Jennifer Tilly

jennifer-tillyBorn Jennifer Ellen Chan, Academy Award-nominated actress and voice actress Jennifer Tilly is probably best known as the murderous doll Tiffany Valentine Ray, a.k.a. ‘The Bride of Chucky’, in the ‘Child’s Play’ franchise and as the voice of Bonnie Swanson in ‘Family Guy’.

However, Tilly has the distinction of the being the first ‘celebrity’ player to win a World Series of Poker (WSOP) event, collecting $158,335 in prize money and a WSOP bracelet for beating 600 opponents in the $1,000 Ladies Only Event – No Limit Hold’em at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in June, 2005. In September, 2005, she also collected $25,000 for winning World Poker Tour (WPT) Ladies Night No Limit Hold’em – an invitational event with just six invitees – at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles.

Despite stating that, at one point, she was more interested in poker than acting, Tilly announced her retirement from poker, as a career, in 2008, saying that she intended to treat the game ‘more like a hobby’. Nevertheless, Tilly has total live earnings in excess of $1 million and continues to play, albeit more sporadically than was once the case, in the WSOP and elsewhere on the poker circuit. Tilly has been in a relationship with professional poker player Phil ‘The Unabomber’ Laak since 2004.

Vanessa Selbst

Vanessa-SelbstBrooklyn-born Vanessa Selbst is a former full-time professional poker player who officially ‘retired’, after a 12-year career, at the end of 2017 and embarked upon a new career as a hedge fund trader with investment management firm Bridgewater Associates.On New Year’s Eve, 2017, Selbst tweeted that she was ‘parting ways with PokerStars and moving on from poker in general’, but subsequently played in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event – from which she made an early exit – in 2018, much to the consternation of some detractors within the poker community.

Nevertheless, Selbst remains the most successful female poker player of all time, with three WSOP bracelets and $11.85 million, in live earnings alone, to her name. She also has the distinction of being the only female player to be ranked number one on the Global Poker Index. She is, far and away, the top female poker player according to the all-time money list, over $5.5 million ahead of her nearest pursuer, Kathy ‘Pokerkat’ Liebert. Despite failing to cash, at all, in 2018 and tournament winnings of just $8,231 in 2017, Selbst still ranks 62nd on the all-time money list.