when december's nancie li brandi was a blackjack dealer, the odds were always working for her. now she's an odds-on favorite to make it as a model
Playboy photograher Richard Fegley discovered Nancie Li Brandi working a blackjack table at Harrah's at Lake Tahoe. Lady Luck never looked so good. He immediately asked her to pose for the centerfold, responding to her beauty the way a gambler reacts when a pair of aces, split and hit, both turn up blackjack. Maybe he needed an excuse to write off his Nevada vacation as a business trip? No matter. The Internal Revenue Service's loss is our gain.
It soon became apparent that Miss December has the soul of a gypsy, even though she uses cards to determine people's fortunes in a somewhat different way. After spending a quiet childhood in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, Nancie teamed up with an old friend for a bit of cross-country rambling. "We're both free spirits," she says, "we'd just decided to go our separate ways together for a while." First stop for the pair was a mountain resort near Williamstown, Massachusetts, where Nancie learned to maneuver on skis. "Actually, New England didn't get much snow that year," she says. "I'm not sure you could call what I did skiing. It was closer to downhill ice skating."
Nancie and her guy decided to pull up poles and head West for whiter pastures. They landed at Lake Tahoe. Nancie took a two-week course in dealing at Harrah's. "At first I was all thumbs, but after a while, I could handle cards with the best of them." (All thumbs? We doubt it.) Her man tended bar and taught skiing at the Sierra Ski Ranch. For a time, their schedule seemed perfect -- working nights and skiing days -- but soon the gypsy spirit returned. A few months ago, they moved on to Los Angeles. There Nancie learned that one of her duties as a Playmate would be a promotion trip to Japan. Perhaps that's what persuaded her to pursue a career in modeling. We're willing to bet you'll be seeing more of her in the future. With Nancie's looks, it's in the cards.
Photography by Richard Fegley