They started with 75 players, but in the end, there can only be one winner. After two days and 18 hours of play, the winner in the PokerStars Women Live $1K NLHE event was Kathy Saraf. She and second place finisher Lauren Kling had been playing heads-up for only about half an hour when the key hand came up, the one that would decide the tournament.
Lauren flopped two pair and Kathy came along with a flush draw. The win for Saraf came with the club on the river, and Lauren Kling garnered a consecutive second place finish at the PCA women's event. Here is the final list of the top eight finishers:
1) Kathy Saraf ($25,460) USA
2) Lauren Kling ($16,010) USA
3) Pallas Aidinian ($9,460) USA
4) Deb Young ($6,910) Canada
5) Claudia Csongei ($5,090) Hungary
6) Anne-Marie Lachapelle ($3,640) Canada
7) Maria Panyak ($3,270) Russia
8) Bree Goldman ($2,910) USA
Kathy is from New York and plays tournaments in that area occasionally. She has cashed three times in tournaments at the PCA, including the 2011 NL Hold'em 8-Max for $29,705, but this was her first women's event at the PCA. She and her husband are recreational players and have been to the PCA for the last four years. She remarked that although she's had some previous success in poker, she is very excited to have her first win in a live tournament. Her advice for other women new to the game is to practice as much as possible and to observe hands. One hint that she offered is to keep mum a little more at the table. "Sometimes people say things that give them away," she remarked.
Lauren Kling was very familiar with the tournament and with the venue at the PCA, having come in second in the same event last year. Although the outcome of the tournament was not what she had hoped, her accomplishment is significant. Lauren's largest cash to date was $37,260 at last year's LA Poker Classic.
The fifth and sixth place finishers were satellite qualifiers, and for Anne Marie Lachapelle, the tournament was her first live event. Prior to this, she played micro limit tournaments online and with friends only. Her biggest cash previous to this was for $150. Claudia Csongei had considerably more experience in live tournaments, having qualified to play at the EPT Prague event in May.
We look forward to hearing more from Kathy and Lauren and all the ladies mentioned here in the year to come. Best wishes from the PCA, and we hope to see many of you again next year!