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Experience pays off at Women's World Open
At the end of the Inaugural Party Poker World Open it was none other than 50-year-old Beverly Pace who took home first place.
It was no walk in the park for Pace who had to overcome Jen Mason in heads-up play. Mason is one of Europe's best female players and has been on a bit of a hot streak lately.
Beverly, who is from Bromley, Kent, UK, and is married to comedian/poker player Norman Pace, was understandably brimming with excitement.
"I'm very happy," said Beverly. "This is my first big win and I intend to give myself a bankroll to play more tournaments for bigger stakes in the near future. Was sixth in the Ladies European Championship in April and went to the WSOP and Aussie Millions this year but I haven't really cashed significantly."
Beverly pointed to a number of key moments that helped secure the win. One was a re-raise against Mason; another was an all-in push against Jackie Vanswani (wife of Ram Vanswani) with pocket eights. Many felt that Mason was going to dominate the heads-up victory but Beverly surprised everyone by coming away with the W.
"I was pleased to beat Jen Mason," Beverly said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for her and she has taught me a lot on the circuit. Perhaps she hasn't done herself any favors as I have picked up a lot about how she plays!"
Beverly has been married to husband Norman for 30 years and the couple is well known and popular on the UK circuit. She has been a part-time poker player for four and a half years and spends a lot of spare time chairing the Meningitis Research Foundation charity.
"Norman says I'm a better player than him but I think we are probably about the same standard," she said.
Women's poker tournaments have recently come under criticism from pros like Annie Duke, who advocate the abolishment of such events from the WSOP. Beverly, however, is obviously a fan of the gender-based tournament.
"Women's tournaments are good for getting more ladies into the game," she said. "The standard is no different than a mixed-sex game but they do encourage some to come forward who wouldn't do it otherwise."
The highly rated Maria Demetriou finished third while Canadian Bronwyn Campbell place fourth. Jackie Vaswani finished fifth and television presenter Kara Scott placed sixth.
Unfortunately the U.S. trio of Liz Lieu, Jennifer Tilly and Shannon Elizabeth had a disappointing tournament. Tilly did the best of the three, finishing third in her heat, which was won by Mason, while Elizabeth and Lieu both busted early in their heats.
The show will be televised in the UK later this year with commentary provided by Elizabeth and Jesse May.