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WSOP Profile -- Margets Makes the Most of Her Opportunity

Spanish Player is the Final Woman at the 2009 WSOP Main Event


Leo Margets has earned more than any woman ever in a single _WSOP_ main event.Girl likes boy. Girl asks boy out. Boy refuses because he wants to play poker. Girl asks to play. Girl falls in love with poker and ditches the boy.

OK, perhaps not your typical love story. But it’s a story that has landed 25-year-old Leo Margets into the final 27 of the World Series of Poker main event, with a shot at becoming the first woman since Barbara Enright in 1995 (and just the second woman ever) to make the WSOP main-event final table.

Margets’ infatuation with poker started just three years ago while she was living in Barcelona, Spain.

“I was at a dinner when I asked this guy if he wanted to go to a bar for a drink, and he refused because he wanted to go play poker,” said Margets, who is already guaranteed to receive a payday of at least $352,832 from her 2009 main-event performance. “That was my first poker game. After I discovered it, I started playing more and more with friends and online.”

After first working in player relations for IMG, the international talent agency and production company that was started by golfer Arnie Palmer and Mark McCormack, Margets took a job as a marketing manager for, an Internet casino site that is headquartered in Gibraltar.

Even though she didn’t have too many noteworthy results at the poker table, the site decided to sponsor her for a few WSOP events this year.

“They sponsored me for a few World Series events, like a $1,500 event and the ladies event, and then I went back home,” said Margets, who failed to cash in any of those tournaments. She says that the plan was never to put her into the main event.

But once she arrived back in Spain, she realized her focus was still on Las Vegas.

“I came back and I said, ‘You know, it would be super nice to play the main event,’” Marget said, smiling as she recalled the conversation. It may seem like quite a request — a $10,000 buy-in plus airfare and hotel costs — but womanly persuasion can go a long way.

They agreed, and in turn, Margets made them a promise.

“I promised them I would crush it,” said Margets.

It was a bold statement to make for a relative newcomer to the poker scene. Before this event, her biggest cash was for just €7,000, and she admits that she has “almost nothing” to speak of when it comes to notable results. But still, she carries an air of confidence with her at the table.

“I hope that I’ve shown people that poker is not just about old men betting away their wives in smoky rooms,” said Margets, laughing.

Even if she is the next person eliminated in the main event — which is a distinct possibility, as she is one of the short stacks heading into the final day of play before the tournament stops for the final table — Margets moves into at least second place all-time for the biggest cash by a woman at the WSOP main event.

With her guaranteed payday of at least $352,832, Margets has surpassed, amongst others, Enright, who earned $114,180 for her fifth-place finish in 1995 in a much smaller field, and even Tiffany Michelle, who came in 17th place in a bigger field last year but earned ‘just’ $334,534 due to a different payout structure that the WSOP was utilizing.

Only Tiffany Michelle in 2005 has made more in a single WSOP main event, cashing for $400,000 for her 15th place finish in 2005.

(Note: It would be remiss not to point out Annette Obrestad 2007 performance, where she won the World Series of Poker Europe main event for £1 million. The statistics in this article apply to the WSOP main event in Las Vegas, widely regarded as poker’s world championship.)

Margets downplays the importance or the significance of being a woman in poker, saying it doesn’t matter when the cards are dealt.

“The fact that I’m the last woman doesn’t really matter. I’m just playing to do my best,” said Margets. “There are no friends at the poker table. You could be playing your grandmother and you wouldn’t take it easy on her.”

Apart from poker, Margets is a sports junkie and an athlete. Impressively, she has already run three marathons.

It’s been said that the main event, which started nearly two weeks ago on July 3, feels like a marathon for the players, with the long hours and the seemingly endless amount of play.

Follow Card Player’s live updates today to see if the marathon runner from Spain can extend her improbable run all the way to the November finish line.

Editor’s Note: As of 12:30 p.m., Margets has been eliminated from the main event. She finished in 27th place.



over 12 years ago

Spoken like a true male-chauvinistic PIG!