PokerStars Qualifer Debra Lalor: Top Lady in the Field

Debra Lalor was shivering as she sat in the Amazon Room Friday, sick as a dog. "I've been getting sick at breaks Day 2 and today, and I was in bed all day while we were off." Her remedy for this illness is a bit unique: taking Alleve then chasing it with half-and-half to coat her stomach. "I know it doesn't sound too good, but it coats my stomach. Plus I'm freezing here, and all I have is this little jacket." A Monemaker Million PokerStars sweatshirt warmed her up, and the support staff is searching for PokerStars Pepto-Bismal.

Debra lives in Sunnyvale, California, one of the high-tech offshoots near San Jose. She's worked as a labor negotiator for the State of California, as well as a counselor at a maximimum security penitentionary. She's used to tough situations and difficult decisions, so the challenges of poker don't seem too tough in this broader context of life. Today, she works at Garden City Casino on the floor in their poker room. "We're all so excited for her," said Naida Lehr, who is supervising the room today. "She is very conscientious and is excellent on the floor, but she's an even better person. You know, she's really a very caring person. We just think she's great, and we keep following everything she's doing."

Debra started Day 3 with $156k in chips, but after the bubble burst she climbed like a bottle rocket. "I ended Day 1 with $90k and Day 2 with $156k. My daughter, Nikki, told me that I would end Day 3 at $400k." Nikki was wrong, as Debra moved to a table with Hoyt Corkins then finished up at $550k.

Day 4 is moving day, with the chipleaders bunched closely at the top. Debra got off to a great start, knocking out a player within the first twenty minutes when her queens held up vs. pocket 9's. She was excited, thanking the dejected player for the chips while stacking them in front of her. A couple of more pots may be just what the doctor ordered for her to make a full recovery on Day 4.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker