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Poker news | Aug 25, 2022

Queens of Poker

By RTR Jamie

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It’s clear to see that poker is a man’s world, even in 2022, you see a lack of celebration for women in poker and negative comments from famous poker players.

Being a woman doesn’t put you at disadvantage when it comes to playing, the game is about skill, which is something women have, not just men - so why aren’t women celebrated more in the industry?

There are a range of female poker players that have made some great achievements and slowly but surely opening more opportunities for women to get into the industry.

This Women's Equality day, we will be looking at some of the top female poker players to encourage more women to play and show that they can be just as good as men. Hopefully this will result in more respect and praise for these Queens and future Poker Queens.

Barbara Freer

After 9 years of the WSOP, in 1979, Barbara Freer was the first woman to enter an open WSOP Main Event.

Despite there being a ladies event, no woman had ever sat at a WSOP table with men. Although this is not as shocking in 2022, this was a huge milestone for females in the industry.

That same year, she had entered the $400 Ladies Limit Seven Card Stud tournament, which she ended up winning and securing $13,000.

Barbara Enright

Barbara Enright is an American professional poker player, she is the first and only woman to make it into the poker hall of fame, which is a great achievement and something for women to look up to.

Although this is amazing, it doesn't seem right that after 43 years of the Poker Hall of Fame, only one poker Queen has made her way in. It has now been 15 years since she was inducted along with Phil Helmuth, despite the great achievements many women in poker have made.

Yes, there is a Women’s Poker Hall of Fame, but what is the reason for the separation?

Barbara Enright Women in Poker Hall of Fame

Starla Brodie

In 1979, Brodie made history when she became the first ever woman to win a WSOP bracelet in an open event, she played with Doyle Brunson in the $600 doubles event.

Brodie then went onto win the 1995 $1,000 Ladies Limit Seven Card Stud Event, earning herself another well deserved WSOP bracelet.

Vera Richmond

In 1982, Vera Richmond became the first woman to win an open WSOP event, she won her bracelet by taking down 76 opponents, which were all men in the $1,000 Limit Ace-to-Five Draw, winning a huge $36,500.

That year, the WSOP were rewarding players with watches rather than bracelets, but they made an expectation for Richmond.

Jennifer Harman

With the growing success from women in poker, more and more females start playing, including Jennfier Harman.

Harman has won two WSOP bracelets in open events, becoming one of only a handful of female players to have done so.

Her first was rewarded in 2002, where she won the Limit Hold’em event, her second came from a No-Limit Deuce to Seven Tournament, where she supposedly had no experience at all, apart from some quick tips from Howard Lederer.

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Victoria Coren Mitchell

In 2006, English Poker player Victoria Coren became the first woman to win a European Poker Tour Main Event (EPT) in the EPT London Event.

A few years later, in 2014, she added a new record to her archives, she became the first player to win two EPT Main Events.


Annette Obrestad

Norwegian professional poker player and youtuber, Annette Obrestad is the younger person to ever win a WSOP Bracelet. She did so in the £10,000 World Championship No Limit Hold’em Event in 2007, bringing her tournament winnings to over $2 million.

Annette Obrestad 1

Liv Boeree

Liv Boeree is another poker queen who did lots to encourage and entice other women into the poker world. Her profession commenced during the mid 00’s and without a doubt increased in 2010 when Boeree won the EPT Monte Carlo Main Event.

Boree won female player of the year, three years in a row from 2014 to 2016.

Although she doesn’t get involved in tournaments as much, she is still an avid advocate for getting females to play the game.

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Vanessa Selbst

Former poker pro, Vanessa Selbst is the only woman to reach the number one ranking in the Global Poker Index. This comes at no surprise with her $11.8 million total in live earnings, putting her 80th on the All Time Money List.

Selbst holds three bracelets and is the only poker player to win the same North American Poker Tour Main Event back to back.

Vanessa Selbst WPT poker 1

Maria Ho

Maria Ho, is a Tawainese-American poker player, TV host, and a Women in Poker Hall of Famer. She is one of the highest ranked female poker players in the industry and no stranger to Las Vegas.

Ho has won around $5 million in live tournament winnings, including 63 WSOP cashes, 13 World Poker Tour (WPT) cashes, and has made it to many tournament final tables.

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The game of poker has come a long way for women, but there is more that needs to be done.

Although there are many women advocates, men of the poker world could step up too, and avoid being disrespectful to our amazing Poker Queens (trying not to be too obvious at who I am aiming this at here). Doing so will allow women to feel more comfortable when entering tournaments or even regular poker rooms, and hopefully females will rise up the rankings and show their true potential.