An interview with the "Poker babe"

One thing is certain, Erica Schoenberg has a funny sense of humor and is … hot. Holding up her sleeve a bachelor's degree, writing capabilities and a prestigious math award, it's obvious she has more than just a great … personality. Since 2006, she has prevented the one-series-wonder label by snagging five WSOP and 10 WPT cashes. Yet, considering Schoenberg's flowing hair, athletic body, perfect skin and previous career as a model, some might mistakenly limit their assessment of her hotness solely to appearance.

Schoenberg declines to refer to herself as the "Poker Babe" simply because she doesn't think it's "too cool to refer to yourself by your nickname. People refer to Daniel Negreanu as 'Kid Poker,' but I doubt he introduces himself that way." However, here's what she had to say about a possible new nickname, forums, her WSOP final table, and how one might be labeled should she enter a dressing room with her.

Lewis: Would you prefer a genderless nickname, like Erica "Math Champ" Schoenberg?

Schoenberg: Honestly, I'd rather have a badass nickname, like Erica "The Hammer" Schoenberg, but that's probably taken by a wrestler or something.

Lewis: How did you hook up with the MIT posse?

Schoenberg: I was playing on GSN's World Series of Blackjack when I met some of the original members of the MIT team. They then referred me to another player who lived near me in L.A. who taught me how to count cards, etc.

Lewis: Are you banned from casino blackjack because of that affiliation?

Schoenberg: I'm not banned from casino blackjack, but it's not worth it for me to risk getting thrown out of certain casinos where I always play poker … I just don't really play anymore.

Lewis: You met French pro David Benyamine at the Bellagio … were you at the cage? Because I'd like to give hope to single poker players looking for love at the Bellagio.

Schoenberg: I was in the office in the poker room talking to one of the managers about a player's rate and David came back and introduced himself. He asked me out and the rest is history! However, I wouldn't usually recommend loitering in casinos or poker rooms if you're looking for a good man!

Lewis: Yes, but now you and David are engaged. I'm fluent in slaughtering the French language … do you speak French?

Schoenberg: Mais oui!

Lewis: Can you say something else in French other than "fromage" or "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?"

Schoenberg: C'est tres important de savoir commander un bon fromage et de savoir comment ramenez quelqu'un chez vous.

Lewis: OK, you will have to translate that into English.

Schoenberg: I said it is very important to know how to order good cheese and to know how to bring someone home with you.

Lewis: I like that line but if I said it … I would end up rejected by a man who smelled like cheese. Did you know Lacey Jones speaks French and said you were one of the hottest women in poker?

Schoenberg: I was unaware of both, but you can tell her "Je pense qu'elle est tres jolie aussi."

Lewis: Who do you think is the hottest female in poker?

Schoenberg: Evelyn Ng -- she's a good friend and my best shopping partner so I see her in dressing rooms enough to know how hot she is.

Lewis: Yes, she is and she's great at "Guitar Hero." Do I dare ask which guy … besides David or Patrik Antonius?

Schoenberg: I mean, David, for sure. But Patrik's all right if you like that chiseled, dreamy, model look …

Lewis: Not many women like that look. Who do you enjoy hanging out with in the poker world?

Schoenberg: I'm a pretty big homebody, but I have a few good friends in the poker world I hang with -- Evelyn Ng, Karina Jett and Hollywood Dave to name a few.

Lewis: Your 2007 WSOP final table … while some rejoice at that kind of monetary gain others cringe at missing the gold bracelet. You've had great tournament success elsewhere … but was the WSOP a different story for you?

Schoenberg: That was really tough for me because it's a deep burn to get soooo close and not seal the deal. It's also very hard to look back at certain hands and things you could or should have done differently, but it was an awesome experience and I'm sure (fingers crossed) that I'll have another WSOP final table soon!

Lewis: You get a lot of coverage, specifically from Wicked Chops Poker … are you flattered by their coverage or do you think they're just a bunch of sexist pigs?

Schoenberg: Well, I don't think you can deny that much of what they write is sexist, but I still think it's pretty hilarious. I mostly find it flattering and amusing whenever they mention me! You know you've arrived when Wicked Chops talks about you …

Lewis: How do you feel about the forums chatting about you?

Schoenberg: Here's what I think about poker forums -- I have perused them in the past but read some nasty things (about myself, David and other friends) and vowed never to read such garbage anymore. I have pretty much abided by this rule because if someone has the cojones to say something to my face about my blog, my boobs or my boyfriend, I might be inclined to listen. However, if someone needs to hide behind a screen name and talk trash via the anonymity of the Internet, then I really don't care what these types of people could ever say or think about me.

Lewis: Do you ever feel like a piece of meat or have you been treated with the same respect as the men?

Schoenberg: Women aren't often treated with the same respect as men in general and certainly not in the poker world.

Lewis: Well, if I were to label you as a piece of meat … I would say you were the filet. Or maybe a rib eye because you're all that and more …

Schoenberg: Well, I truly appreciate that. David loves a good rib eye!

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