The year the women "outplayed" the men

ps_news_thn.jpgI'm not one to argue with Daniel Negreanu about poker. Never have, never will. The man knows poker and is an international poker celebrity and a spokesperson for PokerStars around the world. So when he made some comments about women in poker recently my ears perked up--especially when he was talking about the women at PokerStars specifically. Now Daniel is known for speaking his mind and letting the chips fall where they may (couldn't resist) and this time is no different. His candid remarks may offend some people (only the fifty percent or so of the population who aren't women) when they are picked up by the media, but I'm happy to report that this time, it certainly won't be women. This time what he said may get the guys a bit steamed, but what's a little tilting here and there? It's all part of the game, right?

So what did he say already? Daniel gets the ball rolling by saying that the "breakout player of the year" was Vanessa Selbst, which came as no surprise if you have been following her amazing success this year. With cashes totaling almost $3M this year, she is a hands-down favorite for that title. As a result, Daniel called her the "team MVP." Vanessa's two major tournament wins this year and her other ITM deep finishes have certainly pushed her to the top tier of that elite group. So that, in and of itself, is a great accomplishment for Vanessa and a very impressive accolade for the women on the team.

But what really surprised me and maybe Daniel himself was the quote that followed. He did some analysis of the PokerStars Team Pro members for 2010 overall, and here's the quote that got my attention: "Another thing I found interesting is how badly the PokerStars boys were outplayed by the women!" Now that's a quote that is bound to get some attention in the press, so as the editor of the PokerStars Women site, I want to be the first to run with it! Daniel is recognizing the incredible strides that women on the team are making and going so far as to say that the men were "outplayed" by the women. Now that's news!

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This all came about when Daniel (as he puts it, "a full-fledged stats geek") began analyzing his stats, along with those of the other Team PokerStars Pro members. What he found was that of the top ten players on the team in 2010 (based on earnings) the top two spots were held by women (Vanessa Selbst and Liv Boeree respectively) and Vanessa Rousso brought in the third top ten ranking, just behind Daniels' eighth place finish. This is an incredible feat, considering that women usually make up less than five percent of the field in big open events and represent only seven out of seventy-five spots on the team.

Daniel calls them as he sees them, and his comments are sure to bring home the message to everyone in the poker community that this was the " year of the woman," after all, and for PokerStars female pros in particular, it was a very good year.

To see Daniel's full list and other stats, see this link to his blog.

Rebekah Mercer
@PokerStars in PS Women