Poker is a game loved by millions of people across the world. Among that group are a number of celebrities, one of whom is Shannon Elizabeth.
The American Pie star is regarded as one of the best celebrity poker players around, and in this guide, we’ll explore her successful professional career in more detail.
But first, let’s take a brief look at how poker works.
How poker works
There is a variety of different poker games that can be played, but the most popular, and the type that Shannon Elizabeth plays, is known as Texas Hold‘em.
Between two and 10 players can play a game of Texas Hold‘em. It’s a game of probability, strategy and psychological reading – and it’s where the term poker face comes from.
Players are dealt two cards, face down. A further five cards are then revealed by the dealer. Players have to combine those five cards and their dealt cards to get the strongest hand possible.
There are various ways to build that strong hand. For example, you could have a pair of kings or queens. You could also hold three aces. The higher the matching pair, the stronger the hand.
But these variations can be beaten by even better hands. It’s possible for players to build a straight – where they get five consecutive cards, such as from six to 10.
A straight can be beaten, however, by a flush, which is where a player gets five cards of the same suit, for example, spades or clubs.
As the dealer reveals each of those five cards, players have an opportunity to make stakes – to raise them by throwing money into the pot, which other players have to either match or beat to stay in the game. Players can also check, which means they stay in the game without betting, or they can fold, meaning they concede the round.
While there’s no definitive figure on the number of people who play the game, the World Poker Tour estimates it at around 120 million worldwide.
Tournaments are hosted all across the globe, with the hub being Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world. And that’s where Shannon Elizabeth herself has played.
But poker has also become incredibly popular online. Competitions and events are held online as well as in person, and winning players can walk away with serious prize funds.
It isn’t just poker that players can enjoy with online casinos. Near enough all casinos offer slot machine games, bingo and sweeps. There’s a huge range and each one offers something a little different. You can see new sweeps casinos here.
It’s always worthwhile doing some research on which betting site or casino to sign up with to make sure you’re going to enjoy the experience.
About Shannon Elizabeth
Most people will recognize Shannon Elizabeth from the film American Pie, in which she played Nadia. Elizabeth was born in Texas and aspired to be a professional tennis player before moving to New York and becoming a model.
It was there that she turned to acting – but also began to play poker. She was lucky enough to be mentored by some of the game’s best players, such as Daniel Negreanu, and began to enter events.
All the while, Elizabeth continued with her acting career, even merging the two. She featured in the 2006 film Deal, which was all about poker. She also starred in the improvisational poker comedy The Grand, which featured Woody Harrelson and Jason Alexander.
Shannon Elizabeth’s poker career
Elizabeth began to take poker more and more seriously, visiting Las Vegas up to three times a month to play in competitions. She treated it as a second job rather than entertainment, and it began to pay off.
She appeared in the fourth edition of the TV show Celebrity Poker Showdown and won a tournament with 83 other celebrities, in which she claimed $55,000.
That gave Elizabeth the confidence to push on, and in 2006 and 2007, she cashed four times in World Series Of Poker events. In all, between 2006 and 2010, she cashed in 12 major tournaments, netting a total haul of just over $250,000.
Does Shannon Elizabeth still play poker?
It’s unclear whether Elizabeth still plays poker. She now devotes her life to running an animal sanctuary in Cape Town and pursues a life of peace and veganism.
Gambling wouldn’t seem to align with that mindset or lifestyle. But poker is a game she clearly enjoys and is one that played a big part in her life.