It has been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That’s certainly true in the male-dominated realm of poker, where beauty tends to draw the eyes of every beholder at the table. It’s no secret that many female players, like Academy Award-nominated actress and 2005 WSOP bracelet-winner Jennifer Tilly, display their feminine charms quite prominently as an attraction to promote distraction.
Although many women are blessed with seemly assets that anyone can observe, plenty are also intelligent and gifted competitors, which simply adds to their attraction as poker players. Deserving of a spot on every list of the most attractive women in the world of poker are twenty in particular. In alphabetical order by first name, these are, quite literally, the female players to keep an eye on.
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Annie Duke – Now in her mid-40s, the Duchess of Poker still has Go-Daddy good looks and the confidence of knowing she’s almost always the best player in the room, male or female. Just ask her brother Howard Lederer, whom she eliminated from four separate events at the 2004 WSOP. Duke’s lifetime poker earnings now exceed $4 million.
Beth Shak – Being 40-something really suits this poker-playing designer, actress, model, inventor, philanthropist, reality TV star, shoe expert and mother of three. With just over $400,000 in earnings from five WSOP cashes and 25 WPT tournaments played, she’s currently developing clothing lines featuring hoodies, high-end footwear and lingerie.
Chantel McNulty – Cashing twice at the 2006 WSOP brought this Dallas damsel to the attention of many. She’s since earned over $17,000 in seven WPT tournaments and stirred up some controversy by dating well-known pros while having a bit of plastic surgery. Although not everyone approves of her style, she certainly attracts attention.
Christina Lindley – Fitness model, actress and survivor of the TV show “Fear Factor,” this 28-yearold Georgia peach came in second place and cashed for $106,460 in the Full Tilt Online Poker Series XIV. Her four WSOP cashes since 2008, including one at the most recent 2012 event, prove she’s the real deal, not just another pretty face.
Clonie Gowen – Crowned Miss Teen Oklahoma at the age of 15 and now just passing 40, this fetching former member of Team Full Tilt has been a competitor all of her life. It’s her winning attitude that accounts for the more than $1.6 million in live tournament loot claimed by this beautiful mother of two.
Cyndy Violette – This blonde vegan mom will turn 53 in August of 2012, and she still turns heads in the poker room. And that’s not just a reaction to her 2004 WSOP bracelet or her 34 cashes worth nearly $1 million. It’s a testimony to her infectious positive aura, which makes her an attractive woman in any room.
Erica Schoenberg – This former model, personal trainer, professional volleyball player and member of the MIT Blackjack Team made headlines when she married pro Erik Lindgren in May of 2011. By then, of course, she had already cashed at seven WSOP events on her own, so she cashed at four more that summer for their “honeymoon.”
Erin Ness – After winning a satellite sponsored by Maxim Magazine in 2004, this beautiful 25-year-old finished 207th to be the highest ranking woman in that year’s WSOP Main Event. As a former member of Team PokerStars, she’s now a familiar figure at the tables of New Jersey casinos.
Evelyn Ng – Call her “Champagne” or “Evybabee” or just the most attractive member ever to play on Team Bodog, this Chinese-Canadian veteran of the World Poker Tour is a force to be reckoned with at the table. Her nine WSOP cashes are proof of that, too.
Isabelle Mercier – With seven WSOP cashes worth $203,972 plus another $131,905 in WTP earnings, the Canadian known as “No Mercy” has a law degree and was once the tournament director of the Aviation Club de France. She’s living proof that brains and boldness are well suited to outer beauty in a woman.
Jennifer Harman – For the Las Vegas Rat Pack the “girl” among the guys was Shirley McLaine; for the “boys” of the Corporation at the Bellagio she’s been Jennifer Harman. Still “cute as a button” at age 47, this two-time WSOP bracelet-winner is just as much a threat in the Big Game as she is on the World Poker Tour.
Jennifer Leigh – Pretty, blonde and lethal at the poker table, this computer geek and WPT regular has earned the nickname “Jennicide.” Apart from knockout good looks, her claim to fame is finishing fifth in the “Poker Royale: Battle of the Ages” series.
Lacey Jones – Hired as an official hostess and bracelet presenter for the WSOP, this buxom blonde from Texas discovered in 2006 that she had a knack for card-playing, too, as she cashed in a ladies-only event. She reprised that feat at the 2010 WSOP Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship, delighting onlookers who hoped she wouldn’t leave early.
Liv Boeree – The 2010 European Poker Tour champion is called the “Iron Maiden.” In addition to 11 WSOP cashes and over $2 million in live tournament winnings, the British beauty is a model and a TV co-host for the UK and Ireland Poker Tour. Before her life of poker, Boeree studied astrophysics at the University of Manchester.
Liz Liu – Born in Vietnam but now definitely a “California girl,” this member of Team Martins Poker has claimed $269,795 in seven WSOP cashes and almost $40,000 more in 27 WPT outings. Word has it that her cash game is even more fierce than her looks, which are smokin’ hot in her mid-30s.
Maria Ho – When she traveled the world as a contestant on a CBS reality show, Amazing Race 15, this stunning U.C. San Diego grad claimed she was a professional poker player and some viewers doubted it. The truth: she’s won 12 cashes in WSOP events since 2005 worth $901,246—so believe, people, believe.
Shannon Elizabeth – This long-legged fashion model and “American Pie” actress may have only $3,828 in WSOP earnings to date, but online and in cash games she’s allegedly garnered millions in poker play. The 2008 “Dancing with the Stars” contestant is currently single, too.
Tiffany Michelle – Maria Ho’s partner on the Amazing Race 15 won $334,534 playing No-Limit Texas Hold’em at the 2008 WSOP. Anyone who has seen Michelle dressed for an evening out at Pure Nightclub in Las Vegas won’t be surprised to learn that her nickname is “Hot Chips.”
Trishelle Cannatella – When she’s not posing for Playboy Magazine, starring on TV’s “The Real World,” playing lingerie football or acting on film, this 32-yearold Louisiana native enjoys poker. Does looking great equate to playing great? How about third place in the 2010 WPT Invitational Tournament?
Vanessa Rousso – The “Lady Maverick” is a regular on the WTP circuit, with $786,086 won in 50 tournaments. She’s also nabbed over $400,000 in WSOP/Circuit cashes. It almost goes without saying that she’s drop-dead gorgeous. Maybe it’s that lovely mix of French and American genes she got from her parents 29 years ago.