The "Queens of Heart" team once again gathered at this year 2008 WSOP Ladies Event. Led by founder Lisa Tenner, the Queens of Heart team is a group of chosen women poker players who donate their time, talent, and money to the charity of choice, which this year was the Nevada Cancer Institute. Every player on the team agreed to make a personal donation as well as 25% of any amount of the prize pool they might win.
The last "Queen" standing in this year's event was none other than the First Lady of Poker, Linda Johnson. Linda left the tournament in 23rd place for a cash prize of $5,848. Two other team members, Lona Rubenstein and Adrienne Victory, also finished in the money. The Queens of Heart Team made a total donation of over $14,000.
I spoke to Lisa Tenner at the event's final table, where we discussed the future of the Queens of Heart and the WSOP Ladies Event. Lisa said, "I'm very unhappy with the changes in the structure to this year's event. The structure was so fast, the starting chips so low, we only had a chance to play two hands with a raise, and you would be out. I fear the attendance next year will fall if a satisfactory remedy is not found."
Lisa's opinion of the fast structure and low starting stack seems to be the shared opinion of many of the women who spread out around the Strip's poker rooms following the event. Dealers and players have been sharing poker stories the days after the Ladies Event, and it appears the shared displeasure is universal. This became more apparent when we reached the final table where the chip stacks were close in range from 350,000 to 400,000 and the rounds totaled 51,000. There was not enough room to make raises and play poker, but instead many raises were met with the only move left to players, all-in. With many changes coming each year to the World Series of Poker, perhaps a more agreeable structure and/or increased starting stack for this event can be among the changes for next year. It would be such a blow to women's poker and possibly cause a lower attendance next year if some adjustments are not exacted.