The World Series of Poker has wound down to a close until the final nine take their places at the final table. Bracelets have been one and lost, history has been made on several occasions but the true standouts of this year’s WSOP are the women who went deep in the events. History has told us that other than the Women’s Championship, the ladies don’t fare as well as the men. But this year is a bit different. Women went deeper and lasted longer in the events than ever in WSOP history despite being out numbered.
After the traditional welcome, “shuffle up and deal” boomed throughout the Rio to announce the start of the Casino Employees Event. Rio employee, Patricia Baker, started the trend with her second place finish, taking home $4,3754 of the $329,400 prize pool. Carisa Schweisberger and Amy Brady also finished in the top twenty cashing out of the event in 12th and 16th place, respectively.
Vanessa Selbst stepped up to the plate in Event 2: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em but was unable to grab the victory and end the male dominated streak of the last 4 years. No woman had won bracelet in an open event since Selbst herself won the $1,500 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha Event in 2008. Selbst ended in 4th place out of 2,101 competitors for a $161,345 payout.
In Event 3: $3,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha, it was Annette Obrestad who took her shot at breaking the streak but to no avail. Obrestad fought the battle to end in place.
By Event 4: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8-or-Better a trend was being recognized. More than ever before women were making the top payouts and were worthy of recognition. This event was no different. Xuan Liu, Bonnie Rossi, Marsha Wagonner and Linda Johnson took four of the top 13 spots. But a record breaking 223 WSOP tournaments had been played with men scooping the bracelets.
Event 7: $1,500 Seven Card Stud proved that the trend of women plunging deep into the prize pools was no fluke when Caroline Hermesh finished in 7th place for a payout of $15,135.
All eyes were on Amanda Musumeci as the next female bracelet hopeful in Event 9: $1,500 Hold’em Re-Entry. The new addition to the WSOP gave players who busted on day one a second chance at taking the gold. Musumeci came into the final day as the last woman standing and did the female demographic proud with her second place finish and her largest cash to date ($481,643). Musumeci not only proved herself to be an asset to women’s poker but also proved to her doubters that her 62nd place finish in last years WSOP was no fluke. Her 10 cashes in this year’s circuit coupled with this finish proves that Musumeci is a face to watch on the felt in the years to come.
Events 10 and 11 the $5,000 Seven Card Stud Event and the $1,500 Pot Limit No-Limit Hold’em Event brought two more women deep into the money. Professional player Cyndy Violette cashed in for $15,906 with an 11th place finish in Event 10 and Susie Zhao gained $11,995 and a 15th place finish in Event 11.
Vanessa Selbst put it all on the line again in Event 12: $10,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em. Vanessa just missed the elite eight with a 9th place finish, adding another $20,674 to her bank roll.
In Event 13: $1,500 Limit Hold'em, two women cashed. Lori Kirgan fought her way up to 9th place. The California girl added her first tournament cash finish of $15,886 to her bank roll besting players such as Jennifer Harman who ended in 18th place for a $8,130 payday. Harman also pierced the top 20 in Event 30: 1,500 2-7 Draw Lowball with a 19th place finish.
The ladies hit a dry spell until Event 25: $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout when Millie Shiu showed up in 14th place.
In Event 29: $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em Championship, Allyn Jaffrey Shulman showed the poker world what she is made of when she bested the 4,128 player field to take the first female won bracelet since 2008. Shulman was dead last in chips into day 4 but persevered and fought her way to the top and more than earned the $600,000 pay out and the coveted bracelet that had been alluding the female demographic.
In Event 31: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em, Cherish Andres of St. Thomas, PA worked her way up through the competition and ended in 4th place and a $210,083 payout. Andrews went on to cash another 5 times in the 2012 series for a total of 16 life time cashes.
Las Vegas resident, Lisa Hamilton, brought her best in Event 33: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em and added $12,603 to her bankroll now totaling almost $500,000. Hamilton took her first bracelet in the 2009 Ladies Event and is looking to add a second.
Maria Ho showed strong in Event 40: $2,500 Limit Hold'em - Six-Handed. Ho ended the tournament in 11th place for a $9,362 payout.
With one bracelet in the women’s corner, the ladies were still looking for the open bracelet. Australia’s Jackie Glazier was hoping to be the one to take it. Her final hand of two pair could not compete with her opponent’s turned straight. While Glazier didn’t walk away with the bracelet she did take home $458,996 to add to her growing bankroll. Glazier also went on to cash in the Main Event in 284th place.
Event 51: $1,000 Ladies No-Limit Hold'em Championship brought all that competition and drive of the ladies to the Ladies Event. Yen Dang took down the event after keeping her hold on the one of the top spots for most of day two and took the advantage during the final table. Dang beat out a field of 936 players to take down the $170,587 prize.
In Event 52: $2,500 10-Game Mix - Six-Handed all attention again focused on Vanessa Selbst and this time she did not disappoint. The Poker Stars Team Pro put it all on the line to take her second WSOP title, $244,259 in prize pool and the reputation of being one of the best players on the felt today. Selbst eliminated all but one competitor at the final table and joins Barbara Enright, Nani Dollison, Jennifer Harman, Susie Isaacs and Starla Brodie as the sixth woman to have won multiple World Series bracelets.
UK player Victoria Coren also made a showing in the growing number of women cashing deep in the WSOP 2012 events. In Event 53: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em the Poker Stars Team pro cashed for $26,414 in 17th place.
In a super competitive WSOP National Championship Amanda Musumeci again proved why she is quickly becoming one of the top players in the industry. Her 8th place finish in the event netted her an additional $48,576 to add to her rapidly growing bankroll.
The WSOP Main Event brought more of the same for the women of the WSOP. Two women made stand out performances finishing in 10th and 11th place. With women representing just over 3% of the event, this is no small feat. Elisabeth Hille and Gaelle Baumann were not only looking to cash but to top Barbara Enright’s hold on being the only woman to ever make the final table at the WSOP. Enright has held on to the record breaking title for 17 years. It was not meant to be, however. Hille finished in 11th place for $590,442. Not bad for her first tournament cash. And Baumann just missed the chance to play with the October nine, ending in 10th place.
Woman Poker Player would like to congratulate all the women who played at the WSOP and those who continue to represent women as a whole in a tough, demanding male driven field. Well done ladies!