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Oscar-nominated actress Jennifer Tilly is known for her robust acting career in films such as “Liar Liar,” “Bound” and, of course, the “Chucky” franchise. However, she recently received a massive honor for her other great professional skill: playing poker.
Many “Chucky” fans may not know that Tilly is a professional poker player who has been racking up titles and winnings in excess of $1 million since roughly 2004. On Tuesday, it was announced she will be inducted into the Women In Poker Hall Of Fame Class of 2022 in recognition of her impressive card-playing career where she's taken down some of the biggest names in the game, all while maintaining a successful career in entertainment.
Also joining tilly as 2022 inductees are fellow professionals Vanessa Selbst, Terry King, and Angelica Hael.
Tilly got her start in poker as a child thanks to her father, Harry Chan, who was an avid card player himself. She began finding herself in high-stakes cash tables around 2004 when she competed in WPT Celebrity Invitational at Commerce Casino in Los Angeles. There she met professional poker player Phil Laak, known in professional circles as the Unabomber thanks to his infamous propensity to wear sunglasses and a hood while playing.
He started helping Tilly with her game and their relationship turned romantic. They remain a couple to this day. The following year she won the coveted gold bracelet at the Ladies' no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em event at the World Series of Poker, earning $158,625 and beating out 600 other players.
“After that, I was like, ‘Wow, I won a gold bracelet, I should switch careers, I’ve really got a knack of this poker thing,’” she said at a BUILD Series event in 2017. “Then it’s been really hard going after that. I’m like that child actress that at 13 years old wins an Oscar and then realizes after that that acting is really, really hard.”
So, although she often finds herself playing cards in high-stakes games, Tilly considers poker a hobby that she is heavily dedicated to rather than her professional career.
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