Poker has become more and more mainstream over the past few years, growing in popularity on TV and the internet. There has certainly been a rise in the number of players playing poker online and a boom in the number of online casinos entering the market in a short space of time.
The popular card game involves both skill and chance with the prospects of winning equally favourable to all the participants. While it was traditionally a male-dominated game, more and more females have made it onto the scene recently. Perhaps this list will be an inspiration to you if you plan to start playing poker.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest female winners of all time:
Vanessa Selbst ($11.8 million)
A New Yorker, Vanessa Selbst is the only woman to have ever reached the number 1 ranking on the Global Poker Index. Selbst has had six-figure paydays or above in 21 live poker tournaments.
Throughout her career, she has also achieved three WSOP bracelets, eight final tables, 20 money finishes, and two WPT final tables.
Kathy Liebert ($6.1 million)
Born in the great state of Tennessee, Kathy Liebert now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her rise to fame started back in 2000 when she earned her highest WSOP Main Event finish. She placed seventeenth.
She made a big hit in 2002 when she won the first Party Poker Million event. It was also the first limit poker tournament with a $1 million prize. A consistently great player, she has made an incredible six WPT final tables.
Annie Duke ($4.2 million)
Annie Duke held a gold bracelet from the World Series of Poker in 2004. She was also the leading all-time winner among women until she was overtaken by Vanessa Selbst. And she is the only woman to have won the WSOP Tournament of Champions and the NBC National Poker Heads-Up Championship.
Now a former poker player, Duke retired from the game in 2012. She has written a number of instructional books for poker players and is the co-founder of The Alliance for Decision Education. It is a non-profit whose mission to improve lives by empowering students through decision skills education.
Maria Ho ($4 million)
One of the top-ranked female poker players in the world, Maria Ho has earned over $4,000,000 in live tournament winnings. Born in Taiwan, Maria Ho grew up in California and speaks fluent Mandarin. In 2019 she won LA Poker the Classic $25,000 High Roller tournament. The following month she was third in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Main Event.
In 2009 she teamed up with friend Tiffany Michelle for The Amazing Race. They finished 6th overall.
Annette Obrestad ($3.9 million)
Norwegian player, Annette Obrestad rose to fame in 2007 when she became the youngest person to ever win a WSOP bracelet. It was also the day before her 19th birthday! Winning $2.01m, she set the record for a single-event payout to a female player set previously by poker professional Annie Duke.
In a real departure from Poker, Obrestad now hosts her own YouTube Channel called Annette’s Makeup Corner. With 33K subscribers, she posts makeup tutorials and reviews, specializing in eyeshadow.
Vanessa Rousso ($3.5 million)
A very interesting woman, Vanessa Rousso hails from New York and has been on the circuit for years. Another of our top female poker players, she has placed in the money seventeen times at the WSOP and has also appeared on several reality TV shows. That includes her third-place finish on Big Brother in 2015. where she placed third.
Highly intelligent, she graduated early from Duke University in 20023. It only took her two and a half years to graduate with a major in economics and a minor in political science, the shortest time to graduate in the history of Duke. In 2018 she enrolled in order to finish her law degree, which she completed that same year. She subsequently passed the Florida Bar Exam. She is currently married to Melissa Ouellet and the couple welcomed their first son into the family in February 2020.
J.J. Liu ($3.2 million)
Born in Taiwan, J. J.. Liu moved to the USA to pursue her master’s degree in Computer Engineering. It was there that she fell in love with poker, having never played it before. In 2007 she became the highest-placing female in a World Poker Tour Championship event, finishing runner-up to Ted Forrest at the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars.
As of 2019, her total live tournament winnings exceed $3,200,000.
Liv Boeree ($ 3.15 million)
The multi-talented Liv Boeree is a British poker player who is the only female player in history to win a WSOP bracelet and EPT event. She graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Physics with Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. Despite a highly successful career in poker, Boeree announced on Twitter, in November 2019, that intends to quit professional poker.
She has also had success as a television presenter, speaker and writer. Boeree spoke at the TED 2018 Conference in Vancouver during their inaugural “TED Unplugged” session. She is very active on Twitter with over 146K followers.
Jennifer Harman ($2.7 million)
American poker player Jennifer Harman has won two World Series of Poker bracelets in open events and is one of only three women to have done so to date. Among her many other accomplishments is the fact that she authored the limit hold’em chapter for Super System II.
She is also the only woman who is a regular player in the “Big Game” at Bobby’s Room, the high-stakes cash game at the Bellagio. An active fundraiser for the NSPCA, she has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, for the charity, through live tournaments.
Victoria Coren Mitchell ($2.4 million)
The second Brit on our list, Victoria Coren Mitchell is better known in the UK as a writer and television presenter. She writes weekly columns for The Observer and has hosted the BBC television quiz show Only Connect since 2008.
In April 2014 she won the main event of the European Poker Tour San Remo, earning €476,100. In doing so she became the only player to have won two EPT titles.