Six female players survived into Day 5 of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2015 Main Event, but only one of lasted throughout the day. Kelly Minkin, a 28-year-old professional female poker player has plans of joining the ranks of successful female poker players such as Breeze Zuckerman, Gaelle Baumann, and Tiffany Williamson.

For the last three years, Minkin has been enjoying tremendous success in tournament poker while simultaneously handling a tough job as an attorney. She graduated with a degree in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Arizona and then went to Arizona Summit Law School. She then joined a law firm in Phoenix as a medical malpractice defense lawyer.

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She said: “The firm I work for in Phoenix, Kent, Wittekind, has been awesome. They knew I was a poker player when they hired me, and they were great about working their schedule around mine so that I could continue playing. I can’t even describe how happy that made me. Honestly, I was willing to give up playing poker to continue my career as an attorney, but the fact that I’m able to do both is like a dream come true.”

She visited local casinos to fight boredom and spent her free time playing poker tournaments and cash poker games. In August 2013, she became the runner-up of a $1k buy-in Arizona State Poker Championship and won $151,983, an event that marked the beginning of her poker career.

Ever since, she has finished in the cash in places such as Louisiana, Florida, Nevada, California, New Jersey, Colorado, and Oklahoma. In January 2015, she won $54,630 in a $500 prelim at the Los Angeles Poker Classic. The next month, she won her biggest cash prize of $262,912 by finishing third in the $3,500 World Poker Tour (WPT) Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship.

However, she is not at all comfortable in the poker spotlight. She calls it “a weird feeling” as she is “not used to it.”

So far, she has earned over $532k playing poker tournaments, and she is guaranteed to win at least $96,445 for making a deep run into the Main Event. But she dreams of finishing as a November Niner. She said: “I think it’s exciting to be the last woman standing and I’m happy to be representing women poker players as I move further in the tournament. But at the end of the day, I want to be the last person standing.”

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