The women have arrived

PS Women logo.jpgShortly after the PCA in 2010 I wrote an article for this blog called "Watch Out, the Women Are Coming." The article generated some discussion on forums and other poker related blogs when I stated that women in the PCA Main Event that year cashed at the same rate as men. Some people felt that I should have focused more on the amount they won instead of the number of cashes, but for the record, here is the information I related. There were 29 women in the Main Event out of a total of 1529 players, and four of them cashed. Although they were grossly underrepresented overall (29/1529), they cashed at a rate of 14 percent, virtually the same as the men. I made the case that women were coming on strong in poker and that the showing that year indicated good things to come for women. I knew the big paydays would come, and they have.

I'm proud to say that the progress of women in poker that year, and throughout the last couple of years, has proven my comments to be not only true, but modest. First there was the incredible success of Vanessa Selbst at the 2010 NAPT Mohegan Sun Main Event where she won $750,000, one of the biggest stories of the year. Then she capped an incredible year at the Partouche Poker Tour in Cannes, where she took home the championship trophy and a cash of $1,823,430. Liv Boeree also exploded onto the poker scene with her win at EPT San Remo and a cash of €1,250,000 in 2010. Vanessa Rousso final tabled the WPT Five Diamond tournament in Las Vegas and walked away with a few dollars short of $3,000,000. And then there was Young Shin Im's Main Event win at APPT Cebu (she was a PokerStars qualifier). It was the first APPT main event win by a woman.


Young Shin Im

2010 was also the year that PokerStars launched a series of initiatives for women that contributed to making it a banner year. The first PokerStars PCA women's event was held in January (won by Vanessa Rousso), along with the launch of PokerStars Women in September. That year also saw the Women's Poker League take off with thousands of women playing in tournaments around the world.

Daniel Negreanu tied up the year nicely when he made a comment in his blog that pointed to huge advances for women and gave the guys a nudge at the same time. The Team PokerStars Pro said that after analyzing the stats for the Team Pros throughout the year he noted that of the top ten players on the team in 2010, the top two spots were held by women--Vanessa Selbst and Liv Boeree. Vanessa Rousso finished in ninth, just behind Daniel in eighth. The women represented only seven out of seventy-five spots on the team that year but three of them finished in the top ten. Daniel commented that he found it interesting "how badly the PokerStars boys were outplayed by the women!"

2010 may have been the year that made people really start to take notice that women were a force to be reckoned with in poker, but it was just the beginning. Since then there have been numerous outstanding results by women in poker. Here are just a few of the biggest stories:

Women on the move in poker


  • Ana Marquez finishes tenth and narrowly misses the final table at the PCA Main Event. She cashes for $155,000.
  • Vanessa Selbst wins an unprecedented back-to-back main event title at Mohegan Sun.
  • 2012

  • Xuan Liu finishes fourth at PCA Main Event and cashes for $600,000, outlasting 1068 opponents.
  • Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin wins second Red Dragon Main event title
  • Allyn Shulman wins WSOP Seniors event
  • Vanessa Selbst wins second WSOP bracelet in open event
  • It's obvious from these results that women have become a force in poker and their continued success is something we can all celebrate as we look forward into the future of poker. The women have arrived!

    For more details from the original post "The Women Are Coming." Other articles that might be of interest include the following:

    Show me the money

    The Year of the PokerStars Woman

    For more on Daniel's comments see his post here.

    Rebekah Mercer
    @PokerStars in PS Women