This week, the USA-friendly online poker site Carbon Poker inked “American Pie” actress Shannon Elizabeth to become its newest sponsored pro. Elizabeth, who has briefly been sponsored by other online poker rooms, will now join the flagship site of the Merge Gaming Network.
Carbon Poker spokesperson Peter Hampton commented in a press release distributed by the site on Wednesday, “We’ve been on the hunt for a face for our brand who is a recognized star and also a respected member of the poker community. Shannon easily meets both criteria and offers a creative edge that we’re thrilled to have on board. We’re launching several promotions that will involve players playing against Shannon and getting to know her both inside and outside of poker.”
Many in the poker industry remember Elizabeth’s role as Nadia in the 1999 movie “American Pie.” Her other credits include Harriet on “Love Actually,” Toni on poker-themed flick “The Grand,” and Justice on “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.” Elizabeth also reprised her role as Nadia on “American Pie 2,” which was released in 2001.
In addition to her work on the big screen, Elizabeth has appeared on an array of television shows, including “Just Shoot Me,” “The Twilight Zone,” “That 70s Show,” and “Cuts.” She’s also had success on the live poker felts, reaching the semifinals of the 2007 National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Elizabeth trumped René Angélil, husband of singer Céline Dion, in the first round that year before disposing of Jeff Madsen in the round of 32.
PokerStars pro Barry Greenstein was Elizabeth’s foe in the round of 16, followed by the wily Humberto Brenes in the Elite Eight. In the semis, Elizabeth took on Paul Wasicka, the runner-up in the 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event to Jamie Gold. Wasicka ultimately got the best of the talented actress, who banked $125,000 for her efforts. In addition to her success in the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, Elizabeth has a quartet of in the money finishes at the WSOP.
The Merge Gaming Network has grown leaps and bounds in recent months following the addition of Players Only and Sportsbook.com in April. According to PokerScout.com, which keeps tabs on online poker room traffic, the Merge Gaming Network is the 16th largest worldwide by volume at cash game tables with a seven-day running average of 650 players. Other Merge Gaming Network sites include Iron Duke, Poker Host, Poker Nordica, and RPM Poker.
Elizabeth will be sharing her thoughts frequently on the Carbon Poker Blog and also bring a series of videos to life. What their content is remains to be seen, but overall, Carbon Poker officials are over the moon at the latest acquisition: “The addition of Shannon Elizabeth highlights Carbon Poker’s commitment to becoming one of the top ten poker sites by 2011.”
A private party featuring Elizabeth is planned in Las Vegas on the night of July 4th. Elizabeth will more than likely play in the $10,000 WSOP Main Event, which begins on July 5th with the first of four starting days. Elizabeth has never cashed in a WSOP event boasting a buy-in higher than $2,000 and may look to buck that trend this year. The Main Event is one of three WSOP tournaments that will air on ESPN beginning later this month.
Visit Carbon Poker for more information. Remember, USA players are welcome.