Women have not always been a welcomed entity in the poker room. During the first World Series of Poker in 1970, women were not represented. Female dealers were not even welcomed to deal in some poker games.
Barbara Freer, the first lady to play a WSOP event in 1978, set out to change the divide that kept women from the mix. Since then, women have struggled to gain legitimacy in this male dominated world.
In the last few years, women have started to show that they are true contenders for poker accolades.
The WSOP 2012 year might be the most impressive year to date for women in poker.
Selbst, Musumeci, Liu Highlight Female Campaign
Vanessa Selbst kicked off Event 2 with a final table finish. This No-Limit Hold’em event had 2,101 entrants and Vanessa finished 4th for a handsome $161,345.
Selbst has had quite am impressive career at the WSOP. In 2008, Selbst became the first women to win a bracelet in a PLO event. With over 5.1 million in tournament winnings she doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.
Event 3 brought the $3,000 No Limit Hold’em Heads Up tournament where Annette Obrestad dominated the field of 315 men to finish in 8th place. Obrestad was only one of two women to enter the event.
In Event 4 of the Seven Card Stud Hi-Low 8 or Better event, Xuan Liu proved that women wouldn’t be limited to just Hold’em final tables. Although, Hold’em is the most widely played poker game, Liu dominated the Stud Hi-Low field of 622 players to finish in 6th place of the event for $29,985.
Caroline Hermesh made her first WSOP cash by finishing 7th in Event 7 Stud tournament. She had to contend with the likes of David Williams, Barry Greenstein, and Andy Bloch to earn her $15,135.
Amanda Musumeci has amassed the biggest cash this year by a female so far. She took 2nd in the No-Limit Hold’em Re-entry event for $481,643. The accolades she received were well deserved, as she had rely on her skills to beat out Brian Rast and Greg Mueller who were also on the final table.
Vanessa Selbst made her second deep run in the $10,000 Heads-up No-Limit Hold’em event. She was a huge contender to go heads up for the bracelet, but she wasn’t able to fade Jeff Gross’ cards on Day 2 and finished 9th for $20,674.
So after only nine days of WSOP fun, the women have already made six final tables and have made a number of deep runs in this year’s events. At this time last year, Maria Ho was the only woman to make a final table. She took 2nd place in the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Event for $540,020.
We expect to see more female players make final tables as the series continues. We only speculate at which tournament will be the first to have a lady claim a bracelet in an open event.