The vast majority of poker action comes from men, but the number of women getting into the sport has been growing at a fast pace for years. Women have always been a part of poker, and there have always been dominant female poker players. Names like Jennifer Harman and Kathy Liebert send fear into the hearts of young professional players, and famous female players like Annie Duke and Joanne Liu have amassed fortunes from playing the game. Even more dominant are the young guns of female poker like Vanessa Rousso and Annette Obrestad who have made millions is a short time on the scene.
The two queens of poker are Kathy Liebert and Jennifer Harman. Liebert leads all female players with over $5,330,000 in winnings from her 180 live-tournament cashes. She has a WSOP bracelet and was runner-up for two others, as well as a million dollar win in the Mexican Riviera Open and another runner-up finish in the 2009 Bay 101 Shooting Star WPT Main Event for $550,000. Liebert is considered to be one the best tournament players, male or female, in the world.
Jennifer Harman has been a high stakes cash game player for most of her adult life, and it’s a common occurrence for Jennifer to sit down in a $20,000-40,000 game with a million dollars in chips against the best players in the world like Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson and Patrik Antonius. Harman has made seven WSOP final tables and won two gold bracelets; one in Deuce-to-Seven Lowball in 2000 and the other in Limit Holdem in 2002. She even wrote the chapter on Limit Holdem for Doyle Brunson’s book, Super-System 2. Her live tournament winnings exceed $2.3 million and she is considered one of the best all-around poker players in the world.
Other well-established female players include Annie Duke (1 WSOP Bracelet & $1.6M in winnings), Joanne “JJ” Liu ($1.9M in winnings), Mimi Tran ($1.5M), Clonie Gowen ($1.3M), Cindy Violette ($1M) and Lucy Rokach ($1M). All these ladies were beating fields of men long before poker became the global phenomenon it is today.
The new age female poker players are even more dominant than the old school players. Young guns like Annette Obrestad and Vanessa Rousso have displayed aggression and mathematical skills that rival any male player in the game. Obrestad made a fortune online while still in her teens, and captured her first WSOP bracelet in Europe before she was old enough to play in a Vegas Casino. With over $2.6M in live poker tournament winnings at the age of 21, her potential to become the greatest female poker player of all-time couldn’t be brighter.
Vanessa Rousso has a mathematical approach to the game with a keen ability to recognize opportunities; and she is not afraid to get her chips in there. In just four years she’s won over $2.4M playing live tournaments. Other young guns of female poker include Anna Wroblewski ($1M), Sandra Naujoks ($1.7M), Vicky Coren ($1M), Vanessa Selbst ($900K), and Erica Schoenberg ($750K).