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Women Crushing The Early Portion Of 2012 World Series of Poker Schedule

Women Make Up 3.7 Percent Of Fields, Yet Account For 7.4 Percent Of Final Tables


Xuan LiuYou may have noticed an early trend developing at the 2012 World Series of Poker. It’s not quite a full blown girl power movement, but you’d have to be blind not to see that women are crushing so far this summer.

In the last few years, women have been making up anywhere between 2-4 percent of WSOP fields. Through event no. 11, women at the 2012 WSOP account for 3.7 percent of the field, which is right on target. Of the 10,610 total entries taken in during that time, 400 have been female.

The rate of cashes for the ladies isn’t that remarkable. They are right on pace, making up 3.6 percent of total cashes, but when you look at the numbers for final tables (or final eight, when dealing with heads-up formats), the results are impressive.

In the first 11 events played at the 2012 WSOP, women have accounted for 7.4 percent of the final tablists, a rate twice as high as projected. In total, there have been 7 women who have survived to make the final eight of an event, which is incredible when you consider just how little they are represented in the overall player pool.

Entrants Cashes Final Tables/Days
Total 10,610 1,172 94
Women 400 43 7
Percentage 3.77% 3.66% 7.44%

*Through 11 Events

Vanessa Selbst“I just think women are finally meeting expectations,” said Xuan Liu, who already has a final table appearance under her belt this summer and $1.2 million in total live tournament earnings. “Variance is finally catching up with us and things are finally starting to go our way after a few rough years. It’s been awhile since Vanessa won that event.”

The Vanessa in question is none other than Vanessa Selbst, who was the last woman to win an open event bracelet back in 2008. Selbst nearly did it again in 2012, finishing fourth in event no. 2. There have been a few close calls since, like when Mario Ho finished runner-up in an event in 2011, but outside of the ladies event, it’s been a long bracelet drought for the women at the WSOP.

Melanie Weisner, an up-and-coming pro with a lot of success on the European Poker Tour, agrees with Liu, but thinks there is always room for improvement.

Amanda Musumeci“I think we can still do better,” said Weisner, who won her first table in the $1,500 no-limit hold’em shootout. “Those numbers are impressive, but we need to keep it up throughout the series. I mean, 11 events isn’t a very large sample size, so we need to make sure the numbers don’t even out.”

Still, not everybody believes it’s just a matter of variance.

“The ladies events have really introduced the game to number of new players who wouldn’t otherwise have played,” said WSOP bracelet winner Cyndy Violette. “These women are coming in, attending poker boot camps and seminars, and learning at a rapid rate. I’m not surprised at all by the success women have had this summer.”

Some women, however, believe that the average female who plays in a WSOP event may just be slightly more skilled than the average male, due to barriers to entry.

Jennifer Harman“The average female probably plays online in her spare time, not as a profession,” said Amanda Musumeci, who just finished runner-up in event no. 9 for a $481,000 payday. “She’s probably not going to come down to the Rio and put up $1,500 to play in an event. So the women who actually do have what it takes to play are generally better than average male players.”

Jennifer Harman, a two-time bracelet winner who has played in the biggest cash games in the world, agreed.

“You have to have a lot of fortitude to become a serious poker player, especially if you are a woman,” Harman said. “The women who are here, the ones who are successful, are pretty f***ing good. It’s as simple as that.”

A Look at the Top Ten Finishes by Women at the 2012 WSOP

Player Event Finish Cash
Patricia Baker $500 Casino Employees 2nd $43,754
Vanessa Selbst $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em 4th $161,345
Annette Obrestad $3,000 Heads-Up NLH/PLO T-5th $28,409
Xuan Liu $1,500 Stud 8/ob 6th $29,985
Bonnie Rossi $1,500 Stud 8/ob 8th $16,684
Marsha Waggoner $1,500 Stud 8/ob 9th $12,822
Caroline Hermesh $1,500 Stud 7th $15,135
Amanda Musumeci $1,500 NLH Re-Entry 2nd $481,643
Lori Kirgan $1,500 Limit Hold’em 9th $15,886

For complete coverage of the summer poker festival, check out our WSOP landing page.



over 8 years ago

Cherish Andrews / 1.5K NLH / 4th / $210,083
Allyn Jaffrey Shulman / 1K NLH (Seniors) / 1st / $603,713
Jackie Glazier / 3K NLH / $458,996 ~ $742,072

Still continue crushing!