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My Playboy Photo Shoot in Chicago

In document Hefnerland - The Book (Page 67-79)

Why pose for Playboy? As I mentioned before, I was getting older and most people I met thought I had posed for them! So I thought I better do it before it’s too late! You know, it kind of reminds me of when Samantha posed in the nude on Sex and the City. In that episode, she decided to get nude photos taken of herself. Of course, her three pals thought this was a little odd. But Samantha said something like when she was ninety and her ass was falling, she could look back on those pictures and think, I was hot. I guess I honestly was just embracing the idea that this was something I wanted to do. Mainly I really wanted to go to the Playboy mansion and go to some of those crazy parties!

You may think the exciting life of a woman gambler, would be enough. Actually, poker just wasn’t respected as a sport a few years back or even as popular as it is today. The poker world has had a real transformation and acceptability like no other time in history. Just think, there are currently two prime TV shows based in Las Vegas. Fortunately, there is a real poker boom for kids of all ages happening now, but just a few years ago it wasn’t as mainstream. Now there are so many websites catering to poker players. Mine, of course, is one of the better ones. Check it out: www.jillannpoker.com. But five years ago, it just wasn’t the be-all end-be-all for parties and exposure. Don’t get me wrong, I love poker and fortunately, I am very successful player. I do love winning! And especially when I am the only woman at the table. Men get so distracted by a blonde with big tits! It’s my secret advantage, I guess.

And then I thought about what my mother taught me, and I’m sticking to it. Keep him tired, and he won’t cheat. Let him look. What’s the harm? So I tried to follow the rules of plenty of water, sex, and food—

the basic necessities for a man. If you tell men they cannot look, they look more or become obsessed that they can’t look! Just like a schoolgirl not being able to wear makeup and putting it on when she gets to school and washing it off before she returns home. So what did I do? I ordered Playboy television and Playboy magazine. I took him to any strip bar that he wanted to see. This way I wouldn’t wonder what he was doing there. I got to see it up close.

I always enjoyed the jokes in the Playboy magazines but never had read an article in them. Does anyone? I would look at all the pictures in the magazine and wonder what it would be like. My favorite part was the front section “Hanging with Hef,” which would have tons of pictures of Hef with celebrities and Playmates hanging out at the mansion. They looked like they were having so much fun! I guess I just wanted more than a glimpse of the world I had seen in the pages of a magazine—a fantasy come to life. I always felt I was the girl next door type that Playboy is famous for. I am very honest, down to earth, and feel that everyone has something good inside.

I had already done all the hard work and was really getting my body in excellent shape. So it was finally time to start working harder on obtaining my goal of getting in to Playboy. Seeking out all the information, and finding all the ways I could penetrate the Playboy scene. Remember, too, that my store was self-sufficient. That’s not to say I didn’t have to oversee it, but frankly, I had the leisure time to play! I had the leisure time to try to obtain this goal. If I had been working sixty hours a week, I probably wouldn’t have even had the energy, but I was lucky enough to have worked so hard when I was younger, and now I could take a few months and just try to do this.

68 It seems being a well-known Poker Player along with my gorgeous body got me the attention I needed to succeed.

* * * * *

While I started planning my Playboy debut, I also entered to play in the World Series of Poker (WSP) and the Tournament of Champions (TOC). I had not previously entered one of these large events yet, as I had been preparing in the smaller tournaments in Vegas to make sure I was ready.

I needed exposure and decided to set my sights on making it on the cover of Poker Digest first. I knew that if I was going to make the cover that the picture would have to be terrific. So I started working up an idea that would be so good that they would want me to be on their cover. I also decided that if I was going to submit my pictures to Playboy that I would want them as great as they could be, not from my own personal camera with whatever lighting was in the room. I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to do both at the same time, a perfect shot for Poker Digest and a great nude for Playboy. I decided to stage my own photo shoot. Again, I am the type of person who believes you can take control of your own destiny. I called my favorite makeup artist who had originally helped me to learn how to improve my skills and told her what I had in mind. She recommended a photographer, and we discussed all the details and plans for the photo shoot including the pricing, which was huge but I had no choice if I was to achieve my goal! To save some money we did the photo shoot at my house.

I tried hard to explain my goals to all the people involved. I had the perfect purple card table and all the props to play poker. I was so excited—it was all coming together. If you can imagine this, I had every centerfold I ever loved opened out on top of the pool table for inspiration. I practiced how to stand, and tried to emulate the pictures Playboy had published. I had tried on every high-heeled pair of shoes I owned for the shoot. Both the photographer and Bruce had the final decision on the shoe selection. And I have to say, it was very empowering to be in control of my own shoot. I was the boss!

This was the second time ever in my life I posed nude. And I must say it was very exciting. The makeup artist spent about an hour working on me. However, once I started working with the photographer it seemed he was inexperienced, and I am sorry to say unprofessional.

Everything was there, so even thought I sensed he didn’t know what he was doing, I just couldn’t walk away now. I thought for sure we could get some great shots of me playing cards, but I knew we also needed the shot that I was planning to send to Playboy. After a while I got a little anxious. Just about the entire shoot his equipment continued to fail or the flash would not go off. He didn’t seem to know how a woman should look or how I should angle myself. I would show him a few pictures in the Playboy magazine and never once did he suggest tilting my head or angling this way or that, etc. I had told him prior to the shoot what I was looking for but he just was not crafty enough to run his own equipment and set up a shot. I was so disappointed in this photographer. I had the vision that I wanted, but it just wasn’t going to happen with this guy. He gave me all the rolls of film and told me the best place to have them developed. When I got them back they were mostly dark, without light, it was a waste of time and money. I was so disappointed! It seems I had the brains and imagination to stage this shoot, but I couldn’t very well take the pictures myself!

About this time, I heard back from Suzi Simpson. This is her email from January 31st, 2001.

Hi Jill!

I just found this e-mail. So sorry I didn’t get to you sooner. I get over 600 e-mails a day . . . a bit

overwhelming. Anyways I hope they loved you! I’ve seen them reject goddesses and wonder to myself how I ever made it. I’d be happy to put you on my site if that would help you get traffic back to yours!

I responded on 2-2-01:

Dear Suzi,

I got turned down. I got my regret letter about a week later. I really felt that I had a chance since the

photographer said that they would be calling me the next day or first thing the following Monday. Then when Wednesday came and no one had called I spoke to the lady who writes the regret letters and said that she did not understand why the photographer said this, that they contact everyone by mail and it would be about two weeks, and then the following week I got the letter from her saying no. I have not given up though, I just had some other pictures taken, and I am going to send them in again. This is what she suggested doing; just keep sending them in, so I am. That is so nice of you to offer to put me on your site; I will think about this. I don’t have a site at all, but if I get one, I will sure take you up on it. I will put you on my site also. I will write and tell you the latest news. Thanks for all of your support. I really want to just some day go to the Playboy mansion, I just have dreamed about it, and this is the main reason that I wanted to pose—just to go. I want to see the grounds, the mansion, the exotic animals, and just what goes on there. I went to bid on being able to go to the mansion on Playboyauction.com but it goes for $10,000 almost every time! This is what gave me the idea to pose and I thought that maybe I wouldn’t have to pay the $10,000. I want to go before I get married because I probably won’t be allowed to go after I’m married. Well, lots of love and luck.

About a month later, she responded on 3-1-01:

Hi Jill!

There’s an event coming up in April called “Road to the Playboy Mansion.” Check it out because if you know any corporate people it’s a tax write-off and you could be their “Hot Date.” I’m going to be there working, and it should be one heck of a party. It’s impossible to get in anymore, but this could be a good way and if Hef saw you maybe he’d pick you to be a centerfold.

You’re pretty, don’t give up! Suzi

I didn’t go to the event, but it was nice that she thought of me. Again, I was fooled . . . I thought everyone would be like Suzi. I thought there was a “sisterhood” of Playmates. I also took heart from her telling me not to give up. She could just have easily written, “Oh, it’s such a shame. Too bad. “ But instead she seemed to think I had that unmistakable “something.”

So, I sent a few of the pictures that I liked best and the story to the writer for Poker Digest. He

submitted the story, and the edgy, sexy profile on me was a hit. The writer did get many of the facts incorrect all the way down to stating my dog’s name was Aces. Who knows how he dreamed up this name, as my dog’s name has always been Holdem. The magazine was perfect. I had made the cover, and to top it off, it was during the biggest two weeks in poker—Binion’s World Series of Poker, where every champion from far and wide attended—and there was my picture on the cover. When I went to Binion’s, not only did I sign

autographs and take pictures with everyone, I was a semi-celebrity. It was terrific. The magazine came out April 20-May 3, 2001, Vol. 4/No. 9 $2.95. I was on the top of a purple card table and the cover read “Poker’s Wonder Girl Jill Ann Spaulding: Advantages and Disadvantages of being a Female Poker Player.” It was a four-page article with full color pictures. It was just what I needed. I was so excited to try again. Loaded with my Poker Digest magazine and my nude photos taken from the same photo shoot, I was ready to send my submission to Playboy. I contacted the writer from Poker Digest and told him I was ready for him to write the letter for me to Playboy. We e-mailed back and forth and came up with the following:

I just discovered a poker player who wins major tournaments—and she’s gorgeous!

You’re probably aware that poker is the most popular card game in America, and its appeal is growing internationally, as is evidenced by the growing number of poker tournaments in England, Australia, Germany, France, and the Caribbean. Although more men than women enjoy the game, its appeal is

spreading to the fairer sex.

Jill Ann Spaulding is a stunning blonde whose measurements are 38–24–35 and are proof of the game’s popularity.

70 The enclosed article and photos speak for themselves. Jill Ann is a very unusual woman who would, I feel, make a welcome contribution to your magazine.

1. She has an incredible body and has cover girl good looks. The editors of POKER DIGEST felt that was the case, and I hoped you agree.

2. She works out regularly to keep in shape.

3. By age eighteen, she had saved enough money to buy her own home and launched a successful business

4. She began playing poker and got so good at it she became a professional, traveling many months out of the year playing in major poker tournaments. Her ambition: to win the World Series of Poker. She knows poker players all over the world, and is acquainted with many poker legends including

Amarillo Slim Preston, Puggy Pearson, Oklahoma Johnny Hale, John Bonetti, Tom McEvoy, Johnny Chan, T.J. Cloutier and Phil Hellmuth, who, at twenty-four, became the youngest person to ever win the World Series of Poker.

Would Playboy be interested in doing a photo article on Spaulding? I believe your readers would be interested in her philosophy that older men make better lovers. Her skill in a male-dominated game and a disciplined training program that has given her a perfectly proportioned body would also appeal to Playboy readers. I am a journalist and magazine writer with some

2,400 articles published in PEOPLE WEEKLY (I served as Arizona correspondent for eight years),


If you are interest in pursuing the project you can call me at XXX-XXXX or e-mail me at

xxx@xxx.com. I would appreciate the return of the enclosed photos when you are finished with them. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely, Geno Lawrenzi

Director of Marketing-Publicity

I received two regret letters. I sent the above letter to the Chicago office and also to the Santa Monica office. The letters were almost the same as the one I got from the first Playmate test. Basically, they reminded me how fierce the competition was . . . and I was just not quite right.

I waited about three month’s of the same year around July or August and sent them again and received the same response.

I resubmitted them again the first of February and received a very similar response thanking me for submitting . . . but no.

To top it off the photographer that I had paid so much to do the shoots was suing me and Poker Digest for using his pictures without paying him additional fees. This was such bull crap because he was informed what the pictures were going to be used for ahead of time. That they were going to be shot for the cover and inside the magazine. I told him that is why I had hired him because they aren’t photographers, they asked me to send in pictures of myself and that was what they were gong to print. I wanted the pictures so great they would have to use them for the cover. Poker Digest paid the creep and I had to sign saying I would not use the pictures without his knowledge prior to print. This was one thing I learned since this was my first staged photo shoot—get everything in writing because there are many starving photographers and even though they tell you one thing they have the rights to your photos if you don’t have them sign an agreement. Even though it was verbal, his lawyer scared me enough to just agree to whatever he said.

Well, with all of the surgeries, the frustration, the pain, the workouts, the let-down, I decided to submit my pictures to www.Playboy.com. I had only submitted to Playboy for Playmate or for an inside article in the magazine. I really did not want to do Playboy.com. The magazine was the pinnacle. Twelve women a year are chosen, so there was something about that cache. However, it was the year 2000 when I started this venture, and now it was 2002! Not that I knew I would be chosen, but looking at the competition, I felt that it was a much easier option based on four girls online a month, and overall fifty-two girls a year—instead of

twelve for the entire year for the magazine. (Hey, as a poker player, I know all about the odds, and my chances online were better!) I had this article that I had printed out from many months prior so I decided to submit my Poker Digest magazine, the following letter and three pictures of me nude.



Playboy.com is looking for women 18 and older for upcoming pictorials, features and other modeling

opportunities. Please send photos – preferably a full body shot and a headshot – in any format, demonstrating your finest features and a clear copy of a photo ID that shows date of birth. Send them to Jill Norton, Photo Editor, Playboy Online, 680 N. Lake Shore Drive 14th Floor, Chicago, Il 60611. While nudity is not required, it is preferred. Please include any information about yourself that may be interesting to us. Selected candidates will be brought in to our Chicago offices to be tested by a Playboy.com photographer.

I sent my letter to Jill Norton and called about a week later to follow up to see if she had received my pictures, letter, and magazine only to find out that she was no longer with the company. They gave me two different names that had taken over her department: John Thomas and Chad Doering. I immediately made two new packages with my pictures, letter, and magazine

I sent my letter to Jill Norton and called about a week later to follow up to see if she had received my pictures, letter, and magazine only to find out that she was no longer with the company. They gave me two different names that had taken over her department: John Thomas and Chad Doering. I immediately made two new packages with my pictures, letter, and magazine

In document Hefnerland - The Book (Page 67-79)