Tonight, Sally Anne Boyer was probably the happiest - and luckiest - woman in Las Vegas. After playing eight hours of poker at a final table enclosed by black velvet curtains and moveable, collapsible walls, Sally rivered a deuce and was victorious, taking the 2007 WSOP Ladies Event Title.
Her eyes were sparkling with pride under her cowboy hat, and she exuded joy and excitement. Many of her fellow players waited outside the Amazon Room to congratulate her. Some gave her hugs. It seems she not only made a lot of money tonight, but she made some new friends too.
Amid all the frenzy, what with the shrouded table and all, I finally got a hold of Boyer and had a little chat with her. She was glowing but beautifully composed - a truly gracious winner. Here's what she had to tell me:
So you must be so excited right now! How do you feel?
Kind of numb, kind of in shock, but absolutely thrilled. When it got down to two of us, I was really emotional - I took a break, went outside, and just got re-focused. I came back…and then fell apart again when I won! (Laughs.) But I'm really excited.
Would you say you're an emotional player?
Um, no. No, I might stew a lot inside, but on the outside I'm quite confident and collected.
Lead me through your path here. How did you get to the World Series of Poker?
I started playing poker a year ago. My boyfriend encouraged me to learn and play. And I've done that, quite a lot just online. I'd come to Vegas quite often and play in some smaller tournaments, and I've done well in those. I attended the Academy, the World Series of Poker Academy - it was very helpful. I was just this past weekend. I changed up my strategy a bit, and, it worked!
This Academy … what is it really?
The Academy is sponsored by the World Series, it's for ladies only, and they limited to 100 women, and Annie Duke was one of the instructors! I played with her and it was just wonderful. I highly recommend it. She was a mentor to all of us. So great, very encouraging, and I was thrilled just to play with her.
You mentioned your boyfriend - do you have anyone here?
I don't, but I have a wonderful mom, who's in California, and five furry children. A horse, two dogs, and two cats.
What do you plan to buy first?
Well I plan to invest most of it. I am contemplating getting a home here [in Las Vegas], so I definitely might do that.
Where do you live when you're not in Vegas?
I live in Midway, Utah, which is just outside of Park City, Utah. There's great skiing there! But I would love to get a second home here, in the warm weather. But we'll see.
Where are you staying here?
The Golden Nugget. They're really good to me there, and I love playing in the smaller tournaments there, and it's fun being downtown.
What are you going to tonight to celebrate?
(Giggles excitedly.) I don't know! I'm not sure. I know I'll be on the phone a lot initially, calling everyone.
Well it's good news to share! Congratulations!
Thanks so much!
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Sally Anne Boyer is the new poker queen. And she's made history! She is the winner of the world's largest ladies' poker tournament ever. We at PokerListings.com wish Sally Anne all the best in poker - and life - and look forward to seeing her again in future events.