March is National Women’s History Month and what better way to celebrate than by honoring the women who continue to excel in areas that have been viewed as ‘male territory.’ One of these areas is poker. The following are five female poker players that show poker is not just a man’s game—it is a game for everyone.
1 | Kathy Liebert
Kathy Liebert hails from Tennessee and is one of the top female poker players in the world. She began in Colorado as a prop player and eventually started playing poker professionally. She was the first winner of the Party Poker Million event in 2002, which was the first poker tournament with a US$1 million prize.
Since then, she has participated in six World Poker Tour (WPT) final tables. One of her most notable wins includes a gold bracelet in the US$1,500 Limit Texas hold’em event at the 2004 World Series of Poker (WSOP). As of 2017, she has one WSOP bracelet with live tournament winnings totaling to almost US$6.2 million.
2| Annette Obrestad
Annette Obrestad was 15 when she began playing online poker with the screen name “Annette_15.” Instead of depositing money, the Norwegian’s bankroll came from winning freeroll poker tournaments. One of her most notable achievements was in July 2007; she won an online poker tournament without looking at her hole cards. Annette put some paper over the screen where her cards were, and used bet sizing and timing tells to read her opponents.
She was also the youngest person to win a WSOP bracelet in the 2007 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) where she cashed in £1 million. In 2010, she grabbed a win at the 2010 Aussie Millions, winning her AU$175,000. As of 2014, her total live tournament winnings were more than $3.9 million. Her last poker game was in 2017 at the Wynn Summer Classic in Las Vegas. She finished in 260th place and cashed in US$2,531.
3 | Fatima Moreira de Melo
Holland’s Fatima Moreira de Melo was an Olympic gold medalist before beginning a career in poker. She won gold in Women’s Field Hockey in the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. Fatima is a poker player at Team PokerStars and has won several games on the European Poker Tour and at the Master Classics of Poker. As of this writing, she is 45th on the Netherlands All Time Money List. To date, her total live earnings are US$525,876. She last played poker in December 2017 at the PokerStars Championship Main Event in Prague. Fatima finished in 18th place and won US$35,354.
4 | Maria Ho
Maria Ho is a Taiwanese-American poker player, host, and TV personality. Her first major tournament success was at the 2007 World Series of Poker as the last woman remaining in the Championship event. In 2014, she repeated this accomplishment by coming in 77th out of 6,683 players. At the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, Maria finished 27th place and earned her title as the Last Woman Standing.
In 2017, she competed in the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event and finished in 6th place, once again as the Last Woman Standing. This makes her the only player in history to get the WSOP title four times, including the Europe Main Events. She has over US$2.5 million in poker tournament winnings and is one of the top-ranked female poker players in the world.
5 | Liv Boeree
Liv Boeree started her poker career in 2005. She was one of five contestants for a reality TV show called Ultimatepoker.com Showdown. At her time on the show, Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth, and Dave Ulliot were her coaches. Liv’s first major win was in 2008 during which she won the European Ladies Championship for US$42,000. One of her best wins includes the European Poker Tour in 2010, in which she made it to the final table and took the win for almost US$1.7 million. In 2017, Liv won a World Series bracelet and won the US$10,000 Tag Team Championship event alongside Igor Kurganov, for US$136,982.
With these five ladies leading the way, it is clear that poker is no longer just for men. There is nothing masculine or feminine about playing poker. It is simply a great game played by skilled individuals.
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