The World Series of Poker Circuit series descended upon the historic city of New Orleans this past week, attracting smaller poker playing crowds than usual. This is a result, perhaps, of the overlapping of events that keeps happening when so many poker organizers are volleying for a date that will provide a successful event.
The Ladies Event at this year's Winter Bayou Poker Challenge provided plenty of excitement to 170 ladies, each eager to take home the $10,686 first prize. After nearly nine hours of battle, Wendy Michel of Harvey, Louisiana took home first prize. The top ten finishers were:
Wendy Michel (Harvey, LA) $ 10,686
Nancy Decuers (New Orleans, LA) $ 5,607
Abbe Garfinkel (Mandeville, LA) $ 3,298
BJ Orsack (Katy, TX) $ 2,638
Theresa Gex (Baton Rouge, LA) $ 1,979
Perra Perumean (Leander, TX) $ 1,649
Lynn Howard (Bogue Chitto, MS) $ 1,319
Sheila Semander (Pembroke Pines, FL) $ 989
Elizabeth Bishop (Katy, TX) $ 660
Jill Adams (Houma, LA) $ 528
Women attended WSOP-C New Orleans events in some of the largest numbers the Circuit series has turned out thus far. Approximately 30% of the players in the pre-events were women, proving once again that women are coming out to mix it up with the men in events other than women-only choices.
Other ladies who finished in the money in preliminary events were:
Michelle Palmisano of Chamette, LA, 20th place in Event #1 for $663
Staci Blackwell of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who made the final table in Event #3, a $500+$50 No Limit event where she finished in tenth place for $1,451.
Annette Martin of Denham Springs, LA finished 17th in Event #4 for $484
Lynn Martin placed 20th in Event #5 for $643
Annette Martin, Denham Springs, LA 26th in Event #7 for $1,420
During the Ladies Event I interviewed several players, asking how far they had traveled to play this event and what attracted them to this particular location. The replies were pretty universal. Harrah's New Orleans provides a comfortable and convenient geographical location for most players who live within a two- or three-state radius, and the WSOP, with its recent lowered buy-ins, provides an easier, obtainable goal. Most ladies had made it into the mega satellites and pre-events by playing the continually running satellites. One lady player remarked, "I have had such a successful run on the satellites it has encouraged me to travel to Tunica in January for the WSOP and WPT pre-events. I am more confident in my abilities to play with men now since I've had several wins in the satellites and a couple of cashes in the pre-events."
Perhaps Harrah's has hit upon a very valuable commodity by lowering buy-ins to the pre-events and cutting in half the Circuit's main event buy-in to $5,000. It certainly has increased the women's participation! March on, ladies, as we continue to make a mark in the mostly male-dominated field of poker!