Jennifer Tilly Experiences Poker Renaissance in Cannes

Jennifer Tilly

Perhaps no one appears more at home at the 2012 WSOPE in Cannes, France, than actor/poker player Jennifer Tilly.

The Academy Award-nominated actor has participated in famed Cannes International Film Festival on numerous occasions and even made a film in the area.

“I loved the WSOPE when it was in London and I really wanted to come to Cannes this year,” she said on a break in the WSOPE Main Event.

Tilly just finished a four-month stint in New York City performing in the Broadway play Don't Dress for Dinner and has been focusing more on her acting career than playing cards.

“I love poker, it’s an addiction,” she said. “It’s really hard for me to stay away but I think I'm better at acting.”

Tilly has been on a mini-heater in Cannes and after finishing 17th in the €2,500 6-Max event she crushed Day 1 of the pro-heavy Mixed Max tournament finishing as the overnight chip leader.

“It makes me think about ditching my auditions and heading straight to EPT San Remo,” laughed Tilly.

Jennifer Tilly
Jennifer Tilly

Tilly: Celebs Can Be Good, Not Great at Poker

Despite her love of poker Tilly believes that to be truly skilled in the game you need to commit the time.

“The game is always changing and you have to stay abreast of the trends,” she said. “The young kids play so many hands and think so fast.”

“Most celebrities or athletes don’t have much staying power in poker. They can be good but never great. In order to be great you have to put in the hours.”

Over the years Tilly has shown the ability to build massive stacks in the early stages of tournaments but it’s been much more difficult keeping that stack.

“I wish everything would go my way on the last day as opposed to the first and second days,” joked Tilly.

Tillly has done it before. Back in 2005 she outlasted 601 entrants in the WSOP ladies event to win her first WSOP bracelet.

“You’re always chasing that eternal rush,” she said.

“It’s really hard for anyone who’s won a tournament to go back to real life. It’s like doing heroin – which I haven’t – you’re thinking ‘Oh, that felt good. I want to do that again.’”

While acting in New York recently, Tilly tried to avoid the high stakes games in the area because she admitted she’d stay until the sun came up if it meant getting un-stuck.

Instead Tilly had to settle for $20 games with the crew working on her play.

“I was usually the big winner… which meant I was up like $50,” she said.

Tilly busted in the later stages of Day 1a of the 2012 WSOPE Main Event but did say she will likely play the upcoming tournaments in Las Vegas and Los Angeles if she’s not working as an actor.

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