raquel Abut $4,920
16 USA Teresa Chang $4,920
17 USA Melissa Parker $3,830
18 USA Louise Barkdull $3,830
19 USA Thu Nguyen $3,830
20 USA K Opiola $2,735
21 USA Teresa Robinson $2,735
22 USA Robin Farley AKA "queens of hearts" $2,735
23 USA Patricia Beadles $2,735
24 USA Elizabeth Hickman $2,735
25 USA Jessica Goalen $2,735
26 USA Kerry Andeeaa $2,735
27 USA Selma Gluhbegovic $2,735
28 USA Elizabeth Keller $1,915
29 USA Suan Pharo $1,915
30 USA Rhonda Armstrong $1,915
31 USA Donna Varlotto $1,915
32 USA Lisa Bassett $1,915
33 USA Peggy Zurcher $1,915
34 USA Meda Lubliner $1,915
35 USA Lisa Barrett $1,915
36 USA Jennifer Pegram $1,915
37 USA Jennifer Fleming $1,640
38 USA Patricia Interrante $1,640
39 USA Lori Broder $1,640
40 USA Beverly Kelso $1,640
41 USA Candice Gerber $1,640
42 USA Jessica McGavic $1,640
43 USA Kimberly Friedman $1,640
44 USA Debbie Williams $1,640
45 USA Vanessa Rousso AKA "Lady Maverick" $1,640
46 USA Ann Haddad $1,640
47 USA Crystal Osgood-Gray AKA "The Predator" $1,365
48 USA Lori Suson $1,365
49 USA Regis Donovan $1,365
50 USA Robin Bagby $1,365
51 USA Sandy Knopow $1,365
52 USA Kathy Liebert $1,365
53 USA Suzanne Carrillo $1,365
54 Ginny Bond $1,365

Tournament Report

A Performance Worthy of an Oscar: Actress Jennifer Tilly wins Ladies World Poker Championship

Question: Would you rather be loved or respected? Answer: I would rather be loved by somebody who respected me.
-- Actress Jennifer Tilly to Details magazine

If anyone thinks playing poker for a living is tough, get ready for a hard dose of reality. Try being an actor. Aspiring actors must live with rejection. Prospective careers are destroyed by talent agencies and casting directors. Bad beats are not just a hazard. They are a way of life. Burned out and broken down over time, dreams of becoming a movie star are gradually funneled into a human slaughterhouse leaves hopeless romantics waiting tables, driving taxicabs, or walking the streets living on a steady diet of stale popcorn.

Anyone who has ‘made it' either on Broadway or in Hollywood has very likely earned it through weeks, months and years spent bouncing between agents, memorizing (often badly written) lines, practicing in endless rehearsals, and doing stage work in half-empty theatres.

Not only do good actors develop thick skin, they must also demonstrate tremendous physical and emotional versatility. Acting requires the performer to play different roles and conceal natural instincts.

Read that again: Playing different roles and concealing natural instincts.

These qualities apply not just to acting, but to poker playing, as well. It's no surprise then, that over the past 30 years many well-known actors have played at the World Series of Poker. Telly Savalas (best known as ‘Kojak') played in the main event numerous times between 1983 and 1991. Gabe Kaplan (TV's ‘Kotter') started playing in poker's world championship during the late 70s and is still competing today at the highest level. Matt Damon, Ed Norton, Ben Affleck, Tobey McQuire are just a few famous actors who have come to play in the world's biggest poker game in Las Vegas.

Up until this year, no notable actor had successfully made the conversion from ‘Hollywood Celebrity' to ‘World Poker Champion.'

Until, now. In a year that has truly been record-setting, yet another barricade was crossed when Hollywood actress Jennifer Tilly won the 2005 Ladies World Poker Championship. It was not just that Tilly won. It was how she won. The bottom line was - Tilly made a shambles of this tournament by becoming a human chip magnet. Every major confrontation Tilly was involved in seemed to bring more chips to her stack.

By the time the final table was set with nine players, Tilly enjoyed a 3 to 1 chip lead on her opponents. When play became four handed, which marked the start of Day Two, Tilly was up 5 to 1 over the remaining three players. If Tilly was playing a movie role, think of a cross between Lara Croft-TombRaider and The Cincinnati Kid. Except that ‘the Kid' lost his final hand.

This tournament was special for other reasons. An all-time record number of women entered this year's championship. Nearly tripling in size over last year, 601 players entered the ladies world poker championship. The huge turnout and high level of competition meant that play on Day One lasted nearly 15 hours. On Day Two, the four finalists arrived at the final table (the finale started with nine, and five were eliminated on Day One). Players were eliminated in the following order:

4th Place - Cecilia de Mortensen arrived with the greatest amount of tournament experience. The native of Spain had previously won a major open event held at the 2003 Jack Binion World Poker Open. She has also finished high in the money in several previous WSOP events during the last three years. Mortensen arrived low in chips (with 36,300 versus chip leader Tilly with 449,600). A few minutes into play, Mortensen moved ‘all in' with 9-9 and was crushed by Anh Le's A-3 after the flop came 5-4-2. The straight meant that Mortensen (the wife of 2001 world poker champion Carlos Mortensen) was out in 4th place with $38,220.

3rd Place - Carolyn Ancheta was the lowest stack, with only 31,500 remaining. She survived four times before finally being eliminated. Ancheta's final hand was K-J versus (who else?) Tilly's A-7. An ace flopped and Ancheta - a housewife (and pretty good poker player in her own right) from Washington State - went out as the 3rd-place finisher, worth $43,680. For Ancheta, this was her first major live tournament and her first time to play at the WSOP.

2nd Place - When heads-up play began, Jennifer Tilly held the chip lead over Anh Le - 478,000 to 131,000. The final hand was deja vu all over again for Tilly. Just as in the previous hand, her opponent (Le) had K-J and made an over the top ‘all in' pre-flop re-raise. Again, Tilly had A-7 and called. Tilly failed to catch an ace this time, but she didn't need the pair, as the ace-high played as the winning hand.

The runner up was Anh Le. She was born in Vietnam and now lives in San Jose, CA. She works as a nail technician when she's not playing poker. Although Le plays poker online regularly (she's won eight online tournaments), this was her first time to play at the WSOP. Second place paid $83,540.

1st Place - Jennifer Tilly was born in Harbour City, CA. She moved to Victoria, BC (Canada) as a child. She now lives in California, although her real home is often on movie sets and (now) at major poker tournaments. First prize paid $158,335, although money seemed to be the last thing of interest to Tilly as she proudly snapped on the coveted gold and diamond bracelet presented all world champions.

Tilly has more than 100 film and TV roles in her successful career as an actress. Perhaps her best-known role was a memorable appearance in Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway.' For her performance, Tilly received a ‘Best Supporting Actress' nomination at the 1995 Academy Awards.

Tilly started playing poker seriously about a year ago. She first became fascinated by the game when she was asked to play in a celebrity event. Tilly's attraction to poker resulted in the forming of a relationship with Phil Laak (a.k.a. ‘The Unabomber'). No doubt, Laak had a profound influence on Tilly's development as a player and improved her tournament skills. But no amount of teaching, even from a player of Laak's ability, could eclipse Tilly's obvious natural talent at the poker table.

Following her victory, Jennifer Tilly said that receiving her first WSOP gold bracelet was 'better than winning an Oscar.' Perhaps that was just a heat-of-the-moment statement spoken immediately after an exhilarating tournament victory. Or, perhaps it was Tilly - knowing better than anyone else - how immensely rewarding it is to compete on your own terms, on a level playing field, against the best competition in the world, and come out on top based solely on your own talent and skill.

What a performance.

Official Report by Nolan Dalla - World Series of Poker Media Director

World Series of Poker Circuit Director of Operations - Ken Lambert
World Series of Poker Tournament Director - John Grooms
Rio Poker Room Manager - Michael Matts
Rio Poker Tournament Director - Robert Daily

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