You got to love a girl who knows her way around a deck of cards. While she’s not a bracelet winner Kimberly Lansing is the stunningly beautiful online hostess of the World Poker Tour, which makes her a poker babe in my book.
When she’s not presenting WPT, Kimberly Lansing works as a freelance journalist most notably for InStyle and People magazines. Kimberley is still a poker pro in waiting and describes herself as a freelance journalist, “Technically I work for five companies, so I’m a journalist/reporter/writer and one of my many jobs is reporting for the World Poker Tour. It keeps it fresh, it keeps it fun and every time I go out to work a different event, it’s something new and exciting.” Despite being a USC Grad, she’s no deskbound bookish wordsmith though. Like most great momentous events Kimberley Lansing can remember the exact day she “met” poker, (it’s an easy one to remember) as it was her birthday. Proving there’s no justice in the world; at the time Kimberley was dating a guy who would rather play poker than show the birthday girl a good time. Ms Lansing said, “My boyfriend was playing poker (a lot) online and he said, “I have to teach you how to play; I think you’re going to love the game.” A doofus he may have been but he was right about that.
Kimberly Lansing learnt to play poker in Palm Springs (where he dad had a gaming store), and as she is such a competitive person (“I’m more competitive than you!”) she immediately fell for the game, and started dedicating plenty of time to polishing her skills. She also counts Kenna James and Barry Greenstein as her favourite pros to interview. At her first multi-table event, Kimberly played for nearly 9 hours in the WPT Ladies Night event, but it wasn’t as easy as she’d hoped (Kim says she prefers cash games to tournaments) and Kimberley claimed to have a hard time reading other ladies, because she was so used to playing with the guys. “There are certain things you can do as a woman, certain plays and mannerisms to throw guys off” she said.
If you fancy your chances with Kimberly off the poker table, be warned she has some pretty high standards, and reckons that you need poker skills and the look if you want to impress her (much). “I would say that one of the best looking guys would be Patrik Antonius. He’s not only a model but he’s a great poker player; he took second in the Five Diamonds a couple years ago.” Now you know what you’re up against. Kimberley is no mere microphone dolly she knows poker back and front and can tell her Bobtail Straight from her Monkey Flush. This knowledge pays her dividends when she tries to get good copy off her interviewees. “When I’m interviewing a poker player, well, it’s gruelling out there. They’re playing for hours upon hours upon hours, so you never know what you are going to get, what kind of a mood. Sometimes it’s more difficult getting it out of them – getting the entertainment out of them because when you are on camera you want people to stay there and watch it so you need to find something newsworthy or interesting about it, but there is nothing that I have to ask poker players that makes me nervous.” That’s my girl.
Kimberly Lansing was born and raised in Laguna Hills and Rancho Mirage, California. She attended the University of Southern California, worked at the college news station and majored in Broadcast Journalism. Shortly before graduation (with a bachelor’s degree) Ms Lansing began writing for US Weekly Magazine and the Associated Press. Her comfortable persona and laidback writing style soon landed her a job at People Magazine covering Hollywood red carpet events, and she never looked out of place when she went toe to toe (and shoulder to shoulder with the celebs).
In 2005, she was offered a job hosting the OnGame Network’s Poker Classic at the Casino de Barcelona, talk about a marriage made in heaven. Soon after in March 2007, People Magazine had her covering the World Poker Tour Celebrity Invitational Tournament. While she was working the room at that event the WPT noticed Lansing’s beauty and personality, not to mention her authoritative poker knowledge. They promptly offered her a job as their online hostess, a position essentially created for her, but who could blame them. Before Lansing, the WPT had a few men doing online interviews but none of them were as easy on the eye. Although Lansing is keen to play down her looks, “To be honest with you, I don’t think it has a ton to do with looks. I think I’m rare: I don’t think there are a lot of girls out there that can do what I’m doing.” All that and modest too!
Because of her increasing popularity, and despite still working for several other companies as a writer and reporter Lansing was asked to assist with the hosting duties on the World Poker Tour television show, alongside her bosom buddy Layla Kayleigh. You can’t keep a good girl down and Kimberley still remained an enthusiastic poker player through it all. When she was asked about the ladies events being “exclusive and unnecessary”, Lansing said she can see both sides of the issue but ultimately votes in favour of “Ladies Only” tournaments. “Some women can be intimidated by men, so the ladies events are great. It’s a great way for women to celebrate the sport, get together, and have fun and play with each other.” To be honest I’d don a wig and drag up if it meant I got to share a table with this sexy brunette.