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Women At The World Series: Loni Harwood

Staten Island Native Seeks Second Bracelet At This Year’s WSOP

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Professional poker player Loni Harwood isn’t one for wasting time. The Staten Island native was a familiar name at the World Series last year after being the second woman of the summer to win a bracelet in an open event—the $1,500 no-limit hold’em—for which she won $609,017.

She also made two final tables last summer, busting sixth in the pot-limit Omaha hi-low split eight-or-better, earning $39,803, then busting fourth in a different $1,500 no-limit event, earning $210,456.

This year, Harwood is back with the goal of doing equally as well. While she’s already cashed in four events, she still has time to hopefully grind out another first-place spot at the WSOP for her second career bracelet. Three of her cashes so far this summer have been top-50 finishes in massive no-limit hold’em fields. She clearly is one of the game’s best at wading through thousands of no-limit hold’em players.

Card Player had the opportunity to speak with Harwood during a break in play on June 30—in an event she ended up finishing 46th in—to talk about her run at this year’s WSOP, as well as a humorous experience during the ladies event.

Elaina Sauber: How do you feel about your Series so far?

Loni Harwood: I’m pretty confident with my Series so far, I’ve had two deep runs and I’ve lost two hands at the end that were pretty much like final table stacks. Just lost major flips, like the last one was jacks versus ace-queen against Jordan Morgan, it was a huge pot, for [twice the average chip stack], and then he went on to win it. It’s given me a little more determination to win more flips.

ES: Are you playing any other events this summer?

LH: Yeah, definitely. [I’m] playing the rest of the series and the main event.

ES: Can you see yourself winning another bracelet anytime soon?

LH: It would be great if I could win it in this $1K.

ES: During the $1,000 ladies event, someone told you that you looked like Loni Harwood. Can you talk about that experience?

LH: Yeah, they were talking about the Monster Stack even, and this lady was asking me if I played it and whatnot. And I actually didn’t play it, I busted the $5K, and I couldn’t get into the Monster Stack until midnight, so I wound up leaving and just decided that I wasn’t going to play it. And the lady next to me said, ‘Oh, you should have played the Monster Stack, you play really good.’ And then she was like, ‘Yeah, and you look like Loni Harwood.’ I replied, ‘I am Loni Harwood.’ She said, ‘Then you’re a scammer.’ I was like, ‘How am I a scammer?’ She then said, ‘Because you just lied and said you didn’t play in the Monster Stack.’ I guess she figured I would play it.

ES: How many years have you been playing poker?

LH: I’ve been playing live professionally for three [years]. I actually learned in Florida—my dad’s a professional. He played professional poker online, and I watched him play. I don’t play online, though.

ES: Do you prefer cash games to tournaments?

LH: [I prefer] tournaments. I mean, I do like cash games a lot, but tournaments, you can make a big win, and in cash games, you know, you have to grind. So I’m more about, let’s just win it all in one day.