2012 WSOP Takeaways: Women are good at poker

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jul 27, 2012 Posted in Op-Ed, WSOP News | No Comments »

There was a lot going on at the 2012 World Series of Poker. From the controversies and complaints, to David “ODB” Baker’s Ben Lambish performance, to the Big One for One Drop tournament, to Phil Hellmuth’s 12th bracelet, to Phil Ivey’s five final tables in two weeks: It was a pretty wild ride at the 2012 WSOP.

Among all of the highs and lows there several things that stood out for me during the 2012 WSOP, and in this five-part series I’ll take a look at the five things I have taken away from the 2012 World Series of Poker.

* The prevalence of backing is destroying the public’s image if the professional poker player

* There are too many events at the WSOP

* The Big One for One Drop tournament saved the 2012 WSOP

* Women are still a small percentage of poker players, but that small percentage is pretty good

* The poker world as it stood in 2003 is now officially dead

Women are still a small percentage of poker players, but that small percentage is pretty good

For a few years now one of the storylines heading into the WSOP has been if this will be the Year of the Woman. This year that dream became a reality as Women showed what they are capable of during the entirety of the 2012 WSOP, winning three bracelets and making over a dozen final tables. Oh, and there was of course the 10th and 11th place finishes in the 2012 WSOP Main Event by Gaelle Baumann and Elisabeth Hille respectively!

Remarkably, the number of women entering WSOP tournament has held pretty steady over the years (about 3%-3.5%) but the quality of the female entrants seems to definitely be on the rise. Along with the known names in women’s poker like Jennifer Harman, Kathy Liebert, Annie Duke, JJ Liu Cyndi Violette and others you now have some very tough players like Annette Obrestad, Vanessa Selbst, Liv Boeree, Melanie Weisner, Jackie Glazier, Xuan Liu, Amanda Musumeci, aria Ho and Cherish Andrews to name but a few.

Women playing poker are no longer overlooked (or perhaps a better term would be looked-down-on) by their male counterparts. In today’s poker world there is still a wide gap in the number of female poker players to male poker players, but men have come to realize that the women that are playing are in no way inferior, and the 2012 WSOP was the perfect example of this, as women competed for final table spots in virtually every event, and in some events like Event #4, the $1,500 Stud hi/lo tournament four women finished in the Top 13: Xuan Liu, Bonnie Rossi, Marsha Wagonner and Linda Johnson.

In addition to the above stats I have already laid out it’s important to note that Jackie Glazier and Amanda Musumeci both finished 2nd in tournaments and Musumeci made two final tables as did Selbst.


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