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Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Women Players Prove They Belong

BY TOM SOMACH

Women-only poker tournaments are needed because women players aren’t as good as the men players and can’t compete on even ground with them.

At least that’s the thinking of the folks who run the World Series of Poker (WSOP), who held a women-only tourney at this year’s WSOP (no men-only tourneys were held).

Katja Thater, a female poker player from Wedemark, Germany, has proven once again that that kind of thinking is way out of date, not to mention wrong, as she has won WSOP Event #29, a $1,500 buy-in, seven-card razz tournament that had 341 entrants (mostly men) and a total prize pool of $465,465.

Coming in second was Larry St. Jean of Salisbury, Md., USA, who earned $73,311.

And while there were plenty of men in the tourney, there was only one Men–Vietnamese-born top poker professional Men “The Master” Nguyen, now of Bell Gardens, Calif., USA.

He came in seventh in the tournament and took home $14,197.

Earlier, in WSOP Event #28, a $3,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas hold ‘em tournament with 827 participants (again mostly men) and a total prize pool of $2,282,520, a woman player almost won.

Beth Shak of Bryn Mawr, Pa., USA, a Philadelphia suburb, had to settle for second-place, as she was ultimately bested by Shankar Pillai.

Pillai, whose hometown is unknown, earned over half a million bucks for his victory–$527,829 to be exact.

Shak took home a nice consolation prize of $328,683 for being runnerup.

The story of the tourney, however, was Phil “Poker Brat” Hellmuth Jr., who made it to the final table and was looking for a record 12th WSOP gold bracelet.

Several days earlier, Hellmuth, of Palo Alto, Calif., USA, had earned his 11th career WSOP gold bracelet in another hold ‘em tournament, moving ahead of Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson and Johnny “The Orient Express” Chan, who each have won 10 bracelets lifetime, to become the all-time leader.

Hellmuth’s luck did not hold up this time, however, as he ended up in sixth place, winning a still-not-too-shabby $74,464.

In other WSOP action, David Stucke of Henderson, Nev., USA, was the winner of Event #27, a $1,500 buy-in, no-limit Texas hold ‘em tournament with 2,325 entrants and a total prize pool of $3,159,975.

Stucke stuck it to the field, earning a whopping $603,060 for the victory.

Finishing in second was Young Cho of Enid, Okla., USA, who garnered $382,357.

(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected])

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