Sunday marked one of the more anticipated tournaments of the World Series of Poker as Event 17, the $1,000 Ladies No Limit Hold'em tournament got underway. With fears that poker might not be the draw it was during last year's Internet-driven WSOP, it certainly did not show in the Ladies event as another WSOP record fell when 1,286 players took to the felt in the Rio's Amazon room to battle it out for a $1, 755, 000 prize pool, a WSOP gold bracelet and a snazzy Dekorum watch.
Interestingly enough, it seems that almost every year with the exception of the Main Event (and now the $50,000 HORSE event) you see more people sweating their players from the rail in this ladies event than in any other. When the tournament kicked off, the main aisle ways in the Amazon Room were packed, and hard to navigate as the
In a talent filled field of female runners, there were plenty of big names in action. Joining in on the day's action were Erica Schoenberg, Lacy Jones, Kathy Liebert, Isabelle Mercier, Evelyn Ng, JJ Liu, Michelle Lewis, Jennifer "Jennicide" Leigh, Mimi Rogers, Clonie Gowen, Sabyl Cohen, Vanessa Russo, and WSOP bracelet winners Mary Jones (2006), Jennifer Tilly (2005), Nani Dollison (2000, 2001), Susie Isaacs (1996,1997), and Barbara Enright (1986,1994).
The Ladies tournament moved at a rapid pace as players became more adjusted to their surroundings. Although this is the only Ladies event of the WSOP, it appeared that many of the women had come to take down first-place or go bust in the process as runners continued to fall at a consistent rate over the course of the day.
Early play saw several of the bigger name female players fall victim to lady luck as Erica Schoenberg, Evelyn Ng, Vanessa Russo, Clonie Gowen, Karina Jett, Jennifer Tilly, and Larry David's television wife, Cheryl Hines were eliminated. Hines was a particularly gut-wrenching beat when he She held Ace/Queen against her opponents Jack/Ten, but her opponent hit the gutshot straight to take down the pot.
Play continued on at a break-neck pace throughout the day and into early Monday morning as the Ladies continued to show very little mercy for their opponents. By the eighth hour the tournament, the fast-playing field had dwindled dramatically with only 120 players left from the 1,286 that started the day. Despite play tightening up briefly when the action went hand-for-hand, the Ladies continued to prove that it doesn't have to be a male-dominated field to be exciting as they aggressively made the push toward the money.
The money bubble finally burst when Julie Dang isolated her opponent with a King/Nine and took down the pot. Her win was followed by a number of high-pitched screams as the remaining 99 players made the money. Dang continued her impressive play and became the first player to crack the 100, 000 chip mark.
Going into Day Two, some notable names are near the top of the list. Long time BARGE favorite Patti Beadles is in the hunt, as is Team PokerStars player Katja Thater. Defending champ Mary Jones is sitting at 10th in chips, with 64 players left. Keep up with the tournament in our 'Live Reporting' section.
Top Ten Chip Counts
Julie Perla 127,300
Kathleen Gliua 127,000
Ritter Trauke 124,000
Patti Beadles 89,200
Katja Thater 88,700
Karen Miller 86,200
Kathy Fowler 85,900
Vanessa Selbst 79,900
Tara Nith 77,800
Mary Jones 76800
Make sure to check back with Pokernews.com for the exciting second day of play in the Ladies No Limit event at 2:00PM (PST) as the remainder of the field battle it out for WSOP gold and the $262,077 first-place cash.