Women Take Back-to-Back Gold, Umerova Wins $1.5K Shootout

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Safiya Umerova

Kristen Bicknell became the first Canadian and first woman of the summer to win a bracelet yesterday.

Now, on Canada Day, the Canadians are still at one. But the number of female champions has doubled.

Safiya Umerova, who played her first tournament a year and a half ago, defeated Niall Farrell heads up to win the $1,500 NLHE Shootout and $264,046.

Farrell started the heads-up match with the lead, but Umerova doubled up with quad queens to stay in the game.

Umerova then got the lead with aces full of queens and took down Farrell when he moved all-in in with queen-high.

Umerova called with A 6 and hit an ace on the flop. Umerova improved to a flush on the river and Farrell hit the rail.

Umerova: "Great Start to My Career"

“I guess I deserve it,” Umerova said.

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“Because I wasn't sure if I even deserved to have one. I've only been playing poker seriously for a year.

“This is just a great start for my career I guess.”

Umerova is originally from Russia and came to the United States six years ago.

Umerova started playing cash games for fun in Los Angeles but then tried a poker tournament about 18 months ago.

“I almost made that final table,” Umerova said. “I realized how much I liked tournaments and how different they were.

“I realized I didn’t want to play cash games anymore.”

Umerova then delved into the game and started studying it daily.

Scoring Big in LA

Results manifested quickly and Umerova final tabled and won a few tournaments in the 2016 L.A. Poker Classic.

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After success in LA and Florida, Vegas was the next stop for Umerova.

Umerova’s largest score was a 2nd-place finish worth $18,700 and then she won $76,144 for finishing 5th in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown.

“I thought next step was coming to the WSOP,” Umerova said.

“This is a little bigger buy-in than I normally do, but I started building up my bankroll so I could afford playing this event.

“Then I ended up winning a bracelet.”

Umerova is proud of her bracelet and is glad that women have taken down the last two.

An Inspiration For Women

“It’s just so inspiring for women out there,” Umerova said. “A lot of female poker pros out there are actually very good and underestimated. It happens to me when I’m at the table.

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Victory for Umerova and defeat for Farrell.

“Before it used to be a part of my act, but people just underestimate my thinking and game.

“I’m not sure how it used to be because I just started playing, but I’ve heard women have gotten so much better and I love it.”

Umerova doesn’t want to just get better, she wants to be the best.

“I dream big,” Umerova said.

“I always wanted to be the best player in the world but I’m definitely not there yet.

“I mean, this wasn’t that big of a deal, it was just one bracelet. It’s not like five. One is just one.

“I just want to have the most bracelets that anyone ever had. That's the goal. You have to be competitive, right?”

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