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Final Table Takedown: Chris Read Tops $50K-Added Texas Women’s Event

by Craig Tapscott |  Published: Jul 26, 2023

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Chris Read credit: The Lodge Poker RoomAfter retiring from her job at one of the largest banks in the country, Chris Read went from a casual poker player to a consistent force on the tournament circuit and a tireless advocate for women’s poker. And much like her previous career, where she earned performance honors as a vice president in auto financing, Read has continued to rack up the awards, only this time they are tournament trophies.

Read has racked up over $300,000 in live tournament scores, including 15 wins and more than 70 final tables. Last year, the wife, mom, and nana won the Malta Poker Festival ladies championship and then the LIPS National Championship.

This year, Read has added a pair of wins at the Talking Stick Resort, as well as the ladies championship at the Summer Warm Up series at Jack Casino in Cleveland. Then in early July, Read incredibly returned to the LIPS National Championship and successfully defended her title!

The biggest score of her career, however, came in May, taking down the $500 buy-in ladies event at The Lodge Card Club in Texas for $28,466, plus a $25,000 player sponsorship from high-stakes pro Bill Perkins.

Perkins added the bonus payout, as well as $50,000, to the prize pool in response to a viral news story about a man who entered and won a ladies tournament in South Florida a month prior. Perkins wanted to celebrate ladies events, while making it clear that there were “no men allowed.” News of the overlay spread, and women flew in from all over the country to participate in the $500 buy-in tournament. The field grew to 326 entries, creating a prize pool of $196,702 when accounting for Perkins’ added $50,000.

When she’s not in the winner’s circle, Read stays busy as the representative for the Women’s Poker Association in Mississippi and Louisiana. In 2020, she won the WPA Rising Star award. The Biloxi resident is also the founder of the Poker Queens Facebook group which has nearly 3,000 members.

Card Player caught up with Read to break down a few key hands from her big win in Texas.

Event: The Lodge Ladies Championship
Buy-In: $500
Entrants: 326
Prize Pool: $196,699
First-Place Prize: $28,466

Craig Tapscott: How excited were you about this tournament at the Lodge, especially after Bill Perkins put up the added funds?

Chris Read: I was so excited to promote this event as soon as I read about it on Twitter. I knew that the value added was tremendous and felt like we could have a huge field of quality female players there at The Lodge! Bill Perkins tweeted that he would add $50,000 to the prize pool, which was a tremendous value for a $500 ladies event.

Then he tweeted a few days later that he would sweeten the pot by $25,000 if the winner had read his book – Die With Zero. This got me very excited. I loved the book and I knew if I could somehow win, that I would be a great representative for him. The book shows an amazing way to look at life, time, and choices. I try to live my life by the exact same philosophy, so it was a perfect fit.

CT: How was your start in the event?

CR: I came in that morning and registered late in level three after driving in late the night before. I had to return to my friend’s house because I had forgotten my makeup bag. I [joked to] myself that I needed to touch up my makeup before making the final table [live stream].
 
CT: And that’s exactly what happened!

Stacks: Chris Read – 120,000 (60 BB)
Villain – 100,000 (50 BB)
Blinds: 1,000-2,000 with a 2,000 big blind ante
Players Remaining: 161
Players: 9

CR: This is one crazy hand that I lost right out of registration. It was the second time that I had been crippled in this tournament. But I never gave up and was determined to build my stack back up.

Action: The villain completed from the small blind. Read raised to 6,000 holding ASpade Suit 10Diamond Suit from the big blind.

CR: The Villain in the small blind seemed to be a very competent player. She had come to our table with a short stack after her table broke but had spun it up. I remember being impressed with her semi-aggressive play to get her to within probably 20 percent of my stack.

Villain called.
Flop: 10Spade Suit 9Club Suit 9Diamond Suit
Villain checked, and Read bet 10,000. Villain called.
Turn: 10Heart Suit
Villain bet 15,000, and Read raised to 40,000. Villain called.
River: 9Heart Suit
Villain moved all in.

CT: That’s a crazy river.

CR: The villain snap shoved her entire stack, which was about 80 percent of my chips. I almost instinctually folded and then thought about it again. I replayed the hand in my head. I hadn’t ruled out quads, but I could never lay down my hand on the off chance that she hit a one outer on the river.

Read called. Villain revealed KSpade Suit 9Spade Suit and won the pot of 200,000.

CT: Wow.

CR: It was a sick feeling, for sure. Now I had to rebuild my stack for the third time. But I was only in for one bullet and determined to at least cash and see where it went.

Stacks: Chris Read – 430,000 (21.5 BB)
Villain – 300,000 (15 BB)
Dusti Smith – 650,000 (32.5 BB)
Blinds: 10,000-20,000 with a 20,000 big blind ante
Players Remaining: 22
Players: 9

CR: We had 22 players left, and had done the 27-player redraw before that. I looked down at pocket eights. 

I decided to go with a larger bet sizing for two reasons. There were a few sticky players at the table, plus a very aggressive, solid player in the cutoff in Dusti Smith who liked to bet and three-bet pretty liberally preflop. With my middle pair and weak position, it needed to be larger sizing than would typically be played at this point in the tournament.

Read raised to 65,000 from under the gun holding 8Diamond Suit 8Spade Suit. Villain called in the lojack, and Smith reraised to 175,000 from the cutoff.

CT: What now? You had expected this from what you’ve shared.

CR: Well, several things raced through my mind. I definitely didn’t want to play pocket eights against two players. I ruled out the other player calling me if I jammed. I was focusing on my options with Dusti in the cutoff calling.

I knew that this player was a strong player, and I gave her credit for being able to three-bet with hands like A-K, A-Q, A-J, and any pairs. I also gave her credit for being able to fold all pocket pairs except Q-Q through A-A if I jammed the rest of my stack in there. 

CT: Did you think she can fold a pretty big hand to your jam?

CR: Based on our stack sizes, she would be crippled if she called and I had her beat, or even if she just lost a race. I figured that hands like nines, tens, and jacks would be a reluctant fold for me if I was in her spot, and thought she would think the same.

CT: You were very prepared for this scenario to occur. Many players routinely raise and do not think much further ahead.

CR: I was. I had been thinking about all of these things before it even got to her and she three-bet. I thought she had an extra incentive to three-bet once the lojack called my original bet. I was also thinking about my table image and the prior table when I played with her. 

CT: What was the dynamic between the two of you?

CR: We were the two most aggressive players, but she was the more aggressive of the two of us. I continued to put the pieces together and was thinking about fold equity in the hand. And honestly, she was the player I least wanted to be up against at the final table.

CT: So, what did you decide to do?

CR: Based on all of what had been running through my mind and my hand’s lack of playability out-of-position after the flop, I chose to…

Read moved all in.

CT: What was running through your mind as you pushed your chips in?

CR: That this particular opponent in this position was the only player at the table I would have made this move against. If she folded, I would pick up a much-needed 14 big blinds to help me get to the final table. If I was ahead and held, I would pick up 24 big blinds. That was huge based on the effective stack sizes. 

Villain folded, and Smith called.

CR: She called very quickly, which was not a happy feeling for me. 

Smith revealed JHeart Suit JDiamond Suit.

CR: I felt sick. I have folded queens many times in this tricky position based on ICM, and had overestimated her ability to fold in this spot, holding 9-9 through J-J to fold for 70 percent of her stack. I had fought so hard from being crippled twice before in this event.

Board: 8Heart Suit 7Club Suit 2Spade Suit KHeart Suit 5Club Suit
Read wins the pot of 910,000.

CR: If I had chosen to just smooth call her three-bet, the result probably would have been the same, since I am pretty sure the other player would have gotten out of the way of the two bigger stacks. This was the only time in the tournament that I risked all of my chips while I was behind, and it felt really good to be on the winning side of a 80/20 for the first time in a very long time.

CT: So now you were pretty strong for the rest of the march to the final table.

CR: That pot gave me over 900,000, and I was a top-two chip stack as we were getting closer to breaking down to two tables. With this big chip stack, I was then able to make calls a little lighter and could take out other players and add to my stack. I eventually headed to the final table with the chip lead, and still had it when we decided on a deal five-handed.

You can follow Chris on Twitter @read_poker and ladies can join the Poker Queens group on Facebook.