WSOPC New Orleans gets first female winner

Daphne Turner

Daphne Turner put in a dominating performance at the '07/'08 WSOPC Harrah's New Orleans and as a result became one of just six women to snag a WSOPC ring since the tour began four years ago.

Turner, who is a 39-year-old bill collector, had no previous record of cashes in major tournaments of any kind but didn't let that stop her from busting eight of her nine adversaries and cruising to victory in just three hours.

Event 11, which was a $500+$50 buy-in tournament, wasn't the easiest tournament to win, either. It took place over one marathon 15-hour session which spanned two days. It was as much a test of players' physical endurance as it was of their poker skills.

Turner came to the final table with $85,000 for the chip lead but David Scarano wasn't far behind with $70,000 to his name.

Ironically Turner was not the only woman at the final table. Christy Williams, a real estate broker from Pearland, La., also made the final table with $20,000. It was not to be for Williams, however, as she was the first player eliminated.

In one of the most important hands of the final table Turner busted both Shaun Helmle and Brian McHann when her A-2 spiked an ace against 9-9 and J-T, which was enough to give her the check mark.

Turner entered heads-up play against David Scarano with a 10-1 chip lead and quickly overwhelmed the skilled poker player from Las Vegas.

In the last hand of the tournament Turner made trip tens while holding T-9 and Scarano pulled an ill-timed shove. Turner made the call and the tournament was hers.

She took home $34,920, a gold WSOPC ring and a little piece of poker history.

Incredibly, Turner almost didn't play in the event. The day before the event she told her friends she was returning to her hometown of New Orleans for a few days and took off.

"I got in the car and I only had the clothes on my back," she said. "I did not even bother to pack. My husband told me that if I play poker that I better come home with some money. Now, I've cashed for $35,000."

In other Circuit news retiree Michael Vardeman made his own personal bit of poker history by beating Jason Becher in heads-up play to win Event 8 - $500+$50. Vardeman took down $42,214 for his efforts.

Stay tuned to as we draw closer to the conclusion of the WSOPC Harrah's New Orleans and the '07/'08 season of the WSOPC.

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