While women may not have been represented very well on a financial level in the area of competitive sports, one is certainly seeing the ladies reach for the jackpot. While many will question the sport’s physicality, fewer, perhaps, will question the amount of skill involved in a game involving just two cards in your hand.
But, fortunately for poker fans, women are managing to dominate tournaments at every level. In some cases, successful players have been able to win seven-figure tournaments both online and in live tournaments. So, in this article, we’re looking at some of the women who are winning full-time on the poker tables.
One of the most influential players to hit our list is the ever-brilliant Annette Obrestrad. After famously winning the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe Main Event just before her 19th birthday, Anette went on to feature in a number of high profile poker events. In regards to her online poker, Annette claims never to have deposited in an account, instead preferring to build up her bankroll from free rolls.
She famously won an online multi-table tournament with tape across her cards, never looking to peek once. Later, when her hand history was uploaded to the internet, she was seen to bluff effectively with nothing and, at the same time, fold aces to limps and worse.
Kara Scott has spent the past ten years on our television screens – either in the studio, or on the tables. After winning a hefty £26,000 in her first recognised cash, she went on to present Canada’s very own “High Stakes Backgammon”, before moving over to “Poker Night Live”. Having spent many years travelling the casinos of the UK, Kara now lives in California where she plays under the banner of 888 Poker as an ambassador.
To date, Kara is only the second woman to have cashed in two consecutive World Series of Poker finals – and was the only person to do it in 2008 and 2009 respectively. A highlight might have been losing a proposition bet to Chris Tessaro, resulting in her providing poker commentary in a bunny suit.
Victoria “Vicky” Coren
Vicky Coren was one of the first women to do almost everything in high stakes poker. She was the first female player to win an event on the European Poker Tour, the first to win a televised professional tournament, the first to win celebrity tournament and, finally, the first to win two separate EPT events.
Vicky recently removed herself as an ambassador of PokerStars after the firm moved to set up an online casino, which she was publicly uncomfortable with. Despite this, she still went on to win her second EPT title (worth just under $500,000) in 2014, bringing her career earnings up to almost $2.5m.
I think most would agree that Vanessa Selbst has some of the finest statistics in the game. Having cemented over $11 million in tournament prize money, she has cashed in most recognised and regular events. To date, Vanessa’s biggest cash was a first prize jackpot of $1.4m dollars, which she took home in 2013. Just months later, in January 2014, she finished third in the PCA 2014 Super High Roller, netting over $750k – and hitting third in a similar event, earning $600k just a week later.
The American won her third bracelet last year before walking out of the Super High Roller Celebrity Shootout in Las Vegas in first place for $1m. Selbst’s performances spanning a career history of more than ten years are some of the most consistent in the game.
And there you have it: some of the richest female card sharks on the planet. While it’s hopeful that this trend of egalitarian sports will continue, if there’s one thing for certain, it’s this: Never sit down at a card table with these ladies.