Women's Poker Spotlight: February Newsmakers
Liz Lieu: Back in the Saddle Again
Liz Lieu, the "Poker Diva," notched her 11th final-table finish at the 2009 Asian Poker Tour in Manila, the Philippines. Liz got some good luck when the field was down to 12 players and, short-stacked, she pushed all in to avoid elimination with J-9 and doubled through. She survived through to seventh place where she was eliminated when her pocket deuces could not improve against Steven Yea's pocket queens. Liz's seventh-place showing was not only her first tournament cash of 2009 but also her first time out for the year. Her placement at the APT marks her 21st cash since her tournament beginnings in 2005 where she fought her way to the money three times in the 36th World Series of Poker.
[B]NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship Invitees Include Top Female Players</b
Action will kick off on March 5th at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. The tournament consists of a single-elimination bracket of one on-one no-limit hold'em matchups, until the final, which will be a best-of-three match-up between the two finalists. One of the two will win the half million dollars that is up for grabs for first.
Of the 64 invitees, six of the best female players in the game today are included. Annie Duke won the 2004 World Series of Poker Omaha Hi-Lo title as well as the ESPN invitational World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions (and its $2 million first prize. Clonie Gowen is most well known for her win at the World Poker tour Ladies Night in 2003 but Clonie has continually cashed in major events and has over one million dollars in tournament winnings. Jennifer Harman, to date, has made seven World Series of Poker final tables and won two gold bracelets. Jennifer plays in some of the highest limit games in the world and is one of the game's most respected players. Vanessa Rousso has had continued success since her beginnings in poker in 2005. Including her second-place showing in the $2500 buy-in online Pokerstars WCOOP Main Event for over $700,000 Vanessa has won just under a million dollars in her career on the felt. Vanessa Selbst has only been in the poker spotlight since 2006 but in that short time has managed to put together quite a tournament resume, including one World Series of Poker bracelet in the 2008 WSOP Pot Limit Omaha event, three major tournament wins and a total of 12 cashes. Finally, Jennifer Tilly has more than proven she is no one-hit wonder in the world of poker. The movie star/poker player has been on top of the poker scene since her win in the Ladies Event at the 2005 World Series of Poker.
Toni Haggard Wins WSOP Circuit Council Bluffs Ladies Event
Toni Haggard, a former writer for the Daily Racing Form and now a housewife, took down the WSOP Circuit Ladies Event held at the Horseshoe Council Bluffs Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Toni developed her aggressive style of play from studying the game of professional player Daniel Negreanu. Like her hero, she was willing to gamble on less-than-stellar hands and in several cases it paid off, bringing her to the final table with almost 20,000 more than Karen Kyle. (Kyle eventually went out of the tournament in third place.) Early short stack Kim Strong built up her chip stack to about 75,000 when Kyle was eliminated, leaving Strong to face Haggard heads-up, though severely chip-challenged. After an hour of heads-up action, Haggard called Strong's all-in with pocket eights and flopped a set, easily finishing off Strong's pocket sixes.
High Heels Poker Tour Results
The Mardi Gras Gaming Center in Hollywood, Florida was host to the second event on the High Heels Poker Tour on February 13th. Fifty-six ladies from all over North American came to take part in the first women's-only tournament to be held at Mardi Gras. The $150 buy-in event was granted a $5,000 guaranteed prize pool by the casino.
Jasmine Schofill captured first place in the event, cashing $1,805, with the following making it into the money:
1. Jasmine Schofill (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) — $1,805
2. Micheline Gajnon (Quebec, Canada) — $1,370
3. Tammy Goldshteyn (Aventura, FL) — $1,063
4. Kelly Elliot (Lake Worth, FL) — $848
5. Peggy Penning (Miami, FL) — $670
6. Danielle Tuvia (Miami, FL) — $504
Sunday, February 8th, Lisa Kouletsis won the High Heels Poker Tour Ladies Event at Mohegan Sun. Seventy-nine ladies showed up for the $300 buy-in tourney, which lasted just under 11 hours. Final-table action took about three and a half hours with some fantastic poker playing. Final results:
1. Lisa Kouletsis (Long Beach, NY) — $7,102
2. Jennifer Gallagher (W. Hartford, CT) — $3,848
3. Carol Neal (Provincetown, MA) — $2,368
4. Justine Hunt (Abington, MA) — $1,875
5. Patty Hagerty (Scranton, PA) — $1,184
6. Maricia Riddell (Troy, NY) — $987
7. Barbara Wampole (Rensselear, NY) — $888
8. Karen Goncalves (Abington, MA) — $789
9. Karen Ganzel (Alexandria, NH) — $691
Editor's Note: Amy Zupko's column on women's poker happenings appears each Thursday at PokerNews.com.