About Kathy Liebert

Kathy Liebert
Kathy Liebert

There are a lot of female poker players on the circuit who are cashing in on "assets" other than their actual poker skills, but representing for the serious female players out there is Kathy Liebert, who continues to dominate as one of the top female tournament players and as one of the top tournament players in general.

But if you ask Liebert, she'd tell you there shouldn't be a distinction between male and female players anyway.

"It's not a game of strength; it's a game of intelligence," Liebert said in an interview for BodogNation. "And a lot of it has to do with patience and discipline, as well as memory, and so I would say that women have all of the skills and in some cases even more of the skills than men in terms of being successful poker players."

One might wonder how Liebert got into such a male-dominated profession and ended up making a name for herself in the poker world.

Born in 1967 in Nashville, Tenn., and raised predominantly in Long Island, N.Y., Liebert first started playing poker when she was just 12 years old. Her family would play nickel-and-dime home games around the kitchen table, and sometimes her mom would invite people over to play.

It was a just a fun home game, nothing serious, and Liebert went off to Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to pursue a real profession. There she got a bachelor's degree in business and finance.

Her degree led her to a job with Dun & Bradstreet as a business analyst. However, it didn't take long for Liebert to become dissatisfied with the job and, following her mother's advice to do something she loved and the money would follow, she started playing the stock market and looking into other options.

She made some sound investments and ended up doing well enough to be able to quit her job to determine what she really wanted to do with her life. Her search led her on a trip to the West Coast, during which she made a stop in Las Vegas where she played casino poker for the first time.

It was enough to give her an appetite for the game, and when she ended up settling in Colorado because of the skiing in the Rocky Mountains she also started playing $5 Limit poker at Central City and Blackhawk, two gambling resorts in the mountains.

Her weekly stints at the casinos caught the attention of the management, and she was eventually invited to become a prop player to help keep the action going at the tables. The extra paid practice and reading poker books helped Liebert continue to improve her game.

At the suggestion of a friend, she took her game to the next level, trying her hand at a poker tournament in Las Vegas. It was an Omaha Hi-Lo event, and she ended up finishing in second place. She followed that up with a second-place finish in a Texas Hold'em tournament a week later.

She'd made $34,000 from her first two outings in tournaments and didn't look back. Now with nearly $4 million in tournament prize money, a World Series of Poker bracelet win and one of the highest places by a female in a World Poker Tour event, Liebert has proven she has what it takes.

Of all her accomplishments though, it was Liebert's win of the inaugural PartyPoker.com Million in 2002 that pushed her into the spotlight in the poker world. With the win, she became the first woman to win a $1 million top prize.

The PartyPoker.com Million was no walk in the park either. The $1 million top prize brought out quite a few prominent poker pros, including Mel Judah, Ken Flaton, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson and Phil Hellmuth, who all made it to the final table with Liebert.

After the elimination of five of the final-table players, Liebert had taken a commanding chip lead of $460,000 with Hellmuth her nearest competitor with $280,000 in chips. She eventually eliminated the Poker Brat in third place to face a relatively unknown player heads-up for the win.

Heads-up lasted for more than two hours as Liebert and Berj Kacherian seesawed back and forth in the chip lead until Liebert ran into four good hands in a row to boost her way into the lead. Kacherian was eventually forced to go all-in or blind out, and Liebert got the best of him.

In 2004 she proved once again she could dominate in the pro ranks when she won a WSOP bracelet in the $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout event, and then in 2005 she landed in the spotlight again when she won the televised Poker Royale: Battle of the Sexes.

In the final of the Poker Royale, Liebert got her revenge against Antonio Esfandiari, who had defeated her in the fourth preliminary match to take first. Esfandiari was the first person taken out at the final, and Liebert went on to defeat Karina Jett, Amir Vahedi, Evelyn Ng and Layne Flack for the overall win.

She didn't fare quite as well late that same year when she participated in the Poker Royal: The James Woods Gang vs. The Unabombers. Playing for the James Woods Gang, she came out shooting and managed a second-place finish in the final, but it was Phil "Unabomber" Laak, captain of his Unabombers team, who took her out.

With all her tournament success and chances to shine in the public eye, Liebert's place has definitely been solidified in the poker history books, but she isn't done yet. She's still got a hunger for a WPT or WSOP championship win, and it's a pretty safe bet we'll continue seeing her cashing in at tournaments until she has one.

Tournament Placing

Place Winnings Tournament
352 $2,210.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 54 - $888 Crazy Eights 8-Handed No-Limit Hold'em
17 $15,874.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 33 - $1500 Summer Solstice No-Limit Hold'em
67 $5,738.00 WSOP 2016 - Event 25 - $2500 No-Limit Hold'em
33 $8,517.00 WSOP 2015 - Event 30 - $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em
188 $2,045.00 WSOP 2014 - Event 56 - $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em
188 $2,283.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 54 - $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em
257 $2,107.00 WSOP 2013 - Event 3 - $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em
70 $4,287.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 16 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Six Handed
212 $3,584.00 WSOP 2012 - Event 9 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Re-entry
46 $4,955.00 WSOP 2011 - Event 51 - $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo
148 $3,779.00 WSOP 2011 - Event 43 - $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em
204 $2,820.00 WSOP 2011 - Event 8 - $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em
29 $10,750.00 WPT Season 8 - Borgata Poker Open
61 $8,037.00 2009 WSOP - Event 52 - $3,000 Triple Chance No-Limit Hold'em
29 $4,795.00 2009 WSOP - Event 20 - $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em
20 $21,026.00 2009 WSOP - Event 15 - $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em
2 $550,000.00 WPT Season 7 - Bay 101 Shooting Star
18 $5,518.00 WSOPC Season 5 - Harrah's Tunica
3 $319,337.00 WPT Season 7 - North American Poker Championship
39 $7,311.00 2008 WSOP - Event 29, No-Limit Hold'em
24 $19,583.00 2008 WSOP - Event 21, No-Limit Hold'em
72 $2,900.00 2008 WSOP - Event 19, Pot-Limit Omaha
47 $3,357.00 2008 WSOP - Event 15, World Championship Ladies Event No-Limit Hold'em
3 $306,064.00 2008 WSOP - Event 1, World Championship Pot-Limit Hold'em
15 $23,964.00 2008 Special - Wynn Classic
37 $4,957.00 2007 WSOP - Event 44, Omaha Hi-Low Split
46 $12,893.00 2007 WSOP - Event 38, No-Limit Hold'em
119 $4,334.00 2007 WSOP - Event 35, No-Limit Hold'em
13 $26,060.00 2007 WSOP - Event 22, No-Limit Hold'em
5 $257,579.00 WPT Season 5 - World Poker Finals
275 $38,759.00 2006 WSOP - Event 39, No-Limit Texas Hold'em World Championship Event
46 $3,232.00 2006 WSOP - Event 29, Pot-Limit Hold'em
11 $4,805.00 2006 WSOP - Event 25, No-Limit Hold'em Shootout
34 $8,113.00 2006 WSOP - Event 14, No-Limit Hold'em w/re-buys
26 $9,476.00 2006 WSOP - Event 5, No-limit Hold'em Short Handed, 6/table
3 $427,115.00 WPT Season 4 - Borgata Poker Open
52 $1,365.00 2005 WSOP - Event 26, $1,000 Ladies Event No-limit Hold'em, 2 pm start, 1 day event
7 $24,840.00 2005 WSOP - Event 15, $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout
5 $0.00 WPT Specials - WPT Ladies Night I
6 $22,575.00 WPT Season 1 - Legends of Poker
3 $8,000.00 WPT Season 1 - Aruba Poker Classic
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