The Oscar-nominated Bullets Over Broadway star first began studying the cards in 2004 and she tried her hand at becoming a professional gambler for several years.
She tells the New York Post, "Eight years ago I grew obsessed and became one of the best ever. I didn't want to be a dilettante. I read the books. I went in full-steam."
But she gave up her hobby at the request of her boyfriend, professional poker player Phil Laak: "He tried to dissuade me because it's a seedy gritty world. Listen, I've played 'til four in the morning. I've played with a half million dollars on the table."
Tilly now only plays occasionally, but she can still make a killing if she sets her mind to it.
She adds, "I won $100,000 in Vegas, which buys furniture for my beach house. That takes nerves. You can't think if I'm wrong I'll blow $30,000. You must disassociate yourself. Can't look at it as money."
Actress Jennifer Tilly has won her second major poker tournament--and she
thinks the confidence boost could make her unstoppable.
The Bullets Over Broadway star walked away from the World Poker Tour (WPT) Ladies Night III victorious on Thursday, making her the first woman to win both that title and the World Series' Ladies World Poker Championship held in June.
Tilly, who has been playing the game for just a year, says, "I felt like I was suffering from the 'impostor syndrome'. I had these niggling self-doubts. But now I know I can really play.
"These women were extremely tough pros with blood lust at the poker table."
The win has guaranteed her a spot in the $25,000 buy-in WPT Championship in April in Las Vegas.
The actress adds that she learned pointers from her boyfriend, poker player Phil 'Unabomber' Laak.
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