Top 10 women of poker – give ’em a hand!

Several months ago, reader Teema suggested a post on the women of poker. Once I started looking into it, I got a little intimidated by how many female poker pros are out there. But now Casino City Times has listed the “Top 10 Women of Poker,” giving me a place to start, and guess who popped up? Ms. “Shot at Love” herself, Tila Tequila.

At No. 9 on the list, Tequila is credited with using her celebrity to promote online gaming. I’m not sure if Tila Casino is a good gambling site or not, since online gaming is illegal in Texas and I would never break Texas law. But maybe her poker experience explains why Tequila chose Bobby over Dani. I mean, a straight always beats two of a kind. Sorry.

Erica Schoenberg, No. 8, caused a blip on my gaydar. Especially after I read that the former model also was a professional volleyball player, kickboxing instructor and personal trainer. She’s even won a math championship. (Not that math skills have anything to do with sexual orientation. I just thought it was cool.)

But, alas, Schoenberg only has eyes for French poker pro David Benyamine. I still wouldn’t mind watching her lose at strip poker. Which she does on the Carmen Electra Strip Poker DVD. (Sorry, you’ll have to find those screen shots yourself.)

Clonie Gowen, No. 5, was Miss Teen Oklahoma and a state champion basketball player in high school. Nobody like her went to my high school, which probably is a blessing for my GPA.

No. 4, Deanna Dozier, seems familiar to me, but that may be wishful thinking.

Or maybe she just reminds me of Elizabeth Mitchell.

I don’t have to wonder where I’ve seen Shannon Elizabeth. Hello, Nadia.

Elizabeth plays poker more than she acts these days, and she’s confirmed for the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship that starts February 29. She placed 3rd last year, the first woman to reach the semifinals. I must say I like Elizabeth’s poker look.

We’ll also see her on the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars. I’m going to resist a pun about a bad beat.

Who’s No.1? Oddly, it’s Pamela Anderson. Granted, the main criterion for inclusion on the list is to be one of the most talked-about women in the game. Maybe I’m thinking of the wrong game. In any case, I can’t bring myself to post a picture of her. Instead, I’m posting a picture of the woman who should be No.1, but wasn’t even on the list. Where’s Corky when we need her?

In 2005, Jennifer Tilly became the first celebrity to win the Ladies No-Limit Texas Hold’em event at the World Series of Poker. Since then, she’s won more than $300,000 in tournament play. All-in, anyone?

A bit of trivia unrelated to poker: Tilly has two cats named Corky and Violet. How fabulous is that?

Mimi Rogers has also earned a place on this list. However, I am still mad at Rogers for indirectly taking Katie Holmes away from us. (Rogers introduced Tom Cruise to Scientology.) Moment of silence for Joey Potter.

Does anyone besides me watch poker on TV? Which woman is the queen of your heart?