Woman looks to make poker history on Valentine’s Day

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Feb 14, 2012 Posted in Tournament News, WPT News | No Comments »

All of the big names have been eliminated from the World Poker Tour’s inaugural Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship taking place at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, but that doesn’t mean the tournament isn’t on the verge of making history, considering Gigi Gagne is poised to become the first female WPT Champion in the tour’s 10-year history.

In 10 years, the WPT has seen two women come very close to capturing an “Open” Championship, with JJ Liu and Kathy Liebert both having second place finishes. In addition to the two runner-up finishes for the ladies, there have also been ten other instances where women have made the final table of an “Open” Championship. Two ladies have won WPT tournaments, but both events were not “Open”: Natalia Nikitina won on the WPT Regional Series in France in 2011, and Van Nguyen won the WPT Celebrity Invitational back in 2008.

We first mentioned Gagne in yesterday’s report from the Lucky Hearts Poker Open, where she finished the Day 2 of the tournament sitting in second place on the leader-board, with just 34 players remaining. Well on Day 3 Gagne bettered her position on the leader-board by a single spot, taking over the overall chip-lead as the final six competitors get set for Tuesday’s final table.

So, on Tuesday (fittingly Valentine’s Day) it will be Gigi Gagne, not Kathy Liebert, Vanessa Selbst, JJ Liu, Vanessa Rousso, Jennifer Harman, Liv Boeree, Melanie Weisner, or Xuan Liu trying to become the first women champion in World Poker Tour history. Making Gagne’s run all the more improbable is the fact that she has just a single career cash on her tournament resume according to thehendonmob.com; a $4k cash in the 2010 WSOP Ladies Tournament! This would also make me look even more sage-like with my 2012 predictions!

Not only does Gagne hold the chip-lead, but she has it by a very wide margin, possessing over 2.7 million of the chips in play. Her closest competitor is Matt Juttelstad (the chip leader at the end of both Day 1 and Day 2) who will enter the final table with 1.65 million chips.

Here is a look at the complete final table chip counts:

1. Gigi Gagne – 2,708,000

2. Matt Juttelstad – 1,651,000

3. Uri Kadosh – 1,470,000

4. Sharon Levin – 1,208,000

5. Keith Ferrera – 1,094,000

6. Todd Jacobson – 718,000

Day 3 saw the elimination of Jonathan Little (who finished just outside the money in 29th place), Fred Goldberg (the real Bubble-Boy, finishing in 28th place), Darryll Fish (23rd place), Noah Schwartz (18th place, who apparently skipped his jury duty obligations to play Day 3), Christian Harder (13th place), and Harrison Gimbel (9th place).

Gagne’s run at history will begin at 1 PM local time, with the WPT website will show the tournament on a “live” stream (the stream will be on a 30-minute delay).

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