First timer declared Betfair Poker Goddess

Betfair Poker has crowned Angela Thacker, 30, from Halifax, Canada, the Betfair Poker Goddess. She was awarded a giant plane ticket and a seat to the 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Ladies Event in Las Vegas this summer.

Angela's victory follows a month of online tournaments and promotions hosted by Betfair Poker as they searched for the world's best female poker player.

Having never competed in a live tournament event, Angela battled a field of 29 other ladies in London, England, Apr. 29 before taking first place. Second place went to Vera Duffy, a 61-year-old grandmother from Ireland. Runners-up split a £3,000 prize pool.

"It's brilliant, absolutely brilliant," Thacker said. "I've never been to London before, let alone Las Vegas. This is my first experience and I've absolutely enjoyed it. The world is wide open."

Said Vera: "It was run brilliantly, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I flew over here and I had a blast."

The playing field included both professional and novice competitors who flew in from all over the United Kingdom and Ireland to play.

Betfair's Head of Poker, Ben Fried, was impressed by the positive atmosphere surrounding the event.

"The sportsmanship and camaraderie between the players was fantastic. Remember poker is fun, and these ladies certainly had some of that.

"Well done to Angela. She's done brilliantly and we will be supporting her all the way at the WSOP."

The Betfair Poker Goddess event began online in early March. Only the top qualifiers advanced to the live tournament in London to compete for the WSOP prize package.

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