Satellite winner bests 805 players to win London package freeroll

Thumbnail image for ps_news_thn.jpgby Rebekah Mercer
It was 2am London time when Michelle Webb, a satellite player from the UK, won the final hand in the Woman Poker Player freeroll that guaranteed her a PokerStars Ladies Luxury Poker Event package to EPT London. I wasn't there, so can't tell you for sure, but I'm guessing there was some screaming and jumping up-and-down that happened before it all sank in. Maybe enough to wake the neighbors at 2am.

Winning a prize package worth £1,500 is enough to get the adrenaline flowing for most people, but when you win it in a freeroll, it's just so much nicer. For absolutely no investment on her part (except some time and effort) she won a package to play in a major live event (£500 entry fee) in London and hob nob with many of the famous pros in the poker world. That's fun and very exciting, you say, but what about the money?

With a buy-in of £500, this year's winner will take home a wallet that is significantly thicker than when she arrives. Last year's tournament was the inaugural event and had a field of 119 players and a prize pool of almost $37,000. This year's event could easily surpass both of those numbers, resulting in much bigger cashes for all those who make it to the money, but especially for the winner of the event.

Several thousand dollars is a nice prize for any poker tournament and in some cases it can allow for lifestyle changes that will last for years to come. Michelle says that since she only works part-time now, it might be just the bump she needs to be able to stay home with her kids full-time. But she also says she would "definitely put some of the money into playing more seriously." And while we're being crass and talking about money, let's not forget the £1,000 she won for expenses (i.e., to have a good time) while she's there for the tournament. £1,000 can cover a lot of partying, (and a lot of nice meals in restaurants) as I can tell you from experience, so let me just give you my three-word advice on that front Michelle: Aspirin, Coca-Cola, and a steak. Definitely the aspirin first, though. Works every time, I promise.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's get back to that night.

After hearing more about the tournament and the field of players she had to overcome, maybe she was too tired to do that much jumping up-and-down. In order to win the satellite and the package she had to beat 805 players. In addition, the tournament went on for over six hours. That is a long time to stay focused and not let all the variance stress you out. If her answer to the question that follows is an indication of her normal play, I'm thinking she was tired, but cool as a cucumber throughout the whole thing. When asked about her strategy for holding her own against the pros in the upcoming London Ladies Event, she replied, ". . just going to play my own game and take each hand as it comes." So sounds pretty unflappable to me. Maybe there was just some controlled jumping and screaming. We'll never know for sure.

What we do know for sure is that she is set to play October 2 in London and she is very excited about the possibilities, even though it will be a field with a lot of tough players, some of them pros. Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso is slated to play, along with Vanessa Selbst, Sandra Naujoks, newly signed Liv Boeree, and many others. Whatever happens, I have a feeling Michelle will take it all in stride. After all, she's a winner already, just to have come this far. This rest is just icing on the cake.

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Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in European Poker Tour