Shannon Elizabeth is not just an actress, she is also a poker player
Shannon Elizabeth grew up in Waco, Texas, was in a cheerleading group and played tennis in high school. During this time, she aspired to become a professional tennis player. Growing up, she settled in New York before taking up acting, conservation, and then poker.
Elizabeth's first acting role was as Nadia in the 1999 comedy American Pie. She subsequently starred in such films as Scary Movie, Tomatoes, Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back, and played a recurring role on This' 70s. She also appeared in the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars.
Since becoming an active poker player, Elizabeth has successfully combined her two careers. She starred in Bert Reynolds' poker film The Deal (2006) and the improvised poker comedy Grand (2007), starring Woody Harrelson, Jason Alexander and poker legend Doyle Brunson.
Interestingly, she initially disliked Hold'em, especially the inability to fold and draw new cards. However, by 2003, her friendships with Jennifer Tilly, Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari helped her finally enjoy the game. Of course, mentoring some of the best players didn't hurt.
In 2006, Elizabeth quickly became one of the top celebrity poker players, and she visited Las Vegas several times a month to play what she called her second career. She appeared in the 4th edition of the Celebrity Poker Showdown and also won the first New Year's Nicky Hilton Poker Tournament, which celebrated the opening of the new Caesars Palace poker room, beating 83 other celebrities and winning $ 55,000.
During the 2006 WSOP, Elizabeth became one of the newest members of Full Tilt Poker. She is also signed to Poker Royalty, the world's leading player marketing and representation agency.
In 2006 and 2007, Elizabeth won four WSOP tournaments. In 2007, she reached the semifinals of the NBC National Heads Up Championship and lost to tournament winner Paul Wasicka. You can watch the entire episode here.
In 2010, Shannon Elizabeth finished 2nd in the WSOP $ 5,000 Ante Up for Africa charity event and won an impressive $ 79,776. Her last tournament win came in August 2013 at the Seminole Hard Rock 2013 Poker Open $ 5300 No Limit Hold'em tournament, where she finished 165th with a $ 11,635 win.
Elizabeth lives in Cape Town, South Africa and runs Animal Avengers, a non-profit animal rescue organization she founded with her ex-husband Joseph D. Reitman in 2001. After dating for seven years, they tied the knot in 2002 but divorced in 2005.
They strive to rescue and find homeless pets, reduce pet overcrowding, prevent cruelty to animals, and promote responsible guardianship of pets. She often partners with Team Bodog to benefit her organization. In fact, in October 2005, Team Bodog's Celebrity Poker Night raised over $ 50,000 for them.
Shannon Elizabeth is a vegan and environmentalist and considers herself very spiritual. She even lights up sage before each tournament to keep herself energized, fresh and calm, as in this Celebrity Poker Showdown video. In her free time, Elizabeth is fond of Krav Maga and snowboarding.
Elizabeth is very active on social media, especially on Twitter and Instagram, where she works tirelessly to raise awareness of poaching, ocean pollution and many of her other conservation efforts.
We have lost so many animals to poaching, but the war would have been lost if it hadn't been for these incredibly brave souls. THANK YOU! I promise to continue to assist your heroic endeavors.
The beautiful and talented Shannon Elizabeth is truly one of the brightest stars in the poker community. She is a sincere and kind-hearted person whose absence from poker is noticeable. Perhaps we will see her again on felt soon.