PokerStars Women's Poker League: July Winners and Featured Player AltisAltis

League logo.jpgThe wrap of the July Women's League brought some interesting twists and turns that resulted in two women ranking in the top ten in both leagues. It is quite a feat to put so much time and effort into the $.10 and the $1.10 leagues and achieve success in both, beating out thousands of competitors to do so.

This month, we interviewed one of those women, AltisAltis of Russia, and will feature her profile after the recap of the standings below.

$.10 League

IMG_1028.JPGWhen we checked the leaderboards at the beginning of the month, we noticed that AltisAltis ranked first in both leagues. Just behind were Lady Lecter of Spain and TopYena of Ukraine. A week later, the halfway mark of the month, AltisAltis had fallen to fifth place, as Lady Lecter captured first and longtime regular fullmeat7 catapulted into second.

With only a few days to go in the month, Jachna looked to have locked up first place, though Lady Lecter was in a solid second, and fullmeat7 fell to third. And AltisAltis and KleopatraRTS rounded out the top five.

The clock ran out for July with Jachna retaining her top spot in the league. The Polish player took it down with 31 tournaments and a score of 143 to capture the $100 prize.

SARITA15350 surged ahead very quickly in the last few days of the month, as she was not listed in the top ten only days before the final rankings were noted. But the Spanish player showed 31 tournaments and 141 points, giving her an easy second place and $90.

AltisAltis of Russia climbed back up and finished the month in third. Her 30 tournaments gave her 137 points and $80 for the solid performance.

It should be noted that several players repeated a showing in this league's top ten. Melvinaa1 won the league last month, KleopatraRTS took fourth this month after fifth in June, and Demi ces came in eighth place two months running.

The complete top ten for July:

1st place: Jachna (Poland) - 31 tournaments, 143 points = $100
2nd place: SARITA15350 (Spain) - 31 tournaments, 141 points = $90
3rd place: AltisAltis (Russia) - 30 tournaments, 137 points = $80
4th place: KleopatraRTS (Poland) - 30 tournaments, 132 points = $70
5th place: Lady Lecter (Spain) - 30 tournaments, 126 points = $60
6th place: fullmeat7 (Peru) - 26 tournaments, 125 points = $50
7th place: moisaky (Belgium) - 28 tournaments, 110 points = $40
8th place: Demi ces (Canada) - 24 tournaments, 108 points = $30
9th place: Anais2136 (Mexico) - 28 tournaments, 107 points = $20
10th place: melvinaa1 (Canada) - 29 tournaments, 104 points = $15

$1.10 League

IMG_1031.JPGAs previously mentioned, AltisAltis was at the top of this leaderboard as well as the other league to start the month, though she fell to seventh place by the midway point. Other initial leaders were leenekid and @Macipienta, both of whom fell two spots by July 15th.

At crunch time, @Macipienta had taken over the top spot and looked strong, while leenekid remained in third place and hcpaqp leapt into the top ten from nowhere and held a strong second.

When the final July numbers were posted, @Macipienta of Peru held that top position and took first place for the month. Her 28 tournaments and solid 187 points were enough to award her the $250 first place prize.

Second place went to blanckaa17 of Mexico, who lurked in the top ten all month and made the surge to second for the $170 prize, done by playing 29 tournaments and scoring 174 points.

Demi ces, who made the top ten of the $.10 league, took third in this one. The Canadian garnered 164 points from 28 tournaments in July.

The only player to make the top ten for two months in a row was paoo20 of Peru, who finished second in June and seventh this month.

The final top ten for July:

1st place: @Macipienta (Peru) - 28 tournaments, 187 points = $250
2nd place: blanckaa17 (Mexico) - 29 tournaments, 174 points = $170
3rd place: Demi ces (Canada) - 28 tournaments, 164 points = $140
3rd place: leenekid (Canada) - 31 tournaments, 160 points = $120
5th place: hcpaqp (Peru) - 25 tournaments, 155 points = $100
6th place: AltisAltis (Russia) - 30 tournaments, 150 points = $90
7th place: paoo20 (Peru) - 28 tournaments, 139 points = $80
8th place: tjumpy (Canada) - 29 tournaments, 120 points = $60
9th place: Irisha17 (Ukraine) - 31 tournaments, 117 points = $50
10th place: oida-baaaam (Germany) - 31 tournaments, 115 points = $40

Featured Player Alla "AltisAltis" Zorko

When we first emailed Alla Zorko, better known to her online competitors as AltisAltis, we mentioned that she caught our collective eye because of her first place standing in both leagues early in July. Her response was to happily answer questions but humbly note, "I doubt I'll stay in top positions till the end of the month." However, she added a smiley face to that sentence, indicating she would certainly give it her best shot to stay in the top ten.

The Moscow native is nearly 35 years old and lists her full-time job as poker because, "I don't like to be called 'housewife." And poker only came into her life in 2009.

Alla's friend was moving to Thailand for the winter. His job was a professional poker player, so he could live anywhere and make a living. The idea intrigued Alla, and since she already played online backgammon, she knew enough to navigate her way through an online poker site. She solicited advice from her friend. "Many thanks to him for his patience with responding to billions of my questions, hearing my crying about how AA never wins or how someone hit two outs on the river, etc."

She then told her husband about her interest in poker, and he suggested PokerStrategy, a website that consists of a poker school, coaching, and a forum. She registered in May of 2009 and started playing $.05/$.10 full-limit hold'em cash games and freerolls on a popular online poker site, soon moving to PokerStars. Later that year, PokerStars became her site of choice, and she worked her bankroll up to $50.

To view Alla's profile (AltisA) on PokerStrategy now, she has thousands of posts on the forums, where she details her ups and downs with poker. In her words, she writes about "how even a female dinosaur like me can play poker." She has played poker as a "semi-professional rake machine" since January 2010, mostly in the $.25/$.50 to $1/$2 range in FLHE.

The PokerStars Women's League was of particular interest to Alla because she enjoyed backgammon leagues in the past. She likes the idea of ratings and rankings, and she finds that the league players get to know each other and are friendlier than in other games. She noted that there are many more "congratulations" than name-calling and negativity, and she enjoys the friendly nature of the community of women in the leagues.

Her advice for other women looking to get into online poker and improve their games is to find a good balance between theory and practice. "It doesn't matter for women or for men." And as far as her July performance in the Women's League and her own success, she added that it was her maintenance of statistics and notes from previous months.

As she typed her answers to questions for the email, Alla added a post-script: "Good, won another $1.10 league tournament while writing this. :)"

Thanks to Alla Zorko for her time and advice. Dedication and practice seem to be her keys to success, and we look forward to seeing more of AltisAltis in the 2011 Women's League.

Information about the PokerStars Women's Poker League is provided on the home page, and current league standings are listed on the rankings page. And join us on Facebook for regular updates!

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in PokerStars news