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Five of the Best Female Poker Players
It is fair to say that poker is still a male-dominated game. The 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event saw female poker players make up only four percent of the field. That is not to say there are no talented female poker players because there are some exceptional ladies. Here are five of them.
We had to include Vanessa Selbst on our list even though she retired from the game in 2018. Selbst is one of the best poker players in the world, period. The 35-year-old now lives in Brooklyn, New York, so online poker is not available to her. She was a Team PokerStars Pro when she resided in Canada and became one of the most feared players of her generation.
Selbst was a force to be reckoned with for the 12-years she was active on the circuit. She managed to win three WSOP bracelets and accumulated $11,883,650 in winnings. Although she is no longer a professional poker player due to transitioning to a hedge fund manager, Selbst has not fully retired.
Indeed, she played in the recent WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event and finished 14th for $39,950. It looks like Selbst still has what it takes to rub shoulders with poker’s elite.
Canada’s Kristen Bicknell is ranked first in the Global Poker Index (GPI) female poker players leaderboard. Bicknell cut her poker teeth in the online poker world, grind 24 cash games tables at PokerStars. Her high volume saw her play more than 2.5 million hands in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Bicknell concentrates on tournaments these days and has made the transition with remarkable success. The first of her two WSOP bracelets came in 2013 in the $1,000 Ladies event. Number two came three years later in the $1,500 Bounty No Limit Hold’em.
Twelve of Bicknell’s live scores are for six-figures with a $328,500 prize her largest so far. Add up all of Bicknell’s live cashes and they total $4,058,529.
Maria Ho was born in Taipei, Taiwan but grew up outside Los Angeles in Arcadia, California. Ho began playing poker in college after being drawn to the psychology and competitive spirit of the game. Her love for poker saw her start playing limit Hold’em cash games at the nearby Indian casinos. She now plays high stakes cash games and tournaments around the world.
Ho does not have a WSOP bracelet, but it is only a matter of time before she wins one. Ho finished second in a $5,000 NLHE event in 2011 for a career-best $540,000. She also has a fourth-place and sixth-place finish in WSOP events and busted 38th in the 2007 WSOP Main Event.
Despite not playing as many tournaments as her peers, ho has won $3,931,406 from live events around the world.
Loni Harwood already had a reputation for being a solid grinder before bursting onto the world stage. Harwood won two WSOP Circuit rings in 2012 before running golden at the 2013 WSOP. A sixth-place and fourth-place finish was followed by a victory in the $1,500 NLHE event. This win secured Harwood’s first WSOP bracelet and $609,017, which is still her largest live cash.
Harwood spends her time grinding low-to-mid live tournaments throughout the year before heading to Vegas for the WSOP. She cashed in 11 WSOP events in 2018 and seven more in 2019. Her live earnings weigh in at $3,158,918 and she is considered one of the best female poker players.
Maria Lampropulos was an unknown quantity for a while as she only played online in her native Argentina. Now she is considered one of the best female poker players on the planet. Lampropulos was in a relationship with Argentinian high stakes tournament specialist Ivan Luca which may have got her into poker.
Her first live tournament victory came in March 2015 in Chile. It awarded Lampropulos $12,347 and gave her the confidence to play more live events. She traveled Europe playing on the European Poker Tour and had more than her fair share of success. It was in the United Kingdom where Lampropulos put her name on the map, winning £1 million ($1,255,004). This mammoth prize was the first-place prize of the partypoker MILLIONS event at Dusk Till Dawn.
The Argentinian won another seven-figure prize in 2018 when she triumphed in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event for $1,081,100. Those huge prizes pushed Lampropulos’ live winnings to $3,155,904.
There are literally dozens of female poker players who deserved to be in this article but space dictated otherwise. The likes of Barbara Enright, Jessica Dawley, Ana Marquez, “Kitty” Kuo and Kelly Minkin are superb players in their own right.
Who do you think it the best of the female poker players?