The world of poker still holds a stereotype as being a male-dominated sport in this day and age. However, contrary to popular belief, there are a number of female players that bring skill and passion to the game of poker. Recently, more and more women have started playing poker both recreationally and professionally. The interest of the general public has been piqued, as some of the female poker players are very aggressive professionals who have made quite a name for themselves.
One of perhaps the most famous ladies of poker has to be Annie Duke, of World Series of Poker fame. Synonimous with the word success, Annie Duke’s name rings a good deal of bells when heard at avid poker player’s tables. Annie Duke got her start at the 1994 World Series of Poker match at the behest of her brother, Howard Lederer, another famous poker player. Placing 13th at her first official poker tournament, Annie made quite a bit of fame for herself, as well as even usurping her own brother’s position in the same tournament.
Winning over $65,000 in her first month, Annie moved to Las Vegas and started playing professionally, finishing in 10th place at the World Series of Poker main event in 2000. Annie then went on to win her first WSOP bracelet in 2004, at the Omaha Hi-Lo tourney. At the 2004 World Series of Poker tournament, Annie Duke set a record for the most money ever won in a single tournament, at $2,000,000, beating out Phil Hellmuth of World Series of Poker fame for the top prize. As of 2009, Annie Duke’s total tournament winnings exceed $3,600,000, with a third of that being attributed to World Series of Poker cash event winnings.
Following the trail of prestigious female poker players, Annette Obrestad is renowned as being the youngest player to win a World Series of Poker Europe bracelet. At the age of fifteen, Annette entered various matches with the name “Annette_15”, a testament to her age. Between 2006 and 2007, Annette won over $500,000 at Pokerstars, $200,000 on UltimateBet, and $136,000 on Full Tilt Poker. In July of 2007, Obrestad won a $4 buy-in tournament composed of 180 players, where she claims to have almost never looked at her cards.
With her snowballing success rate, Annette Obrestad added to her accomplishments on September 17th, 2007, when she won the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event before her 19th birthday. Winning a little over $2,000,000, Annette just barely beat out Annie Duke’s record for the largest payout from any single event. Annette is now technically old enough to enter the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Nevada, having been too young to officially register due to Nevada’s being at least 21 years of age gaming laws.
A renowned cash game player, Jennifer Harman has set quite a premise for female players around the world. Starting her poker experiences at a young age, Jennifer Harman started playing poker when she was 8 years old. In her first official match in 2000, Jennifer beat out Lyle Berman and Steve Zolotow at the final table and received her first World Series of Poker bracelet. In 2002, Harman cut her way through her opponents and won her second WSOP bracelet, earning her a spot as the only female poker player to hold two WSOP open event bracelets.
On March 14th, 2008, in the sixth season of the World Poker Tour, Jennifer Harman placed third overall, the position earning her a cool $330,000. Jennifer Harman is currently part of Team Full Tilt of Full Tilt Poker. To date, Harman’s live tournament winnings have totaled over $2,300,000, with the majority being earned at the World Series of Poker tourneys. Following her through tournaments and matches, Jennifer Harman’s opponents consider her to be one of the most feared and respected poker players of their time, bringing both intimidation and brilliant skill to the game of poker.
Liz Lieu, better known as the Poker Diva, is a professional poker player that started off playing Hold Em’ and Pai Gow, also known as Double-Hand Poker. From a very young age, Liz Lieu found herself loving card games and at the age of 18 was hosting her own home games with friends. Liz Lieu played mostly Hold Em’ cash games for several years, until a friend convinced her to enter the 2005 World Series of Poker. Lieu quickly became recognized as a dangerous opponent, finishing in fifth place for a prize of over $168,000. As of 2007, Lieu has earned close to $600,000 in live tournaments.
The game of poker only becomes more entertaining when veteran card players cease recognizing the gender of their opponent, but instead focus on the intimidation and brilliant skill level that the Ladies of Poker bring to the table!