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In the Money, Near the Lead: Jennifer Tilly Hunts Second WSOP Bracelet
Jennifer Tilly is looking for gold. Again.
Back in 2005, Tilly won the $1,000 NLHE Ladies Event and has been chasing another World Series of Poker bracelet since.
“I always get that caveat like, ‘Well, that's a ladies bracelet,’” said Tilly.
"So you know, it'd be great to win in an open field that has a lot of internet geniuses. I mean, it'd be fantastic.
“I could have one on each arm, like Wonder Woman.”
Tilly has had 11 WSOP cashes since her bracelet win and is currently seeing how far she can take her 12th.
Tilly finished day 1 of the $5,000 NLHE 6-Max 5th in chips and rose to the top of the counts when the bubble burst on day 2.
Only 20 of the original 550 players survived day 2 and Tilly will start the final day 9th in chips. It's been a deep run in one of the toughest fields of the year.
“I really like the 6-max,” said Tilly. “I'm kind of an action junkie and always think people are bluffing.
“And they're usually bluffing a lot more in the 6-max than they are in the 8-max or 9-max or 10-max, so I'm really enjoying this.
“I like playing with really good players because it's really challenging.”
Aside from the challenge, Tilly says she prefers playing larger buy-in events because they have more chips and a better structure.
She also feels guilty busting out the amateurs in smaller events.
“I’m like, oh my god, they've been saving up all year for their one little tournament and there they go,” said Tilly.
Tilly hopes she won’t bust out of this event any time soon. While Tilly has a big stack, she says that has often been her downfall.
Playing it Cool
“I've gotten a lot of chips in a lot of tournaments on day one and two,” said Tilly.
“I think the problem was I didn't know when to slow down, so now I'm just kind of cruising my big stack.
“I'm not just going all crazy and on tilt. Yesterday I almost lost my entire stack because this guy kept raising me and I was just like, ‘I’m gonna get you, I'm going to knock you out of the tournament.’
“I've noticed a lot of times the person you lose your stack to is the person you most wanted to bust.
“So, it's really important not to let your emotions get too much out of control.”
Aside from keeping her emotions and personal vendettas in check, Tilly says an essential part of her tournament strategy involves staying away from the table.
“I think sometimes it's good to take a break because sometimes you can get burnt out,” said Tilly.
“You see yourself going in the same negative patterns and I think it's good to take time off and think about things that you've done wrong in the past.
“I remember some summers I’d be playing a couple of tournaments a day. I was such a junkie.
“Now I’m trying to pick and focus on the games I feel I can excel in and not go crazy or play something odd the day before.”
Tilly’s passion for the game is what got her nominated for the Living Legend Award in the 2014 PokerListings Spirit Awards.
“I really feel like I have a lot of spirit, I really do love the game,” said Tilly. “I write about poker and I have a collection of poker books.
Tilly: "I'm a poker groupie."
“It's really almost pathological. If you go to our apartment in Las Vegas, you’ll see I collect poker art. Like, everywhere.
“I’ve been known to post pictures of my friends' dogs pushing all-in with their nose.
“I'm a poker groupie, for lack of a better word. I love poker.”
One person that Tilly shared this passion with was her former husband Sam Simon, who passed away earlier this year.
“Sam loved poker so much,” said Tilly.
“He's also a person that was never afraid to enter a game that was too big for him just because he liked playing with the big boys, he liked playing with the real poker players.
“I butted heads with him a ton of times playing poker.”
Now Tilly is butting heads with some of the world’s best short-handed no-limit hold’em players and coming out ahead.