The world of poker has traditionally been seen as a male dominated environment with leading figures like Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim ruling the game in the 1960s and 70s. Throughout the history of the game there has only been a smattering of females playing the sport professionally compared with men. However, more and more women are reaching the upper echelons of poker. Meet five of the most highly respected female poker players who are achieving notable success in the poker world.
With over $11 million in tournament prize money Vanessa Selbst is widely regarded as the most successful female poker player of all-time. How many World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets a poker player has won is a good barometer of how successful they have been and Selbst has won three- and is the only woman to win three bracelets in an open WSOP event. In January 2013, Selbst won the PCA High Roller Event, winning just over $1.4M and taking over top spot on the Women’s All Time Earning List.
Kathy Liebert was a trail-blazer for women’s poker having been on the poker scene since 1994. She has amassed almost $6 million in prize money including a huge win at the PartyPoker Million cruise. Liebert also won the $1500 Limit Texas Hold’em Shootout event at the 2004 World Series of Poker, one of three women to win an open event at that year’s WSOP. If you ask Liebert she would tell you that there should be no distinction made bewtween male and female players. “It’s not a game of strength; it’s a game of intelligence,” Liebert said in an interview for Bodognation.
Annette Obrestad is an internet Phenom playing under the name ‘Annette_15’- as she was only 15 when she first played the game. After making a name for herself in online poker, Obrestad became the youngest person to win a WSOP bracelet in the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe Main Event in 2007, where she pocketed £1,000,000 the day before her 19th birthday. Annette’s route to super stardom has gone down in folk law as she claims to have never made a deposit into an online poker room, but rather building her bankroll from nothing by playing the freeroll tournaments.
Liv Boeree had an unusual introduction to poker as she was selected as one of five contestants for the reality TV show ‘Ultimatepoker.com Showdown’ in autumn 2005. During the show she was coached by huge names in the poker world including Phil Hellmuth and Dave ‘the devilfish’ Ulliott. On 21 April 2010, Boeree won the European Poker Tour main event in Sanremo, at the time the largest ever poker tournament held on European soil, becoming the third woman ever to win an EPT title.
Having amassed nearly $2 million in poker prize cash, Victoria Coren is one of the best British female poker players. Her most notable poker achievement was her first place finish at the 2006 European Poker Championships in London where she won £500,000. In April 2014 she won the main event of the European Poker Tour San Remo, earning $476,100 and becoming the only player to have won two EPT titles.