About Erica Schoenberg

Erica Schoenberg
Erica Schoenberg

If there is such a thing as predetermination or destiny, Erica Schoenberg is a good example of it. By her own admission, she seems to be fulfilling a destiny set out for her when her parents met years ago while gambling at the Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia, Calif.

The two gamblers fell in love and along came Erica on March 25, 1978, born while the family was living in Akron, Ohio. With betting in her blood, Erica grew up gambling as a natural pastime. In their spare time, the family would play cards or place bets on nearly everything.

The Schoenbergs lived in a small town with only three television stations and not much else to do, so Erica often spent time at the nearby racetrack with her dad. They would gamble on just about anything for just about anything, from pocket change to Erica being let out of her chores.

Schoenberg has credited those early gambling experiences with helping develop her math skills. In fact, her very first win at a competition wasn't at the felt but at the 1991 Knox County Math Championship.

Though she had a knack for numbers and an affinity for gambling and card playing, she first put those brains to work in college rather than in casinos. While studying for her degree in theater, Erica continued to work on her card skills in a variety of different games.

After graduation Erica tried out a few different careers. She spent time working as a model and gave pro beach-volleyball tournament play a shot. She also worked as a personal trainer and a kickboxing instructor.

The lure of the cards was strong, though, and eventually Schoenberg tried out a blackjack tournament. After turning $25 into $2,000 in 2004, she found that not only did she enjoy winning money, but the tournament also helped satisfy her competitive spirit.

She later received training from the MIT Blackjack Team, the infamous group that fleeced Las Vegas casinos out of millions at the blackjack tables with their team approach and card-counting system.

Her abilities and notoriety grew quickly, and in 2005 Schoenberg was one of the top 40 blackjack players invited to play in the World Series of Blackjack on the Game Show Network. She was also a part of the Ultimate Blackjack Tour on CBS in 2006.

As her success grew, the "Blackjack Babe" started transitioning into Texas Hold'em, and just as quickly as she made a name for herself in blackjack, Schoenberg made a big splash in the poker world.

With a 16th place finish at the World Poker Tour Season 4 $25,000 Championship in 2006, she wasn't quite the last woman standing (Vanessa Rousso busted in seventh place), but already her nickname was changing to "Poker Babe," and she was invited to the WPT Ladies Night Out.

At Ladies Night Out, Schoenberg placed fourth, one seat higher than Rousso and two places higher than the defending champ, Jennifer Tilly.

Along with the invitation to Ladies Night Out, Schoenberg landed a sponsorship deal out of her finish at the World Championship. It seems she turned some heads with her poker skills along with her good looks, and Mansion Poker decided to offer her a deal.

She was the first player Mansion Poker, relatively new to the online poker scene, chose to represent its site. Not only can she be seen sporting Mansion gear during live tournaments around the world, she is the spokesperson and face of the brand.

Now that she's a full-time poker player, Erica treats it like she would any other job. Except during tournaments like the World Series of Poker, she tries to limit herself to playing eight hours per day, five days a week, and leaves herself some time for other things she enjoys.

Her wide variety of hobbies include spending time with boyfriend and fellow pro David Benyamine, playing beach volleyball, watching college basketball, and keeping up with Ultimate Fighting action.

Tournament Placing

Place Winnings Tournament
39 $11,159.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 55 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
38 $10,465.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 49 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
73 $5,296.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 28 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
28 $4,305.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 51 - $1,000 Ladies Championship
30 $4,851.00 WSOP 2011 - Event 53 - $1,000 Ladies Championship
237 $3,085.00 WSOP 2011 - Event 43 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
96 $4,147.00 WSOP 2011 - Event 10 - $1,500 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em
45 $5,503.00 WSOP 2010 - Event 44 - $2,500 Mixed Hold'em (Limit/No-Limit)
42 $33,614.00 WPT Season 8 - LA Poker Classic
117 $1,900.00 2009 WSOP - Event 17 - $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold'em
37 $32,740.00 WPT Season 7 - LA Poker Classic
20 $42,630.00 WPT Season 7 - Festa Al Lago
94 $5,903.00 2008 WSOP - Event 48, No-Limit Hold'em
127 $4,559.00 2008 WSOP - Event 2, No-Limit Hold'em
18 $41,310.00 WPT Season 6 - Bellagio Cup III
3 $261,646.00 2007 WSOP - Event 38, No-Limit Hold'em
69 $3,008.00 2006 WSOP - Event 3, Pot-Limit Hold'em
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