A Detroit, Mich., poker dealer and home game hero won the 2016 World Series of Poker Ladies Championship on Sunday.
Courtney Kennedy, a 37-year-old dealer at Motor City Casino, took home $149,108 and her first WSOP bracelet after getting the best of an 819-player field including a final table full of accomplished players.
“I’ve had cards in my hand since I was two years old,” Kennedy said. “I’m a home game player and I deal at Motor City Casino in Detroit. This game has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.”
The final table included WSOP Circuit ring winners Amanda Musumeci, Wendy Freedman and Amanda Baker, alongside Colossus II ninth-place finisher Michelle Deng and Team PokerStars Pro Yaxi Zhu. Kennedy beat Baker heads-up after taking what would prove to be an insurmountable lead with five players remaining in Sunday's final table.
Three handed, Kennedy had a 3-1 chip lead over Deng and Baker combined, and never fell out of chip lead position on the way to the win.
“I had to be careful about having the chip lead," Kennedy said. "I didn’t want to get carried away, especially with my rail cheering for me and all. I just wanted to play my strong game and pick my spots.”
2016 Ladies Championship Final Table Results
The event marked Kennedy's sixth time playing the WSOP Ladies Championship, but her first ever cash.
“When we all cashed, I was excited just to do that,” Kennedy said. “I cashed, so I’m good is what I thought. Once again, I never saw this coming.”
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