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Women At The World Series: Triana Iglesias

Playboy Playmate Competes For Main Event Bracelet In Her First WSOP

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It’s no secret that the World Series of Poker attracts some interesting folks. Model and actress Triana Iglesias is no exception.

The Playboy Playmate of Norwegian and Spanish descent made her first WSOP appearance at this year’s main event, after getting sponsored by an online gambling site. While she may only have a year of experience under her belt, the 32-year-old has remained consistently positive about her odds of going deep in the main event.

When she’s not playing poker, Iglesias is better known as the host for the Norwegian show “Paradise Hotel.” She was also on Norway’s “Dancing With the Stars,” in 2009, finishing in third place.

Card Player had the opportunity to speak with Iglesias during a break in play on Sunday, July 6, to talk about how she first got into poker, her career outside of the game and how she’s handling the pressure from playing the main event.

Elaina Sauber: This is your first WSOP—what do you think of it so far?

Triana Iglesias: [There are] a lot of men—we need more women. But it’s fun, I’m having a good time. [The other players] are real gentlemen, I’m having fun. A guy at the table just told me ‘I don’t know if you’re betting that way as an accident, or if you know what you’re doing.’ I was like, ‘I’m just having fun.’

ES: When did you first learn to play poker?

TI: A year ago. Stephen [Kjerstad taught me]. I think he’s playing tomorrow—he’s a really good Norwegian player. I play for betsafe.com, and he plays for betsson.com. In Norway, that’s like almost the same company. I knew a little bit of poker, but he coached me.

ES: Do you play online?

TI: A little bit, but not a lot. I think that for me, it’s not the same [as live games], because I like playing poker for the dream that you get.

ES: Has your family been supportive of your decision to play poker?

TI: They’re really supportive with everything I do, actually. They’re always cheering for me.

ES: What other projects are you working on when you’re not playing poker?

TI: I’m DJing a lot this summer, but I just finished season six of Paradise Hotel, [which] I’m hosting in Norway. So I have a lot to do. I travel a lot for work—I just spent three months in Mexico—that’s where we do the TV show that I’m hosting. I work a lot, so I play poker in my spare time. But when I play, I play for hours.

ES: What’s the best piece of poker advice you’ve ever been given?

TI: Have fun, because the first time I played, I couldn’t have fun because I was so nervous…now I just try to relax and have fun. I think that’s the best thing to do, because if I don’t have fun, I shouldn’t be here. I don’t want to do anything that’s not fun.

ES: Do you play any ladies events?

TI: My first event was a women’s event, and it was so much fun. I think it’s more fun, actually, because men are so serious when they play poker. The ladies are more helping each other, having fun and it’s more relaxed.

ES: So you enjoy the ladies events?

TI: I love it. I like [open events], too. I’m having fun. All the men are real gentlemen. Nobody’s talking so much, but they’re nice.

ES: Do you have any plans to return to the WSOP next summer?

TI: I hope so. I’ve been to Vegas five times while working, but not [for] poker, just like modeling and stuff. Vegas is so cool; it’s like Disneyland for grown-ups.