Has a Woman Ever Won WSOP Main Event?

Barbara Enright
Barbara Enright

In the history of poker, no woman has ever won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event that takes place in the Entertainment Capital of the World- Las Vegas. In fact, only one woman has ever made to the final table. It was Barbara Enright in 1995. Although in 2007, a then 19 year-old Annette Obrestad won the WSOP Europe. Enright, being the only female finalist to the concluding table, is the greatest female tournament poker player of all time. After Enright, it’s the Jennifer Harman who is the most successful and richest cash game player. Enright owns three WSOP bracelets – a grand slam accomplished by only one other player, Nani Dollison – and has collected over $438,000 in combined WSOP and WSOP Circuit winnings.

In 1995 World Series of Poker, 273 entrants paid the $10,000 entry fee to play, and Enright finished at 5th place taking home $114,180. That was the year Dan Harrington won the bracelet and million dollar first prize. Her best WSOP Main Event performance was seen in 2005, when she stood at 286th position. 5,619 players took part in that tournament, and Enright ride out 5,332 people on her way to 286th place and a $24,365 prize money.

Popular poker professional Susie Isaacs finished 10th in the 1998 WSOP Main Event for $40,000, and Kathy Liebert, who is second on the list of all-time tournament winnings by a female, finished in 17th place. Unpopular poker professional Annie Duke finished 10th in 2000, that year Chris Jesus Ferguson won the bracelet. You would be surprise enough to know Kathy Liebert (who finished 17th in 1998) also finished 17th during Annie Duke’s near-miss at the final table. Liebert, an extra talented tournament player, has won a bracelet and cashed in over $1 million in winnings, bracketing the WSOP and WSOP Circuit results.

Nevertheless, there are women who have been winning close to the final shelving the WSOP Main Event. For instance, in 2012, there were two ladies left standing out of only 11 players left. However, both women were knocked out before the final table of nine players was set. Elisabeth Hille, who hails from Norway was knocked out in 11th place and won $590,442. With ten players left, Gaelle Baumann became only the second woman in WSOP history to make the final table of the Main Event by finishing roughly close, at a heartbreaking 10th place. The $610,710 payday means Baumann holds the record for the largest cash amongst female players ever in the history of the World Series of Poker.

With the above developments seen in poker, it implies that modern women has come a long way to meet the challenges of skill game like poker. They have left no stone unturned to excel in a card game like poker which is still popular among men.