There are very few things we love more than thinking about legendary poker players. A lot of the time, the players who pop into our heads first are men. And we get why that is. Poker is often seen as a pretty masculine activity and there is just more of a focus on men in the sport. As well as that, there are a myriad of reasons why women can feel a little excluded from proceedings. But the world would be a far poorer place if there were no female poker players. There are so many women who are killer on the felt. So let’s get right to it and explore some of our favourite female personalities at the table.
This woman’s story will be familiar to many poker players who’ve risen to prominence over the last couple of decades. Kristen Bicknell perfected her craft grinding away on the online poker circuit from the mid-2000s, playing millions of hands every year.
Of course, like many online poker players this Canadian quickly moved her skills to the live arena and saw major successes there too. But her online skills rose to the fore when many major events went online in 2020. For example, she took home nine cash prizes at the Super High Roller Bowl series and she won her third World Series of Poker bracelet that year too.
When Maria Ho was in college, she started playing poker in college for fun. However, her talents clearly shone and she made the decision to go pro after graduation. Now she’s got a place in the Women in Poker Hall of Fame and has career earnings of over $4 million. So that proves that her post-college decision was definitely a good one.
Her first major score at the WSOP was when she was 24, with a near quarter of a million dollar cash in the Championship Event. And that is just one of 63 subsequent cashes at the World Series, along with five spots on the final tables. Notably, she’s also cashed 13 times in the WPT.
You might recognise this Los Angeleno from her second career as a tv host and commentator, giving her yet another angle on her poker expertise.
A woman of many talents, Vanessa Selbst is a poker player and a hedge fund manager. Insanely smart and talented at the table, Selbst is the only women so far to rank number one on the Global Poker Index. As well as that, she’s the highest earning female poker player ever, having banked an obscene $11 million to-date.
Some of her career highs include two wins in a row at the North American Poker Tour Main Event, the PCA high roller score that landed her a $1.4 million prize and, of course, three World Series of Poker bracelets.
The Brooklynite announced her retirement a few years ago, but we don’t think that’s really the end of her story on the felt. Since then, she’s become a WPT ambassador and has played a handful of tournaments. We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to see what she does next.
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Image credit: Joe Giron, Flickr