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The Last Three Women In the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event

Meet Claudia Crawford, Amanda Musumeci and Erik Moutinho


Claudia CrawfordAs play moves into day 6, it’s time to take a look at the last women standing in the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event. There are just three female players remaining, but all three are a serious threat to make a run at the November Nine.

No woman has made the final table since Barbara Enright finished fifth in 1995, but thanks to a healthy dose of aggression, these women aren’t likely to blind out in hopes of a higher payday. If they manage to get their hands on some chips, don’t be surprised to see them used to punish their male counterparts on the felt.

Take for example, Claudia Crawford, a 26-year-old cash game pro who lives in Biloxi, Mississippi. Crawford has been playing for the better part of the last six years and learned the game from fiance and fellow pro Gabe Costner, who finished 35th in the Main Event in 2010 and has a WPT final table to his credit.

Crawford has no problem mixing up her play and attacking when she senses weakness, but she did have one regret during day 5.

Amanda Musumeci“This German guy at my table had been raising every hand and I decided to play back at him because I know he didn’t have shit,” Crawford said. “I three-bet him from the small blind with K-5 offsuit and he went ahead and four-bet me. I still didn’t back down and decided to five-bet him, but he put in the six-bet anyway. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the nerve to stick it in there and folded. Of course he went ahead and showed me a nine. Next time, I’ll go with my read.”

Another player who isn’t afraid to gamble is Amanda Musumeci, who played online as “manderbutt.” The 26-year-old pro started playing $10 home-games five years ago, but has since graduated to some of the biggest tournaments on the circuit.

The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native conceded the fact that some women are targets at the table, but that skill inevitably trumps all.

“I guess I surprise some of the guys with my play,” Musumeci admitted. “Some guys like to attack the girls at the table, but once they find out that I’m willing to play back at them, they tend to give me credit and lay off. Gender gets thrown out the window when you are up against good competition. It’s up to me to play at a high level and keep them on their toes.”

Erika MoutinhoRounding out the ladies is 25-year-old Erika Moutinho, who was taught the game by her boyfriend David “Doc” Sands. Incredibly, Sands is also still in the Main Event.

The two met while studying abroad in Australia and have been dating ever since. Moutinho explained that it was hard not to learn the game since it’s all Sands and his friends ever talk about.

“I would sometimes watch David play online, but I was pretty much learning subconsciously without even trying,” said Moutinho. “I don’t know what would happen if we were placed at the same table, but I’d like to think that I would have a small advantage since I know exactly how he plays. Either way, there’s no rivalry between us. We don’t care who finishes higher and we’ll be happy for each other no matter what happens. Although, it would be nice for us to finish first and second.”