PokerStars Women's Poker League: August Winners and Featured Player o0ONoraO0o

League logo.jpgPlaying a month's worth of tournaments is going to have its ups and downs. Players may have a good run at the beginning of the month and lose momentum, while others can have a rough start and leap into the top ten in a week or two. This is what happened in the August Women's League, as many players in the $.10 and the $1.10 divisions had a tumultuous yet exciting ride.

Let's take a look at each individual league, as well as get to know our featured player this month, o0ONoraO0o.

IMG_1028.JPG$.10 League

After only one week of play in August, klondyker was off to a stellar start with 60 points. Maadcaroma had 45 to sit in second place, and Giiggeee and KOKIRITA both had 39 points to tie for third. The mid-month numbers showed klondykerr maintaining her lead with 99 points, and KOKIRITA soared into second with 76, while vali therese came out of nowhere to jump into third place. Giiggeee fell out of the top ten, and maadcaroma was steady in fourth.

With only one week left in the month, it was KOKIRITA in first with an astounding 134 points, followed by klondyker and vali therese, and maadcaroma still held on in fourth.

KOKIRITA of Argentina held on to first place and ended the month with 178 points from only 23 tournaments. That finish was worth a solid $100 and much respect from fellow league members. Klondyker of Canada finished in second place with 144 points, and maadcaroma of Portugal improved to third place with 141 points and finished in the top ten of the $1.10 league as well.

The final top ten standings for August:

1st place: KOKIRITA (Argentina) - 23 tournaments, 178 points = $100
2nd place: klondyker (Canada) - 30 tournaments, 144 points = $90
3rd place: maadcaroma (Portugal) - 31 tournaments, 141 points = $80
4th place: vikulinka (Ukraine) - 21 tournaments, 135 points = $70
5th place: KleopatraRTS (Poland) - 31 tournaments, 123 points = $60
6th place: sophie771131 (Hungary) - 30 tournaments, 119 points = $50
7th place: vchardy (Canada) - 28 tournaments, 118 points = $40
8th place: Nela60 (Spain) - 31 tournaments, 114 points = $30
9th place: vali therese (Canada) - 25 tournaments, 113 points = $20
10th place: mykkote (Venezuela) - 27 tournaments, 105 points = $15

IMG_1032.JPG$1.10 League

The end of the first week of August found doris1980 in first place in this league with 67.6 points, followed fairly closely by ludomanKuzj with 58. Bertie867 was in third with 47. Doris1980 stayed in first place by the middle of the month with 116.6 points, and Bertie867 took over second place with 108. And while o0ONoraO0o jumped into third, ludomanKuzj departed the top ten altogether.

A week prior to the close of the month, laimee climbed into first place with 129 points, followed by Bertie867 with 115 and doris1980 close behind with 114, while o0ONoraO0o took a slight dip back into fifth place.

Laimee of Canada stayed in that top spot to end August in first place with 157 points derived from playing 24 tournaments. She earned $250 for the feat. Bertie867 of Canada also kept momentum and stayed in second place with 133 points, and doris1980 of Greece did the same in third place with 132 points.

The end-of-month rankings for August:

1st place: laimee (Canada) - 24 tournaments, 157 points = $250
2nd place: Bertie867 (Canada) - 27 tournaments, 133 points = $170
3rd place: doris1980 (Greece) - 28 tournaments, 132 points = $140
3rd place: oida- baaaam (Germany) - 31 tournaments, 125 points = $120
5th place: @Mapicienta (Peru) - 26 tournaments, 120 points = $100
6th place: o0ONoraO0o (Canada) - 23 tournaments, 119 points = $90
7th place: MyColdFeet (United Kingdom) - 25 tournaments, 107 points = $80
8th place: ~Chipsqueak~ (Canada) - 29 tournaments, 104 points = $60
9th place: lstina7 (Russia) - 31 tournaments, 102 points = $40 (TIE)
9th place: maadcaroma (Portugal) - 30 tournaments, 102 points = $40 (TIE)
9th place: vchardy (Canada) - 26 tournaments, 102 points = $40 (TIE)

Featured Player Stephany "o0ONoraO0o" Brizay

To look at the stats for o0ONoraO0o, there are some solid accomplishments that stand out. There was a Women's Sunday final table in May and some deep runs since then, as well as top ten finishes in the Women's Poker League in 2011, including August.

To interview Stephany Brizay, we find out that the 25-year old does this in her spare time. As a full-time mother and full-time student studying public relations at the University of Ottawa, poker takes a backseat to those priorities. But that doesn't mean it's not a passion for her; it truly is.

Brizay hails from Quebec City but currently lives in Gatineau. She began playing poker in college with friends in live $5 buy-in games. "I realize now that even though I managed to win quite a few games," she said, "I wasn't really good. I was happy with a high card, and Q-3 was my favourite hand."

Daniel Negreanu on TV.jpgDuring maternity leave with her daughter, Nora, she was looking for something to keep her busy, and PokerStars was it. "I saw Daniel Negreanu on TV and decided to put $25 in my account." And she began to practice. She played low buy-in tournaments and FPP tournaments to improve, and she made a habit of using satellites to get into higher buy-in tournaments.

Through her years of casual play, she found that the women's games offered a fun environment that encouraged her to play more. The Women's League offers her the chance to get to know the regular players and make notes. There are other reasons she enjoys playing in women's tournaments: "Besides the fact that women are way nicer than men in their comments (most of the time), the main difference between women and men are the bluffs and reraises. Most women don't bluff at all and even show their cards when no one calls their bets and they win the hand, something you would rarely see in a regular tournament. Also, I notice that once a woman places a bet, they will rarely fold even if you raise their bet."

Brizay is aware of her own needs for improvement in poker as well. "I was quick on the all-in and must say that I still am when I'm in a tournament with lots of people or in a rebuy tournament," she admitted. And even though the structures make it possible to build up a stack and make final tables, she added, "I'm often able to make it in the money, but then I have to go all-in with pretty much any hands because of the lack of chips. It's the next step I need to learn." There was a smiley face emoticon with that comment.

And the Women's Sunday is something she truly enjoys. "I like to play the Women's Sunday mostly because of the quality of the players. For a woman to play, she has to have won a satellite or directly paid the buy-in, and I really don't think that many women who don't know how to play would end up in a $55 buy-in tournament. It's also nice to know that you are playing in the same tournament as Liv Boeree, Sjlot [Charlotte Van Brabander], and Adrienne Rowsome." And the Canadian also admits that the timing is perfect. "My daughter's in bed, and I get to place with nice but also competitive and skilled women."

She does consider playing more live poker, as there is a casino 5 minutes from her home, and she's been trying to win a PS Women Live seat to London. In preparation for that move, she's been reading Dan Harrington's poker books, something many great tournaments players keep on their shelves.

Meanwhile, she encourages more women to play in the Women's League. "If you enjoy playing, that's the only thing that matters. There are a lot of low buy-in tournaments and FPPs where you can improve your skills. And feel free to get in the conversation if there's one at your table; most women are really nice."

With another smiley face, Brizay added, "Just make sure to manage your bankroll... Oh yeah, that's another thing I have to work on."

If you come across o0ONoraO0o at your table, make sure to say hi. And call her Steph, as Nora is likely sleeping while her mother takes your chips.

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 PS Women