Not too long ago, poker was considered to be a man’s game, reserved for those with a will of iron and a face of granite. Mostly played by road gamblers, the poker table was not a welcoming place for women who shied away from the game bar a few brave souls.
It wasn’t until the early 2000s when the poker boom and the rise of online gambling led to greater accessibility and a more diverse group of players. With online gambling, there was no need to enter a casino, giving women the opportunity to hone their skills and play with the big boys.
The Changing Face of Poker
Today, the world of professional poker has a new face and it is prettier than you thought. Women are making a name for themselves, taking down some of the biggest players in the world. Ruby Fortune takes a closer look at the women in poker who are smashing stereotypes and cementing their place as the best of the best.
First up is Vanessa Selbst. With total winnings of $9,645,067, she has certainly earned her spot at the top of the table. Her role of honour includes winning main events on the North American poker tour and the Partouche Tour. She currently holds two World Series poker bracelets and earned two final table finishes at the 2016 PCA.
Next up is Kathy Liebert. Kathy has been a regular at the World Series of Poker for almost twenty years. She made her first WSOP final table appearance in 1997. Her impressive World Poker Tour results include four separate high-stakes clashes netting her an impressive $250,000. The highlight of her career was taking the $1m first prize in the Party Poker Million competition in 2002, setting herself up for a life of professional poker.
Taking her spot at the top of the list is Annie Duke. With her total winnings peaking at $4,270,549, Annie is the only woman to win the NBC National Heads-up Championship. Lately Duke has been shying away from live tournaments, preferring to play online. Her career includes beating out a star-studded field to win the WSOP Tournament of Champions in 2004, netting her a cool two Million Dollars.
One woman who has certainly gained global attention is Norwegian Annette Obrestad. After honing her skills in online poker, Obrestad rose to fame as a teenager when she shocked the world by winning the World Series of Poker Europe in 2007. She picked up a cool two million dollars for her efforts and has since proved that it was no fluke. With winnings totalling $3,910,678, Obrestad has claimed places at finals tables at the European Poker Tour and the Aussies Millions.
One woman who has been consistently on form over the past ten years is Vanessa Rousso. The American based poker pro has recorded total winnings of $3,513,841, raking in six figure wins in 2006, 2009 and in 2011. Her most impressive performance was in 2009 when she took down some of the biggest names in poker to win the high roller championship in the EPT Grand Final in Monaco. She claimed a cool $700,000 for her efforts and continues to be a formidable opponent to this day.
Well known for her eccentric fashion sense, Joanne ‘JJ’ Liu is a poker player with a solid record and a long history. With winnings totalling $2,707,525, the Californian based poker pro has been playing at the highest level since the 1990s. Her impressive results include two World Poker Tour finals, taking fourth place at the Five Diamond Classic in 2005 and runner up at the Shooting starts event in 2007.