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Looking Back At Women in Poker During 2006

Last year's winner of the WSOP Championship Event was not a woman, nor were any women nominated to the Hall of Fame of the world series of poker. But all in all, 2006 has been a wonderful year for poker, a year where many well-known female professionals have added to their outstanding track records and new hope has sparked the poker scene.

The Pre-WSOP Build-Up Event:

The New Year of 2006 really brought about good things for PokerStars qualifier Anina Gundesen, who scored a final table 6th place achievement at last year's EPT in Copenhagen in January. In February, the EPT produced another female final player when poker professional, Isabelle Mercier, finished at 7th place at the French Open.

Player Anahit Galajian also finished in 7th Place last February during the WPT's LA Poker Classic. While it is not a final table, because of the WPT's six-handed television format, Galajian's achievement was good enough to earn her a placing on WPT's Ladies Night IV. Kathy Liebert even extended her winning streak among the female poker players as she secured her 3rd place finish at the Rincon WSOP Circuit Event.

Newcomer on the poker circuit, Vanessa Rousso, also scored a 7th place finish at the WPT's $25,000 tournament held at the Bellagio in April of last year. In addition, Rousso secured a place in Ladies Night IV.

The World Series of Poker Event:

Back in 2004, there were 3 female poker players who won bracelets in WSOP open events, leading to the speculation that female open event winners would become a regular occurrence. Cyndy Violette won her bracelet in the $2000 7 Card Stud hi/lo event. Kathy Liebert scored her win in the $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout event. Annie Duke won hers in the $2,000 Omaha hi/lo event.

Before 2004, only 7 female players won event bracelets in WSOP's 33 year history: Vera Richmond, Barbara Enright, Linda Johnson, Maria Stern, Jerri Thomas, Jennifer Harman, and Nani Dollison. But in 2005, there was no re-occurrence of the women's streak. There was not even a double header or a single female winner in the open event of 2005.

The "Jewelry" in the WSOP events:

Even without any open WSOP victory, there was plenty of WSOP jewelry for the female players. Player Mary Jones took home her bracelet, despite the 1128 women competitors in the ladies event. Mary Jones demonstrated that she was no "one time "winner" by seizing victory in the NLHE Event at the U.S. Poker Championship held at the Taj Mahal last September.

The Final Table and a Lot of Cash-in:

With her second place win at the final table of the $1,500 NLHE Event, popular and well-known professional poker player, Maureen Feduniak, just missed winning her 2nd WSOP bracelet. Player Cyndy Violette also had a near win, finishing at the 3rd Place in the $5,000 event.

The Main WSOP Event:

Only 3 female players remained in the hunt when the WSOP Main Event ended their 4th day with about 135 players. Among the women, Susan "Saby" Cohen gave the best performance in the WSOP Championship Event, finished 56th and took home $123,699. Annie Duke, who finished 10th back in the 2000 WSOP Championship Event, finished 88th for 2006 and took home $51,129. Poker player, Debra Lalor, finished at 117th with a prize of $51,129.

New Happenings in Post World Series of Poker:

While many people associate winning the WSOP with the center of all things that are Poker, in reality, it was the WSOP play that made 2006 such a great year for female players. The most noted event last year came in September, when British poker writer, Victoria Cohen, was the first woman to win an EPT event.


01/18/2007, Thursday
Todd Sanders

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